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Simply Nutritious, Quick and Delicious

Jenna Smith, Extension Educator brings you helpful tips to make meals easy, healthy and tasty!
corn salad

Packing for a Picnic

When the weather is warm and beautiful, there is nothing better than eating outdoors. Whether at a park, an outdoor event, or just in the backyard, a picnic can be a fun excursion for the whole family. There's no need for a picnic table; a blanket on the ground will do. You can use paper plates or fine china; there are no rules!

When choosing what foods to pack, cold items are usually a winner. Keeping hot foods like Italian beef sandwiches or spaghetti and meatballs warm and food-safe for the entire duration can not only be difficult but messy as well. Consider packing cold items that are either finger foods or foods that can easily be eaten with a fork. Wrap up a meat salad sandwich on hearty whole wheat bread or a southwest turkey or chicken wrap. For a unique cold entrée, skewer cooked cheese tortellini and sun-dried tomatoes on small skewers, spread with pesto, wrap in aluminum foil, and pack. Tossed lettuce salads or pasta salads can also be easy picnic entrees or sides.

Dessert can be as simple and fun as watermelon freezer pops! Slice watermelon into triangles, make a slit into each triangle rind with a sharp knife, push in a craft stick, and freeze. Individual parfait cups with lids can also be layered with lemon yogurt, angel food cake cubes and berries for a fancier dessert option. Too keep bacteria at bay, pack foods in an insulated cooler with sufficient ice or gel packs to keep the food at 40ᵒF or below. Pack food right from the refrigerator or freezer into it so that it's already cold. And of course, don't forget to bring the hand sanitizer!

Check out this beautiful and tasty salad at University of Illinois Extension's Eat.Move.Save. website!

Corn Salad (Printable PDF)

1 can (15 oz.) corn, drained

½ cup green pepper, chopped

¼ cup onion, diced

1 cup tomato, chopped


¼ cup nonfat yogurt

2 Tablespoons low-fat mayonnaise

1 Tablespoon white vinegar

¼ teaspoon dry mustard

¼ teaspoon celery seed

In a large mixing bowl, combine corn, peppers, onion and tomatoes. In a separate bowl, mix together dressing ingredients. Pour dressing over vegetables and mix together. Serve chilled.

Yield: 6 servings

Nutrition Facts (per serving): 100 calories, 3 grams fat, 280 milligrams sodium, 15 grams carbohydrate, 2 grams fiber, 2 grams protein

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