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Summer Picnics

with Joni Gerken

Combining a picnic with an outdoor activity can make a great day! Here are some ideas for what to bring on your next adventure.

1 | Picnic on a bike

You will want something that will fit in a backpack or in a bike trunk. Depending on where you are biking, you might want something that can withstand some jostling and still look appetizing when it comes time to eat.

Cranberry Walnut Chicken Salad Sandwich:

Dice up some pre-roasted chicken breast. You can roast the chicken yourself ahead of time or purchase a rotisserie chicken from the supermarket. Mix chicken with mayonnaise, celery, dried cranberries, and walnuts. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Spread a scoop of the salad between two slices of hearty multigrain bread. To give it a fresh crisp you can put a slice of romaine or other hearty lettuce that won’t wilt in the sandwich. Pair with an apple or other piece of fresh fruit.

2 | Picnic on a hike

You are going to want something that fits in a backpack. After working up a sweat on the trails, something fresh could really hit the spot.

Caprese Sandwich:

Slice a piece of baguette or savory focaccia. Toast it after slicing it, so it holds up better over the hike and doesn’t get mushy. Brush bread with some extra virgin olive oil and season with some salt and pepper. Between the slices, stack sliced tomatoes, sliced fresh mozzarella, and a few sprigs of fresh basil. Wrap this up tight in foil or plastic wrap so it holds shape. Pair with your favorite chips for a picnic that can be eaten on any trail.

3 | Picnic on a paddle

With the ability to place a cooler or thermos in the boat while you paddle, this greatly expands picnic options. If you really want to go all out, you could even pack a portable grill.

Tuna Teriyaki Kebobs:

Cut tuna steaks into 1 ½ -inch cubes. Cut a fresh red pepper and sweet onion into chunks a little smaller than the tuna. Thread the tuna and vegetables on skewers in a ratio to your preference. Put skewers in a sealable container and poor marinade over them. Let marinate for at least 30 minutes if you are grilling at home or you can just pack the container with marinating skewers and take with you. Make sure to keep uncooked skewers separate from any ready to eat foods to prevent contamination from raw fish. Serve skewers on pita or naan bread to avoid needing utensils on your picnic.

* Always be conscious of food safety. If it is going to be more than 2 hours from when you pack to when you eat, make sure you have appropriate equipment for perishable food. If you don’t have a way to keep cold food less than 40°F and hot food greater than 135°F, then choose foods for your picnic that are safe to keep at any temperature.

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