Sandwich-free picnics!

Sandwich-free picnics!

Easy ideas for family lunch at the park or the beach

Instead of just packing sarnies and a bag of crisps for everyone, do something different and make an alfresco meal of your picnic.

Handy jackets
If you have a picnic bag that keeps things especially hot or cold, bake a batch of potatoes, halve them and stuff with grated cheese (and chopped ham) then wrap individually in foil. The cheese replaces the need for butter so they won’t be too messy, and picnickers can eat them with their hands.

Wrapped kebabs
Skewer and grill chicken or lamb, prawns or halloumi with colourful veg, then wrap in foil and serve as a platter to pick at.

Mini fishcakes
Mix baked cod or coley with mashed potato and steamed peas, add a little butter then roll into small patties, coating each side with a little flour. Leave them to cool in the fridge for 30 minutes then fry on each side until nicely browned. Keep warm and serve with a small tub of ketchup.


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Rice salad pots
It’s not easy to spoon out salads at a picnic, but portioning out little servings into individual helpings (use old yoghurt pots) and supplying a spoon suddenly opens up the possibility of serving all kinds of dishes your family enjoy.

Savoury scones
Make regular scone (or muffin) mix but replace the sugar with a small teaspoon of mustard powder and a good grating of mature cheese. Add finely chopped, lightly sautéed onion and garlic, or even mushroom and courgette prepared the same way, mixed in before baking.

Savvy tip
Freeze bottles of water the night before. When you pack them in your picnic bag they can keep chilled food cold and will slowly melt to still be refreshingly cool later in the day.

Pass it on – fresh fruit drinks
Get the kids to make your drinks at the park. Take a few strawberries to chop up, and mix your fruit juice with still or sparkling water, adding a handful of ice cubes you have stored in a separate pot.

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