Have an Eco-Friendly Earth Day Picnic

Dear Laura, how are you celebrating Earth Day?

With a picnic of course! April is the month of Eco-holidays: Earth Day is the main event on April 22 and National Picnic Day is on April 23. Are you curious how to make your next outing eco-friendly? The Monadnock Co-op is here to help!

The Basics: Make sure you choose dishes that travel well and can be made in advance. Sealable, lightweight glass containers are ideal to hold your food. Handheld foods are a must because they’re easier to eat while you are out and about. So, what should you make for your day in the park? These are two of my favorite delicious and Instagram worthy recipes.

The Veggie Lover’s Pita

This recipe is great for a twist on the boring old sandwich. With a bit of a kick, it is truly a veggie-lovers dream. This recipe is easy to customize by adding extra veggies—or if you are like me—extra Feta cheese!

Adapted from Cookie + Kate

Ingredients

Per sandwich

  • ½ a whole wheat pita
  • ¼ cup your favorite hummus (we recommend Ithaca Cold Crafted Fresh Lemon Beet Hummus)
  • ¼ cucumber, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup of sprouts, lettuce, or microgreens
  • ½ cup of quick pickled veggies* (recipe included)
  • ¼ cup feta cheese

For the quick-pickled red onions and carrots

  • 5 to 7 medium to large carrots
  • 1 small to medium red onion
  • 1 cup plain white vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • ¼ cup local honey
  • 2 ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp red pepper flakes

* if you don’t want to make the pickles yourself, just grab a jar of your favorite Real Pickles fermented veggies!

Instructions

To make the quick-pickled vegetables:

  1. Peel the carrots and then slice into ribbons.
  2. Slice the onion into very thin rounds.
  3. Stuff the carrots into one pint-sized mason jar and the onions into another (if you mix the two, you’ll ruin the colors).
  4. In a medium-sized saucepan, combine the vinegar, water, honey, salt, & red pepper flakes.
  5. Bring the mixture to a gentle boil, then pour half of the mixture into each mason jar.
  6. Use a spoon to gently press the onions and carrots into the liquid, then let the pickles cool to room temperature. Assuming that you sliced the onions and carrots very thin, they should be ready to eat within thirty minutes or less.

To assemble your sandwiches:

  1. Spread a hearty layer of hummus on the inside of your pita.
  2. Fill with cucumbers & sprouts.
  3. Add quick pickled vegetables, making sure to shake off the pickle juice first (you don’t want a soggy pita).
  4. Add feta cheese to top.
  5. Wrap with parchment paper and pack! (Or enjoy right away if you are eating at home).

French Potato Salad

This is a must-have in your recipe book. This recipe is a slightly healthier choice than those other mayo-heavy potato salads. You can easily substitute the garlic mustard for dijon or up the quantity of for a bolder flavor.

Adapted from Mon Petit Four

Ingredients

  • 5 lbs baby potatoes
  • 1/2 lb asparagus stalks
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1/3 cup chopped scallions (white & green parts)
  • 1/4 red onion sliced thinly
  • 1/8 cup + 2 tbsp olive oil separated
  • 2 1/2 tsp garlic mustard (or your favorite)
  • 1 tbsp chopped basil
  • 2 radishes sliced thinly
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 2 eggs hard boiled
  • 1 oz goat cheese optional, crumbled

 

Instructions

  1. Wash potatoes before placing them in a quart-size saucepan. Fill the pan with enough water to cover and reach about 1/2″ higher than the potatoes.
  2. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce to medium-low. Cook until they’re fork-tender.
  3. Meanwhile, rinse your asparagus and pat dry. Transfer to a foil-lined baking sheet, then drizzle 1 tbsp of olive oil all over the asparagus. Sprinkle the asparagus with some sea salt.
  4. Broil on the medium rack on high for approximately 3-5 minutes, until they’re tender. Remove from the oven and temporarily set aside.
  5. In a small saucepan, warm 1 tbsp of olive oil. Add the minced garlic, scallions, and red onion, and sauté for about 2 minutes (just to get the veggies warm and cook the garlic).
  6. Once the potatoes are cooked allow them to cool enough to handle. Slice them in half or quarters if they are too large. Place the potatoes in a large sealable glass container.
  7. Add the sautéed veggies, roasted asparagus, and chopped basil.
  8. Drizzle the 1/8 cup of olive oil over the potatoes and veggies.
  9. Add the garlic mixture and mustard, along with salt and pepper. Seal container tightly and shake well to toss the ingredients together and mix the mustard in well.
  10. Then open, and garnish the top of the salad with sliced radishes and the hardboiled eggs (which you can slice in half and add a pinch of salt to as well).

 

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