Grow your Picnic Recipe Repertoire this Summer
Summer is heating up and what better way to enjoy the extra hours of daylight than a delicious picnic in the park? But, before heading off to buy the typical picnic sausages rolls or ingredients for your standard sandwiches, take a look in your cupboards and fridge. You may find you already have the perfect picnic waiting in your kitchen.
In the UK, throwing away homemade and prepared meals costs us £2.1 billion a year. With many of us cooking, preparing and serving too much, getting creative in the kitchen is a great why to make sure we use up all the food we buy and that none of it goes to waste. Plus, it can help get us out of our recipe rut and experience new tastes and flavours. Let your fridge be your guide for preparing healthy and delicious picnics this summer.
Travel the World from the Comfort of Your Own Park
We might be familiar with the idea of tapas in Spain or smorgasbord in Scandinavia, so why not have a UK version? Bring out all your leftovers and forgotten foods, for example half a carrot, slices of meat and the leftovers from yesterday’s meal, to create a UK-style tapas treat. Having a rummage in the cupboards for ingredients is also a great way to find flavours or things you may not have thought of adding before.
Most of us have packets of herbs and spices and other store cupboard staples that can be used to transform a simple dish into something new. For example, nuts such as lightly toasted walnuts are a lovely addition to a green salad. Why not try buying different herbs than usual to add to your leftovers and create an entirely new taste for a top-notch lunch on the lawn?
Here are some delicious recipes from Love Food Hate Waste to help you create the perfect picnic right from your own kitchen this summer:
- Fresh herbs starting to wilt? Try this healthy idea to use them up making a delicious sandwich spread – White bean and herb sandwich spread
- Cheesy herby sausages – This meat-free recipe uses up cheese, bread and dried herbs (if your herbs are past their best before date just add a bit more to get the full flavour)
- Who doesn’t make too much rice? This is a simple curry salad perfect for using up your leftover rice and bringing along on a picnic
- No picnic is complete without a roll. Try this recipe using filo pastry instead of the usual short crust or puff pastry:
homemade sausage and pickle rolls
- Not sure what to do with all those veggies in the fridge? Ratatouille is a great way to use up vegetables and it tastes great cold, perfect for outdoor dining.
- Use up any vegetables and roast meat you have leftover in these easy tartlets
- Make mini pizzas on bread and rolls
- Don’t forget dessert. This recipe is so simple it barely qualifies for the title – Leftover Mini Cakes.
Re-use take away containers and old ice cream tubs to pack your basket with all those little portions of leftovers for a culinary adventure right in your own park. Even portions of main meals that you have leftover can be transported in old yogurt pots or sauce containers.
Keep it all cool with homemade ice packs that will weigh nothing on the way home. Refill plastic drinks bottles with water or squash and freeze the day before, put these in your bag to keep your picnic chilled until you’re ready to eat. Just drink your ice packs and take the bottles home to refill!