Well, after you’ve planned the picnic fare that is. Don’t stress out here, it’s all in the planning. You might think that picking up some grab and go options is good enough, but you can easily whip up some incredible, crowd-pleasing offerings that won’t break the bank or your brain. You might have some of the ingredients in the recipes below, but feel free to substitute to make it easy. Swap any of the veggies for your favourites and keep one in there that’s not a crowd-pleaser, just so you can try it out in a different form.
If you’re stumped with what to serve, remember that picnicking means you can eat with your hands, dive into the salad bowl with forks, graze through a cheese platter and think more snacky foods than what you’d eat at home.
Here’s a simple list of what you’ll need:
Tablecloth or picnic blanket
Paper plates that can go in the recycling or compost bin
Bamboo cutlery or a spare set from home that you’ll put in a bag to take home and wash
Damp paper towel for any spillages and to wipe a table down
Paper cups or cups to take home and wash
Homemade lemonade: refillable bottles of water or fizzy water with lemon and mint
Bags/containers for dirty plates, leftovers and empty glasses
Sugar snap peas
Dip, dip, dip
Pure Green Hummus – recipe in Sprout Right Family Food page 309
Carrot spread – recipe below and also on page 180
Beany green dip – recipe in Sprout Right Family Food page 181
The Main Event
Bean and Veggie Kamut Quesadilla – recipe below and on page 220
Rainbow Rice Wraps – recipe in Sprout Right Family Food page 292
Mini Fritattas – recipe in Sprout Right Family Food page 257
Bean Burgers – recipe in Sprout Right Family Food page 206
Mixed Bean Salad – recipe in Sprout Right Family Food page 303
Curry Quinoa Salad with Apricots – recipe in Sprout Right Family Food page 300
Go Faster Granola Bars – recipe in Sprout Right Family Food 231
Organic Rice Crisp Squares – recipe in Sprout Right Family Food 229
Chocolate Chip Cookie – recipe in Sprout Right Family Food page 311
You may not want to make all the picnic items, so don’t get overwhelmed, better to delegate! Whoever is joining you, ask them to make one of the above and let the picnic collaboration begin!
Show us some of your picnic photos on social media and tag @liannephillipson!
Yummy Carrot Spread
Dairy, Egg, Gluten, Nut and Wheat Free. Vegan and Vegetarian. Makes about 1½ cups (375 mL)
This is a very versatile spread that can be eaten straight up or spread over Finger Food Pancakes or rice cakes. For toddlers, serve it as a dip with raw veggies and crackers. This also makes a great sandwich spread that the whole family will enjoy.
8 medium carrots, peeled and diced
1 clove garlic
1 tablespoon (15 mL) tahini or sunflower seed butter
1 tablespoon (15 mL) chopped fresh cilantro or basil
1 tablespoon (15 mL) extra virgin olive or flaxseed oil
1 teaspoon (5 mL) fresh lemon juice
Steam the carrots until fork-tender. Remove from the heat and let cool for a few minutes.
In a small bowl, combine the carrot with the garlic, tahini, cilantro, olive oil, and lemon juice. Purée until the consistency of a slightly chunky spread.
Best consumed within 3 days, this purée also can be frozen, although the texture may change slightly. Freeze in ice cube trays or baby-safe food containers for up to 1 month.
NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION Carrots are an excellent source of antioxidant compounds and the richest vegetable source of the pro-vitamin A carotenes.
Bean and Veggie Kamut Quesadillas
Egg, Gluten, Nut, and Wheat-Free. Vegetarian. Makes 3 to 4 quesadillas
These are a crowd pleaser! Make a large batch to take to a picnic or stash some in your bag on a day out. They taste great cold. Feel free to substitute any of your toddler’s favourite veggies. All measurements are estimated—add more of whatever you like.
1 cup (250 mL) adzuki, kidney, and/or cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
½ sweet red pepper, diced
½ cup (125 mL) fresh or frozen corn
½ cup (125 mL) finely chopped broccoli
½ cup (125 mL) chopped cooked chicken (optional)
6 kamut wraps
1 cup (250 mL) shredded goat’s milk or organic dairy mozzarella cheese
In a medium bowl, combine the beans, red pepper, corn, broccoli, and chicken (if using).
Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Place a wrap in the skillet and sprinkle with some cheese and then the bean mixture. Sprinkle with a little more cheese and top with another wrap. Press down firmly with your hands or a spatula and cook until crisp. Flip and cook until the other side of the wrap is crisp, the filling is heated through, and the cheese has melted. Serve with salsa or guacamole.
Store the quesadillas in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Tip: Substitute whole-grain wraps or corn tortillas for the kamut wraps to bring different flavours to the dish.
NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION These quesadillas contain fibre, vitamin C, calcium, protein, and beta carotene.
The first indicator of Fall has crept up on us here in Toronto; chillier weather. To satisfy those chills, one of my main go-to’s is a pot of steaming hot soup! It’s an added bonus that it is also easy to work into a busy weekday schedule. Soups can be as simple as just a few key ingredients, or as complex as the Davinci Code. It’s about what you’re in the mood for!
It’s that time again (I can hear the groan from here)! Time to think about packing school lunches every day for the next school year. I’m thinking that it might make you want to run and hide. How about something different this year? Take the pressure off and get your kids to make their own lunch. Yes, it is possible, I promise.
Breakfast can be full of flavour and beneficial calories, instead of the fast toast and smear of butter, or bagel and peanut butter you might otherwise reach for. Fast, simple and yummy breakfasts can keep you going until lunch time with the right fibre, protein and fat combinations. Here are a few suggestions for a powerful way to start your day. These breakfasts can be prepped in advance, made in bulk or whipped up that morning.
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