This post is sponsored by Stonyfield . The opinions expressed and the adventures are all our own.
It’s true. Summer begs for picnics. And as it winds down there’s something about the waning evening light and the still warm air that makes you want to get outside as much as you possibly can. Every time August rolls around I start to panic a little, because summer is coming to an end and there is still so much I want t do. My husband calls me the “Harbinger of Winter Doom” because I start lamenting the oncoming New England winter before fall leaves have even hit the ground. Honestly I can’t help it, summers in New Hampshire are so dang beautiful I want them to last forever.
At the beginning of the summer we made a list of all the things we wanted to do this summer and one by one we’ve been ticking them off our list as a family. We’ve been to the lake, to the ocean, on a few hikes and explored caves at the “Lost River.”
Trying to squeeze in as much summer fun as possible creates quite an appetite and the easy and economical way to fuel those adventures is with a picnic lunch. Packing a picnic the whole family can enjoy doesn’t have to be elaborate or time consuming. One of the things I’ve found that keeps everyone happy is found is making a large salad that everyone enjoys, adding a little protein on the side and finishing it off with a sweet, healthy treat for dessert. Packing a “family style” picnic is a little easier than catering to everyone’s lunchtime requests; instead of packing four different sandwiches we pack just a few things and some paper plates, utensils and we’re good to go.
Recently I put together a little picnic for us that included a Couscous, Beet and Mint Salad (or “Pink Salad” as my kids called it), chopped all natural turkey from our local deli to top the salad and a little Stonyfield Oh My Yog! “Upside Down Sundae” for dessert.
The great part about making a large salad is that you can keep eating (or packing up) the leftovers for lunches. And the Stonyfield Oh My Yog! Sundaes are a sweet and healthy treat. I like to pack small bowls with granola and a few bits of dark chocolate and then when the time comes combine the yogurt and topping mixture in the bowl. It’s the perfect ending.
Couscous, Beet and Fresh Mint Salad
1 1/2 cups pearl couscous cooked as directed on package
1 jar pickled beets
1/3 cup chopped cashews
1 large pear diced
1 small bunch of fresh mint
1 cup baby spinach greens or spring mix
2 Tbs. Olive Oil
2 tsp. lemon juice
3 Tbs. pickling juice from beets
sea salt and fresh cracked pepper
1. Cook couscous according to package directions.
2. While couscous is cooking, drain and chop beets, reserve 3 Tbs. of pickling juice for dressing. Chop cashews and cut pear into bite size pieces. Chop fresh mint.
3. Combine cooked couscous, beets, pear, cashews, mint in a large bowl. In a separate bowl mix together dressing. pour dressing over couscous mixture, stir and serve.
So pack up a big picnic, get out and enjoy the rest of summer!
What are you favorite picnic foods?