By Alex Evans
As the British summer nears, the ever-pleasant picnic season is upon us. However, much to our distain, the SU shop does not stock readymade picnic baskets, as well as a little sparse in the fruit and veg department. Read on to discover five lovely (and healthy) little recipes and snack ideas for hazy summer days.
Mini Cheese Platter
Though we don’t all have the space in our bags for a full-sized cheese board, a simple alternative could be some grilled/fried halloumi or a slice of brie and a small section of grapes. You can pick these up in the local Tesco superstore all for £2 or less.
The halloumi needs to be grilled for around 6 minutes in total, 3 minutes on each side or fried for 4-5 minutes.
Pesto Pasta Salad (Gluten and Dairy free optional)
These are great to keep in the fridge for a couple of or when you simply are too tired to cook. This is also a really great option for picnics as it can be vegan, gluten and dairy free if you or your friends have any of these dietary requirements.
Boil your pasta (you can get gluten free pasta from the freefrom selection in Tesco, both penne and fusilli), drain and spoon in about a tablespoon of green pesto (you can also get this gluten free by ‘Sacla’ in Tesco). Put a teaspoon of olive oil (or your favourite alternative) in and mix around. I usually pop in a few tomatoes (either sundried or vine ripened) and a few pine nuts but torn up spinach leaves are a great shout too. If you are not lactose intolerant, some grated cheese is also pretty good with this.
Mini Quiches (Meat free option)
These are my all time favourite snacks for picnics and light lunches. Easy to make and super filling at the same time.
You will need:
- 1 kg ready-rolled shortcrust pastry (6 sheets)
- 6 slices bacon, diced
- 1 onion, finely diced
- 6 eggs
- 1 cup cream
- 1 cup grated cheese
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley (I used dried)
- salt & freshly ground black pepper
Method: Cook the onion and bacon over a low heat until the onion is softened. Allow this to cool a little and then mix together with the eggs, cream, cheese, parsley and salt and pepper. Using a cookie cutter or glass, cut 12 circles from each pastry sheet. Use these to line a mini muffin pan. Then, place about 2 teaspoons of the egg and bacon mix in each pastry base. Bake in a moderate oven for about 12 minutes per tray (or until puffed, golden and set).
So there you have it, three lovely mini lunch ideas to get you through the summer.
Featured image courtesy of SimplyRecipes.com