Summer is finally here and we are all so excited to finally get to spend so much time outside. It can sometimes be a challenge to think of delicious food to bring with you on a picnic or road trip. Here are our suggestions for some items that will ensure your outing is both fun and delicious.
As summer unfolds before our eyes, we want to spend less time indoors in favour of exploring the great outdoors. Hiking, biking, walking and talking are enjoyable pastimes that have known benefits for our bodies from head to toe.
If a picnic in the park is on your mind, we have some ideas for foods that are great for your insides and that can hold their own in the warmer weather. It’s a bonus that most of these foods are just as delicious cold as they are hot and can be made ahead of time if you are having guests over. So step away from the hot oven and stock up your picnic baskets with some foods we adore. You might discover a new-to-you ingredient that has potential to become a favourite.
Corn is almost synonymous with summer. It’s incredibly versatile and can be added to almost any dish. Cobs can be boiled or grilled; niblets are just as delicious fresh as they are frozen. If you make corn on the cob and have leftovers, slice the corn off and use it for corn and bean salads or add it into guacamole or salads (green, potato and pasta).
Salad in a Jar
Mason jars aren’t just for canning, they’re a handy way to transport layered salads. Put your dressing on the bottom and add your ingredients from the most hearty (like nuts) to the most delicate (greens and cheeses). When you’re ready to dig in, just shake and serve.
Oodles of noodles are available at any supermarket. We like soba and buckwheat noodles for a cool and dense dish. These Japanese noodles are thicker than Italian pasta, a little bit grainier and filled with fibre. They do a wonderful job of absorbing the flavours of the foods and spices around them. A neat trick is to add some frozen, cooked edamame to the dish just before you head out. This will keep things cool and won’t the beans won’t get soggy.
Roasted or Grilled Vegetables
The roots are made for grilling: potatoes, carrots, mushrooms and chunky onions. But there are some other veggies your can roast or grill that won’t limp out on you. Try eggplant, zucchini, peppers, cauliflower and broccolini. While the grill is going, try roasting some peaches or pineapple for a decadent dessert.
Couscous, quinoa and bulgar are the bomb in cold dishes. They hold up well and won’t turn to mush. These grains are like a blank canvas – no flavour – leaving it up to you to add your own special sauce, dressing and flair. Add some grilled or roasted vegetables and your preferred dressing and you are good to go.
This grain has been around for literally centuries. It’s been traced back to ancient Mesopotamia (roughly 20,000 years ago) and is still in use in kitchens all over Italy. It’s a nutrient-dense whole grain with a nutty flavour and a chewy texture. It’s perfect for cold salads (think risotto). It holds up remarkably well with dressings, oils and vegetables.
These dishes are built to last. While they won’t last forever, they will keep long enough to hit the road and will hold their form until your guests have had their fill.