This time of year is the best time to bring our food outside. Hopefully, if the weather cooperates we should have some sunshine days that are not too hot and not too cold. So, let's pack up our food and take the family outside. Picnics are great for Shabbat afternoons if you have a nice park nearby. They are also a great part of a Sunday activity. Go sightseeing to a mansion where they often have picnic tables or find a state park. Bring a ball, a deck of cards and a frisbee for a fun and relaxing day as a family, a couple or even on your own.
The trick to making this a really great day is packing colorful, healthful foods that will be the envy of all who pass by. Don't just pick up potato chips and dip or bagels, take a moment to prepare a few dishes you won't regret. Almost any dish can be portable if packed well in a sealed container, but some sit better than others. It is best not to bring salads that have to be dressed fresh instead find salads that do better after a couple of hours. Don't worry about a perfect menu either, pick a few different kinds of foods so that there will be something for everyone.
Instead of store bought potato chips, that you could end up snacking on all day, bring some cut up veggies and fruits and even some flavored air popped popcorn, like this Chipotle Ranch Popcorn only 100 calories in 3 cups.
These Mini Spankopita filled with spinach and feta are great hot or cold and are easily transported for a picnic. Althought typically part of a Greek meal, they can really go with anything.
Quinoa Black Bean and Mango Salad tastes better after a few hours of marinating if you leave out the spinach leaves, packs up easily and is high in protein and fiber.
String Beans and Tofu can practically be eaten by hand just in case you forget the forks.
For those who have to have a sandwich try this Turkey on Whole Wheat, use light bread or flat breads to keep the calories down so that you can enjoy a nice cold Popsicle for dessert - this you will have to buy, they do not transport well.
What do you like to bring on a picnic?