Picnic Recipes and Games

Appetizer Recipes For a Picnic

Appetizers are ideal for picnics. They can be made quickly, transported easily, and eaten without the necessity of plates or utensils. In fact, simply whipping up a variety of appetizers can create a delicious and sophisticated picnic meal without the necessity of having to making a main course.

Dips and spreads make excellent appetizers, and they can be served with a variety of breads, baked pita chips, and tortilla chips. As well, fresh vegetables such as jicama, celery, zucchini, and pea pods can accompany any dip or spread. Stuffed mushrooms are also perfect for picnics, and they are quite simple to make. The recipes below are all basic yet substantial enough to feed a hungry group. So, why not try a couple at your next picnic? And, of course, don't forget to bring a bottle of wine, sunscreen, bug spray, and lots of cold bottles of water.

Zucchini Cilantro Dip
Makes 2 cups

2 small zucchinis, shredded
1 cup nonfat cottage cheese
3 green onions, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
2 tablespoons lemon juice
teaspoon pepper
teaspoon salt
1 clove garlic, minced

Place half of the shredded zucchini in a blender or food processor and the other ingredients. Cover and blend until smooth. Spoon contents into a bowl. Add remaining zucchini and stir. Cover and refrigerate for two hours.

Sun Dried Tomato Spread
Makes 2 cups

10 sun dried tomato halves (not packed in oil)
cup fresh parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
teaspoon salt
teaspoon pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
cup plain nonfat yogurt
cup low-fat sour cream

Heat tomato halves in one inch of water to boiling. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes or until water has evaporated. Place tomatoes and remaining ingredients, except yogurt and sour cream in blender or food processor. Cover and blend until smooth. Pour tomato mixture into glass bowl. Stir in yogurt and sour cream. Cover and refrigerate for two hours.

Baked Pita Chips
Serves 8

4 whole-wheat pita breads

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Cut around outside edges of pita breads to separate. Cut each layer into 8 wedges. Place in single layer on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake about 10 minutes or until crisp and light brown.

Chicken Stuffed Mushrooms
Makes 12 mushrooms

2 green onions, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
3 tablespoons cholesterol-free egg substitute (or use egg whites)
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, finely chopped
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 clove garlic, minced
lb ground chicken
12 large mushrooms, cleaned and stems removed

Heat oven to 450 degrees. Spray cookie sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Mix all ingredients except mushrooms. Fill mushroom caps with chicken mixture. Place mushrooms, filled sides up, on cookie sheet. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or when tops are light brown and chicken mixture is cooked thoroughly.

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