Picnic Safety Tips

Dietitian Meridan Zerner from the Cooper Clinic shares ways to make sure you practice safe food prep measures when you picnic.  Plus she has three great recipes to skip the mayo and more on your menu.

Cucumber Avocado Caprese Salad (From Jenny Sugar)
1.    2 cucumbers
2.    1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes (about 30)
3.    1 avocado
4.    2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
5.    1 cup fresh mozzarella (I like to use the little balls)
6.    1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
7.    2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
8.    1 teaspoon garlic powder
9.    Salt and pepper to taste
1.    Wash, dry, and dice the cucumbers. Wash, dry, and halve the tomatoes. Dice the avocado.
2.    Place the cucumbers, tomatoes, and avocado in a bowl. Add sliced basil and mozzarella. Pour on the oil, vinegar, garlic powder, and salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly.
3.    Enjoy immediately

Yield 4 servings
Cook Time: 15 min
Calories per serving: 253

Mango Red Pepper Salsa (From Jenny Sugar)
1.    2 ripe mangoes, peeled and diced
2.    1 red pepper, diced
3.    Half red onion, chopped
4.    3 tomatoes
5.    3 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
6.    3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
7.    Dash of cayenne pepper
8.    Salt and pepper to taste
1.    Combine all the ingredients in a bowl.
2.    Cover and allow to sit in the fridge for at least one hour (overnight tastes even better).
3.    Serve with chips.
4.      Yield
5.      6 servings
Yields 6 servings
Calories per serving: 68

Almond Butter-Quinoa Blondies
From: EatingWell Magazine
¼ cup unsalted butter, softened
¾ cup smooth or crunchy natural almond butter
2 large eggs
•  ¾ cup packed light brown sugar
•  1 teaspoon vanilla extract
•    ¾ cup quinoa flour (see Tip)
•    1 teaspoon baking powder
•    ¼ teaspoon salt
•    1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1.    Preheat oven to 350°F. Line an 8-inch-square baking pan with parchment paper (or foil), allowing it to slightly overhang opposite ends. Coat with cooking spray.
2.    Beat butter and almond butter in a mixing bowl with an electric mixer until creamy. Beat in eggs, brown sugar and vanilla. Whisk quinoa flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl. Mix the flour mixture into the wet ingredients until just combined. Stir in chocolate chips. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan.
3.    Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs on it, 25 to 35 minutes. Do not overbake. Let cool in the pan for 45 minutes. Using the parchment (or foil), lift the whole panful out and transfer to a cutting board. Cut into 24 squares. Let cool completely before storing.
Make Ahead Tip: Store airtight in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Look for quinoa flour in the baking section or near gluten-free flours in natural foods stores. Or, to make your own, grind whole grains of quinoa into a powder in a clean coffee grinder.