Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Easy Summer Picnic

The recent hot weather started me thinking about easy and tasty dishes that are suitable for enjoying outdoors. Bring along plenty of water and a bottle of wine or two, and perhaps some fresh fruit for dessert, and enjoy.

Tomato and Cucumber Salad
1 large cucumber, peeled,de-seeded,and chopped (or use a seedless variety and just chop)
2 large tomatoes, chopped
3 green onions, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
Splash of balsamic vinegar, optional.
Place sliced or chopped cucumber into a serving bowl or re-sealable container. Sprinkle with salt and toss. Add the tomatoes, scallions and olive oil and toss.

Summer Barley-Bean Salad
2 cups cooked barley
1 15 ounce can kidney beans, drained
2 vine-ripened tomatoes, chopped
1 cucumber, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 cup fat-free Italian dressing
Combine all ingredients and chill.

Mediterranean Pockets
4 whole wheat pita bread pockets
8 slices of turkey bacon
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/2 cup Parmesan or Romano cheese
2 cups of lettuce
2 large tomatoes
1 tub of hummus
1 tablespoon olive oil
Sautee bacon in skillet or bake on a cookie sheet until crisp. Shred lettuce and slice or chop the tomatoes, and crumble feta. Heat olive oil in skillet and lightly brown whole wheat pita bread. To assemble the sandwiches, slather a tablespoon or so of hummus onto inside of each pita and add the rest of the ingredients to fill the pockets.

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