So, guests to the royal wedding have to bring their own picnics? Fine by me! (Not that I’m going, obviously.) But really, I’d rather make my own healthy picnic any day than eat someone else’s soggy cucumber sandwiches and uninventive carrot sticks…
Whether you’re a Royalist or not, you can still enjoy the spectacle of the day (even if it’s just to shout things at the TV). Why not make it an occasion with your own picnic? Invite your friends over along with their families and if it’s not nice enough to sit in the garden, just camp out in the kitchen.
Filled & Rolled Bread
There’s only so many ways you can jazz up a sandwich but if you want to make something really impressive yet easy, try this Jamie Oliver recipe for rolled bread instead!
The best thing about this is it’s all enclosed in a warm crusty shell. There’s no way anything’s going to go soggy as it waits to be eaten. You can put pretty much anything you want in it, from roasted vegetables (aubergine, courgette, red peppers and artichokes are two of my faves to add) to different types of cured meats.
Ps. If the link in the Jamie Oliver recipe for basic bread doesn’t work, we found it for you here.
Lentil or Cauliflower Tabbouleh
Yotam Ottolenghi’s cauliflower tabbouleh is a welcome change from the garden salad at picnics. He makes it (according to this interview) by grating the raw cauliflower so it turns into a texture like couscous or bulgur wheat. Then, he mixes it with loads of finely chopped herbs like parsley and cilantro, adding onion lemon juice, garlic and a lot of olive oil. You could also add lentils and sun dried tomatoes as well, or instead of.
This recipe is great as it complements any dish by adding a healthy shot of flavour. It’s also great on its own, or chucked into a pitta and served alongside some yummy tzatziki - which leads me to…
Homemade Hummus & Tzatziki Dips
All good picnics involve dips and something to dip in them. Get hold of some breadsticks, pitta or baked vegetable crisps and start creating your delicious dips.
This is a simple recipe for Hummus (just make sure you use ready-soaked chickpeas and a good food processor, I broke my handheld one mixing chickpeas once!)
Tzatziki is super easy to make yourself. You’ll need:
- 350g Greek yoghurt (full fat is the best)
- 2 cucumbers
- 2-3 tbsp lemon juice
- 4 crushed and lightly roasted garlic cloves
- Extra virgin olive oil
- ½ tsp smoked paprika powder
- Salt and pepper
- Apparently the key to great tzatziki is to eliminate any excess moisture - so, get rid of the cucumber seeds and middle - then finely chop and squeeze the pieces together in a clean tea towel.
- Chuck the squeezed cucumber, yoghurt, lemon juice and garlic together with a glug of olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper (to taste). Mix it well.
- Sprinkle with the paprika powder, cover and put in the fridge for around 2 hours and then serve!
Vegetable & Onion Tart
This is so easy to make and perfect to cut into slices. It goes with pretty much anything and apart from the ready rolled pastry, is fairly healthy!
- 400g large onions
- 400g roasted veg (mix of peppers, courgette & asparagus)
- 320g pack of ready rolled puff pastry
- 1 egg beaten
- 25g fine breadcrumbs
- 50g grated parmesan
- ½ tsp thyme leaves
- 2 tbsp of Dijon Mustard
- Slice the onions finely and roast in a pan until caramelized whilst roasting the vegetables in the oven.
- Heat the oven to 180C. Put the pastry on a tray on top of a greased baking sheet and glaze around the edge of the pastry (2cm) with the beaten egg.
- Spread the mustard over the base and put on the onions and roasted veg. Mix the parmesan, breadcrumbs and thyme leaves together and sprinkle on top.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes until the pastry is a golden colour.
Although the savoury recipes are great, let’s not forget the pudding please! To create delicious brownies that everyone can eat, (and that taste just as good as regular brownies) follow this awesome little recipe on Genius Kitchen.
You can adjust the recipe to your taste by adding in and subtracting ingredients, for example, I like to add in ½ a cup of coconut sugar and just ½ cup of regular sugar, some bananas, maple syrup and ¼ cup of almond milk!