On Wednesday's post I took you on a tour of nearby Jekyll Island, where I spent the day at Driftwood Beach. I packed a picnic lunch and today I wanted to share recipes for the two quick salads I prepared for my outing.
My meal started with one of my favorite sandwiches. I layer Boar's Head Blazin' Buffalo Roasted Chicken with their Jalapeno Jack Cheese, avocado slices, alfalfa sprouts and fat-free mayonnaise. Mmmmm… yummy! I like things with a kick and this has enough heat to be pleasant, not overwhelmingly hot.
Since I wasn't sure how long I would be on the island, I packed two salads. The first is one of my favorites, Island Slaw. The flavor is so summery and the dressing, oh so, tropical!
Slice one cucumber, one green bell pepper and one sweet onion into thin (very thin) slices. Make sure your veggies are nice and fresh, the crispness mixed with the dressing just makes your tastebuds do the happy dance. Add enough Island Grove Mango Poppy dressing to have a "wet" mixture, I used about one third of the bottle. Place mixture into a container with a lid or a large ziplock bag. Refrigerate overnight, turning or shaking occasionally. The flavors will meld together and the bell pepper and onion will become a little limp, this is what your looking for.
While I was putting the Island Slaw together, I had put a couple of large red potatoes, cut into chunks, on to boil. Boil them just until they become tender (check for doneness with a fork, do not overcook.
Whisk together Wishbone's Light Creamy Caesar Dressing with French's Spicy Brown Mustard to your taste preference. Toss with potatoes and chopped chives or the tops of green onion.
Now, weren't those easy? Be sure to make both salads and the sandwich the day before, one of the essentials when packing a picnic is that your meal is nice and cold when you start out.
I packed everything into what I call my Beach Bento Box. 'O-bento' is what the Japanese call a packed meal, usually lunch. Bento boxes have internal dividers or containers, and sometimes several stacked layers, so different kinds of food sit in their own little compartments. Bento boxes range from beautiful lacquered wood boxes children's plastic lunchboxes. In my box, they are Lock & Lock containers. The large one I use is the 5.5L/185 oz/5.8 Qt. size. If you haven't used these containers before, I highly recommend them. They are the only ones I've found that are truly watertight. I've packed them in my camping coolers with ice and when the ice melts, not one drop of water gets inside. I also use their storage containers in my cupboards for everything and I mean everything! My cupboards look like something out of that movie Sleeping with the Enemy with Julia Roberts. Everything stays fresh and no bugs! You can find them online and at stores like Bed, Bath and Beyond. Accept no substitutions, I once bought another brand that looked like them and needless to say, they ended up in my next garage sale.
Okay, back to my bento box picnic. Normally I would have toted some mango slices along for this lunch, but on my daughter's recent visit she brought me a bag of Indian River Oranges. These are the BEST oranges, grown in Florida, they are naturally sweet and juicy and make the most wonderful orange juice. I sliced one up and added it to my meal.
I have about eight different coolers, but my favorite one for a picnic is by California Innovations. It rolls and when your toting a beach chair, an umbrella and a beach bag, it's nice to have something you can pull along. My bento box fits perfectly in the bottom! I can fit all three of my beverage bottles beside it (one for pink lemonade, one for water and one for sweet tea) and then top the box with two or three frozen 1 liter water bottles to get everything nice and cold. I used two on this day and when I arrived home 10 hours later, the bottles were still half frozen. As the weather gets hotter, I'll add one more frozen bottle to the mix. California Innovations coolers are sold in many retail stores, but if you have a problem finding one, I added it to Shellbelle's Tiki Hut Store. You can find it here.
There was one more thing I needed to add to make my day complete, can you guess what it is? A good summer read! If you were not here on Wednesday, I'll share with you my first recommendation for a summer read:
Yep, Mermaids in the Basement by our very own Michael Lee West, our fabulous hostess for Foodie Friday! I read about half the book last weekend and so far, I'm lovin' it! Perfect for a wonderful outdoor day. I'm saving the rest of the book for this weekend, when I'll be picnicking at the Crooked River State Park, just four miles from home. You can find this book at your favorite bookseller, online or, of course, in my Tiki Hut Store.
Have a fab Foodie Friday and stop in at Designs By Gollum to see who else is participating this week and enter Michael's latest giveaway with a chance to win a Le Creuset Skillet!