No fuss, no muss – these easy on-the-go recipes are delicious, travel well, and pack up in a pinch!
Fridays are for friends and family, and when the heat is on there’s nothing like packing up and heading to the beach, cooler in tow, for an evening meal on the sand, al fresco. Whether you’re braving a beach barbecue at Yiti Beach or settling down for a snack by the sand with the evening tide in Seeb, picnics are a part of life in the Sultanate.
To make your hamper go the distance here are a few functional tips to help keep your food fresh, flavourful – and portable!
1. Stick with vegetable platters with slices of carrots, broccoli, or capsicums which travel easy and are the perfect finger-food – rather than a boxed-up salad which will wilt quickly.
2. If you just can’t pass up on the salad, consider bringing a version in a portable, sealed jar with the dressing on the bottom and veggies and lettuce layered on the top.
3.Avoid food going soggy by storing dressings and condiments in separate containers rather than mixing before you go.
4.Pre-make your ice-cubes with zesty infusions like mint leaves or raspberries and keep them in a box in the cooler which will allow food packed around the container to remain cool.
5. Say goodbye to those soggy egg salad sandwiches! Grab a crusty French baguette, slice it lengthwise and hollow out the centre. Layer it with your fave fillings, cut into segments and wrap in foil for later!
Want to put these picnic hacks to the test? Here are some deliciously simple options for your next round of outdoor eats!
A fail-safe flavour combo of succulent chicken, tangy sun-dried tomatoes, and zesty pesto made fool-proof between two slices of crusty ciabatta.
Prep time: 15 minutes
• 1 ½ cups shredded cooked chicken
• ¼ cup homemade or prepared pesto
• 3 Tbsp shaved Parmesan cheese
• 1 cup baby arugula
• ¼ cup sundried tomatoes packed in oil, drained, and rinsed
• Freshly-ground black pepper
• 4 ciabatta rolls, split in half lengthwise
• Preheat the broiler to high. Arrange the ciabatta halves cut side up on a rimmed baking sheet. Broil until toasted to desired crispness.
• In a bowl toss together the chicken and pesto. Divide chicken and pesto between ciabatta rolls. Top with shaved Parmesan cheese, arugula, sun-dried tomatoes, and freshly-ground black pepper. Top with remaining half of the bun.
Layers of health meet off-the-charts levels of flavour in this picnic-friendly portable salad that’s sure to be a hit with the healthies.
For the syrup
• ¼ cup cucumber, peeled and chopped
• ¼ cup red onion, chopped
• ½ cup croutons
• 5–6 grape tomatoes
• ¼ cup slivered almonds
• ¼ cup cranberries
• ¼ cup green peas (boiled and cooled)
• 1 cup mixed greens
• 1/3 cup salad dressing
• Add the salad dressing to the bottom of the mason jar.
• Drop in the croutons, then the tomatoes.
• Add the rest of the vegetables in no specific order.
• Toss in the almonds and cranberries.
• Top with the mixed greens.
• Shake the jar well before serving so the dressing mixes with all of the other ingredients.
• Empty the contents out onto a plate and enjoy!
Don’t even worry about these decadent desserts melting in the sun – they won’t last long enough to even break a sweat!
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Total time: 45 minutes
• 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
• ½ cup unsalted butter
4 large eggs
• 1 cup sugar
• ½ cup cocoa powder
• ½ cup almond meal
• ½ tsp salt
• 2 tsp vanilla
• ½ cup creamy peanut butter
• 12 mini peanut butter cups, coarsely chopped
• Pre-heat your oven to 176°C and line a 13×9-inch pan with parchment paper.
• In a double boiler, or a bowl set over a simmering pan of water, melt the butter then add the chocolate chips, stirring until melted. Set aside to cool slightly.
• In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar for a minute or two.
• Add melted chocolate mixture a little at a time, whisking well after each addition.
• Whisk in the cocoa powder, almond meal, salt, and vanilla.
• Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly.
• Place small dollops of the peanut butter over the batter and then create swirls with a butter knife or small spatula. Scatter the chopped peanut butter cups over the top of the batter and lightly press in any larger chunks.
• Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until brownies are just set in the middle.
• Cool completely in the pan before cutting.