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By: Rosemary Collins, RDN

tortillas

There is nothing nicer than a picnic to enjoy with friends or family on a summers day.

I have put together some easy to prepare picnic recipes for you and your friends to try…

Picnic foods that work best are the ones that are easy to pick up and eat straight from the cooler!

First on my favorites list are Red and Green picnic wraps, which are easy to prepare and sure to be enjoyed.

Ingredients (serves 8) (Adapted from Sainsbury’s) 8 soft flour tortillas

For the green wrap filling 

2 cooked roast chicken breast fillets, skin removed and finely chopped
2oz iceberg lettuce, finely shredded
1oz gherkins, finely chopped
1tbsp mayonnaise
3 tbsp. soured cream
1 tbsp. olive oil juice of ½ lemon
1 avocado, peeled de stoned and cut into strips

To make the green wraps.

Toss the chicken with the lettuce, gherkins, mayonnaise, soured cream, olive oil and lemon juice. Season with a little salt and freshly ground black pepper and mix in the avocado. Spread the mixture on one side of the tortilla. Roll up the wrap, cut in half and secure with a cocktail stick.
Wrap in wax paper, chill and transport in an airtight container.

For the red wraps

Use the same amount of cooked roast chicken and mayonnaise.
Add 2 tomatoes finely chopped, 2 red peppers deseeded and cut finely into strips. Prepare in the same way as the green wraps, refrigerate before serving.

Potato salad

To accompany the chicken wraps you might like to try this New England Potato Salad with Horseradish cheddar.
(Cabot)

Ingredients

2 pounds small red- skinned potatoes, cooked and cut into chunks about 1 1/2 inches each

1 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. cider vinegar
½ cup plain 2% Greek style yoghurt
3 tbsp. mayonnaise
¼ tsp. ground white pepper
4oz horseradish cheddar, or if you prefer extra sharp cheddar shredded
1 cup chopped celery hearts ¼ cup minced red onion
Freshly ground black pepper to taste.
3 tbsp. fresh herbs of your choice, for example, parsley, chive, basil, tarragon or dill.

To make the potato salad

Toss the cooked potatoes in the cider vinegar and refrigerate until chilled about 1 hour.

Whisk the yogurt, mayonnaise together and stir in the shredded cheese until thoroughly mixed. Stir in the celery hearts, onion and herbs. Stir yoghurt mixture into the cooled potatoes and season with ground pepper.

lemonadePicnic Drinks

You can’t plan a picnic without a summer drink. Cool drinks are just the thing to enjoy when dining al fresco, homemade lemonade or iced green tea make a perfect choice. 

Health tip: use less sugar or sweetener to keep the calories in check.

Picnic Dessert- Simple summer Strawberry Cake
This recipe is from Jennifer Segal adapted from Martha Stewart Living 2005.

strawberry cream

One nine-inch cake, 8-10 servings, simply bake and carry. Cut into servings at the picnic.

Ingredients

1 ½ cups all- purpose flour spooned into a measuring cup and leveled off.
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ tsp. salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, plus a little for greasing the pan
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
½ cup milk
¾ lb. strawberries hulled and halved

To prepare the cake mix:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and butter a 9- inch square cake pan or pie dish.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and 1 cup of the sugar until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla and beat on low speed until well combined. Gradually add the flour mixture, alternating with the milk, and beat on low speed until smooth and thick.

4. Transfer the mixture into the prepared pan and smooth with a spatula. Arrange the strawberries on top; cut side down, so that they completely cover the mixture. Sprinkle the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar over the strawberries.

5. Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 325 degrees and bake until the cake is lightly golden and tester comes out clean, about an hour. Let the cake cool in the pan on a rack.

Packing your Picnic

Pack the wraps, potato salad, lemonade and cake in sealed containers. Place the containers in a cooler with frozen gel packs. Keep the cooler lid closed as much as possible during the picnic. Do not let the cooler sit for more than two hours outside; if it’s over 90 degrees, for no more than one hour.

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