(Family Features) From the trees to the breeze, picnics are a fun way your family can soak up the sunshine while enjoying a delicious and nutritious meal together.
“Picnics should be a prescription for health,” said registered dietitian nutritionist and TV host Annessa Chumbley. “They accomplish three amazing things needed for healthy living: nourishing the body, focusing on relationships and soaking up the benefits of being surrounded by nature.”
Consider stepping up your picnic game with a refreshing option like seafood. Eating seafood two times per week, as recommended by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, can provide unique health benefits as a lean protein and source of omega-3s, healthy fats that are beneficial for your heart and your brain. To make it easier to create picture-perfect picnics, try these tips from Chumbley.
- Pack bottles of cold or even frozen water in the picnic basket to help keep everything chilled and fresh so it’s ready to devour.
- Plan to eat fresh and healthy foods like this Crab Salad for an easy-to-make option.
- Create a dip nearly everyone can enjoy. Seafood can be added to almost any dip, and can be enjoyed with fresh, crunchy vegetables.
- Jars can be a lifesaver when packing a picnic. Tape utensils to the sides of the jars for easy access to your favorite foods.
- Don’t bring your phones, tablets or any other device that can distract you from family time. This is a time to relax and socialize with one another.
- Try taping a thermometer inside your bag or cooler so you know the food is at safe, cool temperatures.
- Place a small cutting board and knife in your pack, which can come in handy for chopping up fruits and vegetables when it’s time to chow down.
For more seafood recipes and meal inspiration, visit seafoodnutrition.org or follow #Seafood2xWk on social media.
Recipe courtesy of the Seafood Nutrition Partnership Eating Heart Healthy Program
- 1/2 cup plain non-fat yogurt
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 2 tablespoons green onions
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- salt, to taste
- pepper, to taste
- 1 ounce walnuts (about 14 halves)
- cayenne pepper, to taste
- 1 bag (8 ounces) spinach
- 1 can (6 ounces) crab meat or fresh lump crab
- 1/2 cup lentils, cooked
- 1 grapefruit, cut into sections
- Heat oven to 300° F.
- To make dressing: Mix yogurt, lemon juice, green onions and olive oil. Add salt and pepper, to taste.
- Toss walnuts with cayenne pepper, to taste, and bake 4-5 minutes. Make sure walnuts do not burn. Remove walnuts from oven and let cool.
- Toss spinach with dressing. Toss with crab meat. Sprinkle lentils on top and add walnuts. Place grapefruit pieces around edge.
Source: Seafood Nutrition Partnership
2008 Grand Prize winning recipe by: Edwina Gadsby of Great Falls, Mont.
- 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce or soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons chili garlic sauce
- 1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
- 6 ounces lump crabmeat, drained, flaked and picked over for cartilage
- 1 1/2 cups frozen (thawed) or canned sweet corn kernels
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
- 3 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro or Thai basil
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- Canola oil for frying
- Thai Chili Roasted Garlic Dipping Sauce or other favorite dipping sauce
- In medium bowl combine eggs, fish or soy sauce, chili garlic sauce and ginger. Stir in crabmeat, corn, green onions and cilantro. Add flour; stir until ingredients are combined.
- In 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat, heat 1/2-inch canola oil until hot. Carefully spoon crab mixture by rounded tablespoonfuls into hot oil, flattening slightly with spoon. Cook fritters about 2 minutes on each side until golden brown and crisp. Remove to paper towels to drain. Repeat with remaining batter.
- Serve immediately with dipping sauce.
Makes 6 appetizer or first-course servings
Notes, Tips & Suggestions
Serve with a bottle of chilled Rías Baixas Albariño wine.