What's for Dinner: Cool and Simple Picnics

Published 07/08 2014 05:44PM

Updated 07/08 2014 06:20PM

Champaign - Guest Chef Lisa Lewey-Shields is showing us how to create a simple but safe picnic quickly.  

Tips and Ideas for your Quick Easy Picnic:

Keep it simple,  It is a picnic not a BBQ or grilling event.

Place sandwich fillings in plastic containers and assemble at the picnic.  This will keep sandwiches from getting soggy.

Make ice pouches in Ziploc baggies ahead of time to place in drink mugs or pitchers to keep drinks cold but not get diluted.

Use air tight/ seal tight containers as to keep ingredients from getting the water or moisture from the cooler.

Keep proteins especially chicken away from fruits and veggies.  Use separate coolers.

Keep milks and meats and proteins under 41 degrees .  Use products within 6 hours of making or 2 hours of placing in cooler.




Here are Lisa's recipes from today's segment:

BLT Roll-Ups
8 oz. cream cheese
1/2 cup mayo

1 Hidden Valley Ranch Dry Dressing pkg.
8-10 slices center cut bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 cup chopped tomatoes

Onion or green onion
4 eight-inch flour tortillas
1 cup shredded romaine lettuce

Mix cream cheese and mayo in a bowl. Add crumbled bacon and diced tomatoes. Spread mixture on tortillas and top with lettuce. Roll up tightly and refrigerate for an hour. Slice into 1/2 inch slices.

I have also tweaked this by adding Budding Beef or Ham, Turkey or Roast Beef, Spinach, Black Olives, Green Olives, whatever you desire.  You can also use any brand or flavor tortillas or flatbread wraps.

Edamame Salad

Shared from Mark Bittman – The Minimalist @ The New York Times

2-3 cups of par boiled shelled Edamame

2-3 Tbls olive oil

Zest of 1 lemon

Juice of half of the lemon

Pinch of salt

Pinch of pepper

Handful of shaved or shredded hard cheese (pecorino or parmesan)

Chopped fresh mint

Whisk together olive oil, zest, juice of lemon.  Add salt and pepper.   Whisk again.  Add Edamame, cheese, and mint.  Toss.  Chill or eat …. Yum !

Homemade Hummus

½ cup lemon juice

½ cup tahini (ground sesame

2 cloves minced garlic

1 Lg 30 oz. can of chickpeas (set aside 2 Tbls of the water and then drain)

2 tsp kosher salt

2 tsp cumin

2 TBS olive oil

Add lemon juice, tahini and 2 Tbls of water from the chickpea can to food processor and mix until very smooth and a very light color – about one min…

Add garlic cloves or minced garlic and mix until chopped well and smooth. Add drained chickpeas, salt, and cumin and mix until very smooth. (about 3 mins)  Stir in olive oil.  Tastes great but tastes even better day 2 or 3.  Keeps one – two weeks in frig. If it lasts that long…. LOL

Great on crackers, veggies, on sandwich, toast or pita bread.

Pickle Roll Ups

You can use pickles, green onions or pretzels… all or yummy !

1 pkg Honey Ham, Ham, or Beef  (any brand)

1 8 oz cream cheese (reg or 1/3 fat free)

1 24 oz jar of Claussen Refrigerated Kosher Dill Spears

(and YES it does make a HUGE difference in taste)

Set out cream cheese 3-4 hours @ room temp.  It makes a big difference on being able to spread cream cheese onto your meat.

Onto another 2-3 paper towels, lay pickle spears onto towels to drain.  Place another paper towel on top and blot dry.  Slice pickles in half lengthwise.  Place paper towel back onto top and pat dry again.  Set aside. 

Pat the sliced meat dry between 2-4 paper towels as to be dry to spread the cream cheese onto it.  Spread a thin amount of cream cheese from side to side covering the entire area.  If using Budding meats, leave whole.  If using larger rectangular luncheon ham cuts, slice in half at the middle top to bottom.  Place one of the pickle halves along the edge of the meat.  Roll tightly under all of pickle is covered and all of your piece of meat is used.  To this roll then either slice into halves or thirds.

Place into bowl, plate, tray or container.  In air tight container, these will be yummy for 3-4 days in refrigerator. 

If keeping for 3-4 5 days in refrig, I would place a paper towel underneath on bottom to collect moisture and pickle juice, to keep from getting soggy and slimy.  

Angel Eggs   aka  Deviled Eggs

Hard boil 8-10 eggs.  Cool and peel.  Cut horizontally and place yolk in a side bowl.

Place hard boiled white egg halves on plate or egg plate.  Fill with your choice of filling.  It can be any mixture that you prefer.  Tweak it and try new ideas… guacamole, bacon, 


*My Filling for deviled eggs….. May have to adjust as I never measure anything.


Mash hardboiled egg yolks with fork until fine as sand. 

To this add:

Finely finely chopped onion (maybe 1/8 cup)

1 tsp minced garlic

Sweet pickle juice (maybe 2 T )

3T finely chopped sweet gerkins

½ cup Hellmann’s mayo (adjust to your likeness)

Salt and pepper

Mix altogether and place into wells of egg halves **

Garnish tops with a sprinkle of Paprika

** I slice my hard boiled eggs with the Pampered Chef crinkle slicer to give a ripple effect and then fill with wells with the accent decorator to give a star kissed effect.


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