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Head to the beach with cool, safe food

by Andrea Yeager

Headed to the beach this summer and need some cool food ideas? Try packing a refreshing, light picnic that friends and family can enjoy. One of the hottest trends is jarred salads. Simply choose the right size glass jar for each person, put the seal and lid on tight and store in an ice chest. The salads can be as individual as the people eating them.

Want more traditional beach food? Wraps work well at the beach. Fill the tortilla flavor of your choice with anything from deli meats to sprouts, avocado and tomatoes. Thin-sliced Cajun roast beef paired with cheese, slices of fresh cucumber and tomato and drizzled with a balsamic vinaigrette is so refreshing, yet filling. You can also wrap up grilled chicken with shredded cabbage and cucumber slices and top it with a yummy peanut sauce. Watching the calories? Try using lettuce leaves, kale or even collard leaves for the wrap instead of a tortilla.

If possible, stay away from mayonnaise-based sandwiches and salads. Mayonnaise, if not kept at the proper temperature, can spoil quicker than you think — two hours at max. Even with a good airtight cooler, it is suggested to still opt for olive oil vinaigrettes and dressings.

Enjoy…and don’t forget the sunscreen!

 

CHICKEN TACO SALAD WITH CILANTRO VINAIGRETTE

Canned corn, drained

Canned black beans, rinsed and drained

Chopped tomato

Cooked chicken (rotisserie chicken works well)

Romaine or favorite type of lettuce

Cilantro vinaigrette (recipe follows)

In a screw-top jar, add the vinaigrette and top with corn, beans, tomato, chicken and lettuce. Seal jar and place in cooler.

 

CILANTRO VINAIGRETTE

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 tsp. salt

1 cup cilantro, packed

1 cup parsley, packed

1/4 cup sherry wine vinegar (you can substitute either red wine or cider vinegar)

3/4 cup olive oil (I use light)

1/2 tsp. hot pepper sauce

1 pinch of sugar

Add garlic and salt to a food processor fitted with the steel blade and process until it is a paste. Add cilantro and parsley; process to a fine mince. Add vinegar; process for 10 seconds. Add oil in a slow steady stream with the processor on. Add hot pepper sauce (to match your taste) and a pinch of sugar. Chill the dressing for several hours in a glass jar; shake to combine before using.

 

PEANUT SAUCE FOR WRAPS

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

1/3 cup water

2 Tbsp. soy sauce

2 Tbsp. rice vinegar

1 Tbsp. honey

1 Tbsp. sesame oil

1 1/2 tsp. fresh ginger, peeled and grated

1 tsp. minced garlic

1 pinch of cayenne pepper or 1 dash of chili sauce

Combine the peanut butter, water, soy sauce, vinegar, honey, sesame oil, ginger and garlic in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade; process until smooth. Season with cayenne pepper or chili sauce. When covered and refrigerated, the sauce will keep for one month.

Recipes source: food.com

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