Now that the warmer weather is here (and school is almost out for the summer), we will be heading out to the hiking trail, the park, and the beach in our free time.
It’s common for us to grab a bag of charcoal, a selection of meats to barbecue, and some snacks, before we head out for the day. Our local parks have an ample supply of picnic tables and barbecue pits, and we like to take along a portable barbecue grill if we’re venturing out to other locales.
I also like to bring along a few delicious side dishes to round out our meal. As long as we have plenty of cold water and lemonade, the kids will run and play until the sun goes down.
Spinach and Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta Salad
Although not everyone is a fan of spinach – especially the kids – it’s good for you, and is a great ingredient to add some nutrition to a heavier pasta dish.
The sun-dried tomatoes in this recipe should overcome any hesitation over the spinach. Who doesn’t like the flavor of sun-dried tomatoes?
For another great option, our summer corn pasta salad is a perfect addition to any sunny cookout or picnic.
Want even more ideas for pasta salad? Check out Foodal’s ultimate guide.
Three Bean Salad
A great recipe to serve as a side, and the acidity of the vinegar really assists your gut in breaking down heavier proteins and starches. This is why your body craves pickles when consuming denser foods.
Moreover, three bean salad tastes great, and the olive oil provides its own nutritional benefits.
Oil and Vinegar Potato Salad
A great recipe to serve when your family or group is engaged in a lot of physical activity on your picnic, like swimming or hiking.
Summer Fruit Salad
Another fun salad to put some added nutrition in your diet, and something else to fill up on rather than fat-heavy sausage and carb-loaded potato chips. This fruit salad is a very tasty choice that the whole family will love.
In the heat of the summer, I’d definitely recommend keeping it chilled in a small portable cooler. If serving at home, a wooden salad bowl makes a beautiful presentation.
About Jennifer Swartvagher
Jennifer is an experienced journalist and author. Her work has been featured on TODAY Parents, The New York Times Blog, BlogHer, Scary Mommy, and scores of other parenting and cooking publications.