I wrote this for http://www.fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org.
The Half-Your-Plate Picnic
Packing the perfect produce-filled picnic …
- Grilled Fruits. Transporting your fruit to the backyard is easy – just grab a bowl of whole peaches, plums, and nectarines. Using a cutting board and knife, simply cut the fruit in half, remove the pit, and set cut side down on the grill to form char marks. Use a grilling-appropriate cooking spray, or your favorite marinade for additional flavor, if desired. Balsamic vinegar, orange juice or honey mustard work great with fruit.
- Kabobs! Not only are kabobs built-in portion control for protein foods, they make fruits and vegetables fun to eat – and so easy for guests! Remember to leave several inches at the bottom of the kabob clear to use as a handle. Try cubed pineapple with red pepper, layered with lean meat or chicken chunks. For appetizers, alternate whole strawberries, melon cubes, and chunks of peaches or nectarines.
- Get the Kids to Help. Letting your kids choose a favorite for the meal will help encourage them to try new items and instill healthy eating habits that can last a lifetime.
- Veg Out! Layer veggies such as mushrooms, bell pepper, onion, even small slices of corn on the cob on a skewer. Depending on what you choose, this can be served raw as an appetizer, grilled and served as a side, or in a salad.
- Corn on the Cob. Corn is excellent on the grill and great to eat on the road (as it’s “packaged for travel”). And … since it’s a bit messy, what a fun veggie to serve to kids outside to help contain clean up!
- Go Seasonal! Enjoy seasonal fruits and vegetables like cherries, watermelon, tomatoes, and corn. Offer them as part of a meal, on their own, or see below for some tasty ways these favorites can make a meal more special.
Check out these easy-to-make and easy-to-transport picnic recipes …
Prep Time: 20 minutes Amount: 20 servingsIngredients:
- 2 cups sweet corn, cooked and removed from cob
- 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed, drained
- 2 medium tomatoes, seeded, diced
- ½ cup tomato sauce
- ¼ cup minced green onions
- ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground natural sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon chili powder
- Combine all ingredients in a large bowl.
- Cover and refrigerate several hours to blend flavors.
- Serve with tortilla chips.
Nutritional Information: (does not include chips) Serving Size 1/20 of recipe; Calories 50; Total Fat 0g; Saturated Fat 0g; Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 150mg; Carbohydrates 10g; Fiber 2g; Protein 2gRecipe Courtesy of Supervalu, Inc.