Fresh ideas for family picnics
Ingredients for Chicago restaurant Bombay Wraps's Chicken Tikka and Chicken Reshmi are set out for wraps. | Ruthie Hauge~Sun-Times Media
Updated: June 28, 2012 10:45AM
This 4th of July, spice up your family picnic with these ideas that offer plenty of flavor, fun and surprising smiles.
Instead of fried
Go international with Chicken Tikka Wraps styled after traditional Indian street food. Not only are you expanding your family’s palate, but you’re also opening up a dialogue about the different cultures that exist within our country. What could be more patriotic than that?
Chicken Tikka Wraps
2 1/2 pounds boneless chicken breast or thighs
1 teaspoon ginger paste
1 teaspoon garlic paste
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
½ cup Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon Tandoori Masala (available at most grocery stores)
½ tablespoon salt
Chat masala (optional)
Indian flatbread (available at most grocery stores)
Blend ginger, garlic, limejuice, yogurt and oil into paste.
Add Tandoori Masala into the mixture.
Taste and adjust accordingly.
Butterfly chicken breast (slice in half lengthwise).
Add marinade and refrigerate in a covered bowl or Ziploc bag for at least 4 hours.
Grill chicken for about 15-20 minutes or bake in oven for 15-20 minutes at 400 degrees.
Once chicken is ready, slice into strips and wrap in Indian flatbread. Add pickled onions or chutney if desired.
Thank you to Falguni Dewjee for sharing this recipe. Dewjee is co-owner of the popular Bombay Wraps restaurant in downtown Chicago and is a big advocate of exposing families to fresh, healthy and fast Indian food. For more information about Bombay Wraps visit bombaywraps.com.
Instead of potato chips…
Try chickpeas! That’s right those little yellow legumes are high in fiber, low in fat and loaded with protein. Best of all, when seasoned and roasted properly, they make a fantastic snack that is both healthy and delicious.
Nonstick cooking spray
2 15-ounce cans chickpeas (rinsed and drained)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1½ teaspoons kosher or coarse salt, or more to taste
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Lightly spray a rimmed baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray.
Pat chickpeas dry with a clean dishtowel.
Toss chickpeas on baking sheet with olive oil and salt.
Bake chickpeas for about 35 to 40 minutes or until they are golden brown and shrink slightly.
Season as desired.
Thank you Katie Workman, author of The Mom 100 Cookbook (Workman Publishing, 2012) for sharing this recipe. For more information about Katie and her cookbook visit workman.com/authors/katie_workman.
Instead of fruit salad…
Get creative with fruit and marshmallow kabobs. Your kids will love making their own patriotic patterns while you’ll secretly relish watching them eat a full serving of fruit.
Blue and red berries (such as strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries)
Place berries and marshmallows in separate bowls on a table.
Use wooden skewers to create kabob combinations as desired.
Instead of kickball…
Try golf. Sure, kickball is fun, but for a unique picnic twist, bring along your own mini golf course. Use recycled materials such as shoeboxes, milk jugs and oatmeal containers to make a series of “holes” that include ramps, tunnels and hazard zones.
Recycled materials (such as shoeboxes, water bottles, empty milk jugs, oatmeal containers, coffee caddies, pizza boxes, and plastic cups)
Craft materials (such as construction paper, markers, index cards, glue, scissors, duct tape and paint)
To make a tunnel: Cut off the top and bottom of an oatmeal container.
To make a ramp: Open a pizza box and carefully balance it on top of an oatmeal container, use glue to secure it in place.
To make a house, airport or building: Turn the bottom of a shoebox upside down and cut out doors. Decorate as desired.
To make a hole: Cut off the top of a water bottle or use a plastic cup.
Don’t forget to make “hazards” such as sand traps and water holes. To make a water hazard, paint the inside of a shoebox top blue and add a penalty note such as: “Splash! Lose 2 Strokes.” Similarly, you can make a sand trap that sends players back to the tee. Just paint the inside of a shoebox top brown or better yet, add play sand for greater authenticity.
Go on a ‘Smiley Safari’ and save a smile
Looking for more things to do on your picnic? Go on a smiley safari. Walk around your backyard, park or neighborhood with your kids and a camera looking for hidden smiles. “Once you start looking you’ll be surprised how many you discover,” says Ruth Kaiser author of A Smiley Book of Colors (Golden Books, 2012). If you do find a smiley be sure to post the picture on the Spontaneous Smile website (spontaneoussmiley.com) which will then donate $1 to Operation Smile.
Happy 4th of July!