Summer in the City: Celebrate with Picnics in the Park

Celebrate the season with a picnic in the park. It’s wonderful to be outside on balmy summer days or in the early evening air. If you plan on staying out all day, think about filling your backpack with food for feasting that doesn’t hurt your budget or your health.  Skip the bottled drinks and packaged snacks and try some of these.

Snacks for munching: Satisfying crunch that gives you vitamins A, B and K plus healthy fiber

  • Cut up carrots, celery, cauliflower, peppers. Bring along some peanut butter or hummus for dipping. All of these pack easily in reusable containers.

  • Nuts like almonds, walnuts and pecans….especially good for the heart


Wrap up sandwiches: More taste, fewer calories

Tortilla make an easier to eat, better tasting sandwich because they are thin so you get more sandwich and less bread.  

  • Try corn or whole wheat tortillas.  A fraction of the calories of flour tortillas!

  • Avocados make a delicious dressing when mashed with a little lime juice

  • Red onion, shredded cheese and a bit of bell pepper…or whatever you like …add more flavor

  • Chopped chicken or beef adds protein

To Make: mix together all the ingredients and spread a thin layer on the tortilla.  Roll the tortilla up tightly. For sharing, cut the rolls into 2-inch slices.

Satisfy your thirst: Bring along your own drink. (See Tips below) Pour liquids into clean water bottles and chill or freeze the night before your picnic. CAUTION: If you freeze be sure to leave at least 3 inches of space between the cap and the liquid.  The liquid will expand and could “explode”.

Feast and Enjoy!  Happy Summer!




RECIPE: Mexican Pasta Salad

Easy to carry in reusable containers. Bring forks!

Recipe By Breana Killeen



  • 8 ounces whole-wheat fusilli (about 3 cups)

  • 1 cup halved grape or cherry tomatoes

  • ½ cup canned black beans, rinsed

  • ½ cup corn, fresh or frozen (thawed)

  • ½ cup shredded Cheddar cheese

  • ¼ cup diced red onion

  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro

Dressing: Blend below ingredients together until smooth

  • ½ ripe avocado

  • ¼ cup mayonnaise

  • 2 tablespoons lime juice

  • 1 small clove garlic, grated

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • ¼ teaspoon cumin


Recipe continued... 



Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling water according to package directions. Drain, rinse with cold water, then drain again. Transfer to a large bowl. Stir in tomatoes, beans, corn, cheddar, onion and cilantro. Add the dressing and toss to coat.

Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate, without dressing, for up to 1 day. Toss with the dressing about 1 hour before serving

Make your own refreshing drinks:

  • Flavor  Your Water:  Plain water can be boring. Adding flavor that you like is simple.  Just add sliced fruit in a quart of water; any fruit except bananas. Or use club soda instead of plain water for extra refreshment.  Try

    • ½  cucumber, ½ a lime and ¼ cup mint leaves for a refreshing difference or just one of each

    • ½ cup pineapple & ½ orange

    • ½ cup strawberry or blackberries

    • Or mash in your favorite herb

Relax and Refresh!


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