There’s something very serene and joyful about having a lunch surrounded by trees and greens that even the simplest of dishes become one true feast. And that’s what I’m looking for when making my summer lunch picnic recipes – simplicity. Quick to cook, food that can easily be transformed into a sandwich, a wrap or a yummy finger food size, it also needs to withstand the weather conditions, read the heat. Besides this practical side, picnic recipes have to be loaded with flavours and nutritionally balanced so you get your daily intake of macro and micro goodness to keep you happy and healthy. A picnic in a word. And this particular picnic table here has it all, so let’s start cooking!
Tapenade Sweet Potato Toast
Tapenade or olive paste is easy to make or you can use a good quality one from a store. I had some green olives with rosemary tapenade that I used to spice up the veggies here and infuse some of that gorgeous rosemary aroma.
Simply wash and clean a couple of sweet potatoes, no need to peel them, cut in chunks about 2cm thick.
Preheat the oven to 200C.
Take about four teaspoons of olive paste and if needed whisk in a bit more olive oil to make it easier to spread in a very thin layer over the potatoes. Once each potato chunk is covered in the olive paste, place them all onto a baking paper covered tin and bake for about 15min or until beautifully golden and crisp.
The sweet potatoes are low in protein and contain almost no fat at all, but this mighty veg is rich in both soluble and non soluble fibers and lots of minerals and vitamins, such as vitamins A, C, B6, B5, E, manganese, potassium and some powerful antioxidants. In fact, taking only a 100g of sweet potato can ensure 100% of the recommended daily amount of vitamin A!
Another quick and easy oven baked deliciouseness! Make a mix of a good pinch of dry oregano, sea salt, chili flakes, pepper and olive oil to pour over the cut zucchinis and gently massage it so each piece is covered in the seasoning. Then bake it for some 10 min at 200C.
Now, zucchinis are very low in calories, only about 17cal per 100g so these two picnic recipes require more calorie and protein dense dishes in order to make a complete lunch that will keep you full and happy.
Good Old Hummus Recipe
That’s right, hummus is one amazingly delicious and nutritious dish! And since I eat it often, there are plenty of recipes for a good hummus on the blog. Besides the classical version, the one with basil or roasted red peppers would also be a yummy addition to our veggies here.
Traditionally prepared from chickpeas, lemon juice, sea salt, garlic and tahini with a splash of olive oil, hummus is a great protein source and a pretty caloric dish. Both chickpeas and sesame paste are rich in protein, fiber (yes, these are extra important), potassium, magnesium, huge in calcium, iron, zinc then vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B6 and folate. And say, you add some roasted red peppers or fresh spinach to it – you increase your vitamin A intake, or some beets and hello vitamin C and iron absorption! All the great reasons to nibble on hummus regularly, and best of all it is sooooo delicious.
Then all you need is some mixed fresh salad and the lunch is served. If you are taking a ready made salad pack the seasoning separately and add it just before serving so the greens don’t turn all squishy and sad.
Or you can play and add on some of the recipes from my previous picnic table. Whatever you choose, have loads of fun and take care of the nature.