Parks and Cool Hot-Weather Recipes

Our city has 4 lovely public parks, each with its own unique character and attractions.  Our family is large..( 2 of my siblings live within a mile of me) so between our 9 children and their significant others, and children we're about 28 people. When we all get together it's often outdoors!

Being blessed with a family of excellent cooks, potlucks have less to do with luck and more with certainty! The certainty of tasty dishes from everyone.

Regular Cast of Characters

These appear at most every picnic event we hold:

  1. Authentic Homemade Hummus
  2. Tabbouleh  or Fattoush
  3. Marinated Chicken Kabobs for grilling
  4. Kafta for grilling
  5. Baked Beans

Below are 3 additional Summertime Recipes for your files.  I chose ones that don't take a lot of prep, and that are full of the Fantastic Foods you want to incorporate into your daily diet.

Quinoa and Mango Salad

This recipe can be made several hours before and refrigerated. Take it out of the refrigerator about 30 minutes before serving.

Mango Quinoa salad
Mango Quinoa salad
  • 2 c. brewed Green Tea
  • 1 c. uncooked Quinoa
  • 1 c. Mango,  cut into small chunks (not too ripe to cut back on sugar content)
  • 1/2 c. sliced organic Green Onion
  • 2 Tbs. dried Cherries, chopped (opt.)
  • 2 Tbs. organic Parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 c. extra virgin organic Olive Oil
  • 1 Tbs. Apple Cider Vinegar (I recommend Bragg's organic)
  • 1 tsp. Dijon Mustard
  • 1/2 tsp. Sea Salt
  • 1/8 tsp. Black Pepper

Combine tea and quinoa in a medium saucepan, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand for 15 minutes. Then transfer to a large bowl.

Add mango, onion, cherries and parsley and mix well.

Combine liquid ingredients with spices and whisk until blended. Pour over quinoa, and mix.

This makes about 8 servings.

~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~

Tropical Chicken Macadamia Salad

Spicy Vinaigrette

Combine the following in blender, adjusting seasoning as preferred:

tropical Chicken salad
tropical Chicken salad
  • scant 1/4 c. organic E.V Olive Oil
  • 1/4 c. Red Wine Vinegar
  • 2 Tbs. Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 Tbs. Cayenne sauce
  • 2 tsp. Curry Powder
  • 2 tsp. Stevia
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp. Sea Salt
  • 1/8 tsp. Black Pepper

Reserve 1/2 c. of dressing.

Chicken Salad

  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless organic free-range Chicken Breasts
  • 8 c. rinsed and torn Watercress and Boston or Green Leaf organic Lettuce
  • 1/4 c. coarsely chopped unsalted Macadamia Nuts
  • 1/2 c. shredded organic Coconut, toasted
  • 1 Tbs. organic Red Bell Pepper, diced (opt.)

Place chicken in large resealable plastic food storage bag.  Pour remaining dressing over chicken. Seal bag, and marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Heat oven to broil, or prepare barbecue grill. 

chicken-1379373_1280.jpg

Remove chicken from marinade. Grill or Broil 10 - 15 minutes or until center is no longer pink (165º F).  Arrange greens on a platter. Slice chicken breasts and arrange over greens. Tops with nuts, coconut and bell pepper. Serve with reserved dressing.

Makes about 4 servings.

~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~

Egg White Salad

This high protein salad has less than 2g. of fat per serving, and a whopping 11 g. of protein.

  • 6 Hi Omega-3 hard-boiled Egg whites, chilled and chopped
  • 1/2 c. chopped organic Celery
  • 1/4 c. chopped organic Red Onion
  • 1 Tbs. chopped dill or sweet organic Pickles
  • 2 Tbs. chopped organic Parsley
  • 3 Tbs. Vegenaise
  • 1 tsp. Dijon Mustard
  • 1 tsp. organic Lime Juice
  • 1/2 tsp. organic Lemon Juice
  • 1/8 tsp. Sea Salt
  • 1/8 tsp. Black Pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. Cayenne (opt.)

Mix dry ingredients in a medium size bowl.

Mix dressing ingredients in small bowl, whisking till blended.  Pour over egg mixture.  Chill for 30 minutes.

Serve on lettuce leaves, whole grain crackers or on Gluten Free or Whole Grain organic bread.

~ Bon Apetit!

Another Wonderful Salad - Fattoush

When my daughter was a little girl, there were certain words that made her giggle...Sfoofwas one of them (a turmeric cake served in the mountain villages of Lebanon) and Fattoush another. When she helped me find a location for my Cafe, she said; "You know that you're going to have to name it Sfoof's, right?"

Well, I did.  We were known as Sfoof's Woofle Cafe! Say THAT 5 time fast! :)

sign final
sign final

And...her favorite salad is still Fattoush

Fattoush
Fattoush

Traditionally this salad is made with Purslane, another wonderful edible plant treated like a 'weed' in the West.  My gardeners accidentally weeded my wild patch of Purslane... but they only did it once!

purslane
purslane

According to David Beaulieu: When you taste the "weed," purslane in cooking recipes, and familiarize yourself with the research concerning its nutritional benefits, you might re-think the outdated logic that says, "This plant is a weed; therefore, it must be eradicated from my landscape!"

Instead of fighting it as a weed, you may begin to find it eminently logical to treat it as a herb of edible landscaping.  Purslane just happens to contain alpha-linolenic acid, one of the highly sought-after Omega-3 fatty acids.

Click here for more on the Health Benefits of Purslane.

Recipe

Fattoush is great as a picnic dish.  It complements grilled meats.

  • 2 c. organic ripe Tomatoes, diced
  • 1 small white Onion, chopped
  • 1/4 c. organic flat-leaf Parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 c. fresh organic Mint, chopped
  • 1 organic Green Bell Pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 2 c. Purslane leaves (no need to chop if they are small)
  • 1/2 c. Pomegranate seeds (opt.)
  • 2 loaves whole wheat Pita bread, toasted, broken into bite-size pieces (Omit for Gluten-Free version)

Dressing

  • 1/4 c. organic Lemon juice
  • 1/4 c. virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Tbs. dried Sumac *

Combine all veggies in a large bowl. Whisk the dressing ingredients in a small bowl.

Add dressing to veggies, and toss. Just before serving, Mix in toasted pita bread.

    * Found in most Middle Eastern or specialty markets.

~ Sahtein! ♥