When spring and summer roll around, ‘eating out’ takes on a whole new meaning. In the warmer months, a picnic is a fantastic way to enjoy the great outdoors. So many of us find ourselves confined inside throughout the week, so getting outside on a beautiful day and soaking up some Vitamin D is a fantastic way to catch up with friends, enjoy the fresh air and relax.
However, there is an art to creating a great picnic. The key to ensuring you get extra points for providing fantastic food is to pack everything correctly. If your past outings have consisted of limp salads and soggy sandwiches, then you will know by now that packing well is a very important aspect of ensuring your picnic is a surefire success. If you’re bringing sauces or dressings to accompany certain dishes, pack them in a separate container and apply them when you arrive at the picnic. If you’re planning on making burgers or sandwiches, provide the bread, fillings and sauces separately so people can make their own. That way, everything stays fresh and you can avoid the usual pitfall of mediocre food.
When dining in the great outdoors, it’s also a great idea to try and make your picnic as eco-friendly as possible. Challenge yourself to plan ahead so you are left with nothing that needs throwing in the rubbish at the end of your meal. Bring your own cutlery, plates and cups and replace paper napkins with reusable fabric ones. Try to also bring all your food and drink in reusable containers such as thermoses and Tupperware. In doing so, you’re leaving little to no environmental footprint behind.
Here are some suggestions on what to pack in your picnic and inspire you to get outside:
Vegie Delights Thai Chilli and Lime Sausages*
Vegie Delights Lentil Patties*
Vegie Delights Crispy Chik’n Style Tenders*
Cook these the morning of your planned picnic if there won’t be any barbecue facilities. These are just as delicious served cold as they are hot.
Homemade hummus (recipe below)
A variety of dips such as capsicum, garlic and eggplant
Carrot, capsicum and celery sticks
Sandwich toppings i.e lettuce, beetroot, grated carrot, cucumber, mayonnaise
A delicious seasonal fruit platter
Raw Cacao Balls (my recipe can be found here)
Makes approximately 1 and a half cups.
1 can of chickpeas, rinsed
1 large lemon, squeezed
1 large clove of garlic, minced
1/4 cup tahini
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp water
1/2 tsp ground cumin
Pinch of salt
1. Blend tahini and lemon in food processor for 1 minute.
2. Add olive oil, cumin, salt and garlic and blend for 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and blend for another 30 seconds.
3. Add approximately half of the chickpeas to food processor and blend. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and blend the remaining half of the chickpeas until a smooth consistency has formed.
4. Blending slowly, add 1 tbsp of water at a time until hummus is the perfect consistency.
Store in the fridge in an airtight container.