Simple Health Blog

Life’s a Picnic

May 20, 2020 | Healthy Living, Learn to Eat Clean and Healthy

3 Healthy Picnic Foods for Your Next Outing

Going on a picnic is a fun way to enjoy the outdoors with friends and family.  The good news is you don’t have to take traditional mayonnaise-laden foods with you.  There are all kinds of healthy options you can choose from when planning your picnic, some as simple as sliced veggies, and others as elaborate as oyster sandwiches.  There are also lots of “in-between” meals you can take that are healthy, nutritious, and taste great.

If you are looking for some fresh ideas for healthy portable food, here are three perfect recipes:

Grilled Veggie and Hummus Wraps
Compliments of Cooking Light

  • 4 ½ inch thick slices red onion
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and quartered
  • 1 8-ounce container plain hummus
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 4 whole grain flatbreads/wraps
  •  ¼ cup chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
  • ½ cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 12-ounce eggplant, cut into ½ inch thick slices

Heat a large grill pan over medium-high heat.  Brush onion, bell pepper, and eggplant with 1 Tablespoon oil. Add eggplant, onion and bell pepper to pan; cook 3 minutes on each side or until grill marks appear.  Remove from pan.  Coarsely chop vegetables.

Combine vegetables, remaining 1 tablespoon oil, parsley, and salt; toss to combine.  Spread ¼ cup hummus over each flatbread/wrap, leaving a ½ inch border around edges.  Divide vegetables over each flatbread; top each serving with 2 tablespoons cheese.  Roll up wraps, and cut diagonally in half.

Couscous Salad Cups
Compliments of Cooking Light

  • 2 cups organic vegetable broth
  • ½ cup pomegranate-orange dressing
  • 1 cup uncooked couscous
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley
  • 1 cup shredded carrot
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh mint
  • ½ cup chopped green onions
  • ¼ cup teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup diced English cucumber
  • ¼ cup freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup diced plum tomatoes
  • 8 Boston lettuce leaves, or 4 halved bell peppers

Bring the broth to a boil in a medium saucepan; gradually stir in couscous.  Remove from heat; cover and let stand 5 minutes.  Fluff with a ford; cool.  Combine cooled couscous and all the other ingredients except the lettuce leaves or peppers.  Toss well to combine.  Spoon about 2/3 cup couscous mixture into each lettuce leaf or halved bell pepper.

Monster Quinoa Almond Butter Cookies
gluten-free, grain-free, sugar-free, egg-free
Compliments of The Spunky Coconut

Add to bowl:

  • 1/2 cup coconut milk (or almond milk)
  • 1/4 tsp guar gum OR xanthan gum
  • 1 tbsp flax seed meal OR 1/2 tbsp Chia Seed meal (you can buy meal or grind the seeds yourself—I use my coffee grinder)
  • 1/4 cup honey OR coconut sugar

Mix with electric mixer.

Add:

  • 1/4 tsp vanilla liquid stevia
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 cup almond butter
  • 1/2 cup Sunbutter
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup quinoa flakes
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking power
  • 1/4 cup dairy-free chocolate chips (I used Enjoy Life)
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Mix again.

Roll into balls and flatten them between your hands, as thin as you can. (They really don’t change shape in the oven.)

Place on unbleached parchment paper on a cookie sheet.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes.

If you want to keep the outside crunchy (so good) don’t store them in an air-tight container. Just put them on a plate and cover them with a cloth napkin.

Picnics can be a fun, healthy part of your warm weather routine.  With all of the local parks and beaches, it’s easy to find the perfect spot.  Remember it is important to take time for yourself, your friends, and family.  Sharing a picnic in a peaceful environment provides companionship, relaxation, and the opportunity to connect with nature.  What better perks are there than that? Enjoy!

A great way to support your local farmers this spring into summer is through CSAs and Farmer’s Markets. It is so wonderful to know your local farmer’s and support local agriculture. Your body will love you for all these local fruits and vegetables!!