Friday, February 22, 2013

Springtime Picnic Ideas: Great Salads

Springtime Picnic Ideas Great Salad

Springtime Salad Picnic Ideas

When spring is in the air, we all feel that wonderful sense of renewal. Those who live in four season climates appreciate seeing the buds on the trees and the daffodils poking their heads through the grass. Even people who live in warmer climates sense that something special is about to begin as schools wind down for the year and people begin to make plans for their summer vacations.

What is it you like about the spring? Is it the warm breezes? Is it the color of the flowers? Perhaps it’s the opportunity to spend more time outside after being cooped up in the house or busy at school. For many nature lovers, the best thing about spring is the onset of outdoor activities from walking and jogging to playing sports or simply the chance to head outside without being wrapped up in your parka and snow boots.

With that increased outdoor activity also comes the opportunity to pack up that picnic basket, spread out the blanket, and enjoy an al fresco meal. Nearly everyone – from little ones to senior citizens – enjoys a picnic, though everyone’s idea of the perfect picnic might be a little different.

But whether you prefer a quiet time in the park with one or two closest friends or a noisy picnic with all the kids in tow, you’ll need some great food to take along.

Salads

Spring brings a plentiful bounty of produce that you might not have in the wintertime, depending on your location. So use them in a salad! Salads are light and easy to prepare and you won’t feel overly stuffed by the time you’re finished. Furthermore, you’ll have room for a few cookies if you don’t eat a bunch of heavy food for the main course. Try one of these:

Tomato, Mozzarella, and Avocado Salad
3 fresh tomatoes, diced
2 avocados, cut into small chunks
8 ounces fresh mozzarella, sliced

Dress the 3 items above in:
4 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. vinegar (use your favorite!)
½ tsp. Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper to taste
Garnish with basil

Tortellini with Spring Vegetables
8 oz. tortellini, cheese or some other favorite
3 c. fresh spinach
1 c. shelled peas
1 lb. asparagus, cut in 2 in. spears
¼ c. pine nuts
6 ounce herbed feta cheese
¼ c. olive oil
1 tbsp. red wine vinegar

Cook the tortellini in boiling water for about 5 minutes then add the asparagus and cook for 3 more. Add the peas just before turning off. Strain then add spinach, pine nuts, and feta cheese. Toss with olive oil and vinegar and season to taste.

Layered Garden Salad
6 c. torn mixed salad greens (use your favorites!)
1 15 - ounce can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1 c. shredded carrots
10 cherry tomatoes, halved
1 9-oz. package frozen whole kernel corn
1 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar
1 cup broccoli florets
1/4 c. green onions, thinly sliced
1/4 c. finely chopped cooked ham or Canadian bacon
1 10-oz. package frozen peas, thawed
2 hard-cooked eggs, chopped

Use a large glass bowl and layer the ingredients beginning with the greens and continuing in the order listed. Save half the cheese for top garnish. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours before serving. Bring individual dressing packets with you in an insulated cooler so picnic guests can choose their favorite for this yummy salad.

7 comments:

  1. Wow! Really brought out the fresh strawberry taste with a just a hint of pepper at the end. Quick and delicious!

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  2. Day Picnic Comment Thanks for sharing good information !

    ReplyDelete