HERE’S A WHOLE MENU FULL OF PICNIC-FRIENDLY RECIPES

Thanks Whole Foods!

●≡ FRESH CHERRY LIMEADE | Serves 8 ●≡

Made with sweet, juicy cherries and tart lime juice, this icy refresher is hard to resist on hot summer days.

●Ingredients:
1 1/2 pound cherries (about 6 cups), pitted, divided
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup lime juice, plus 2 teaspoons finely grated lime zest
6 cups sparkling water
1 lime, cut into wedges

●Method:
Put 1 pound of the cherries, sugar and 1 1/2 cups water into a medium pot; cover and simmer over medium heat (reducing heat, as needed, to maintain a simmer) until cherries are very tender and have made a fragrant syrup, about 20 minutes. Set aside to let cool and then purée in a blender with lime juice and zest.

To make each glass of limeade, pour about 1/2 cup of the cherry-lime syrup and 3/4 cup still or sparkling water over ice in a tall glass. Stir well and then top with a small handful of the remaining cherries, garnish with a lime wedge and serve.

https://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/recipe/fresh-cherry-limeade

●≡ BEER-MARINATED CITRUS GRILLED CHICKEN | Serves 4 to 6 ●≡

We’re crazy for the simple flavors of this easy dish, but feel free to take some liberties. Replace the lemons with oranges, add a sprinkling of chopped rosemary to the marinade or garnish the grilled chicken with fresh cilantro.

●Ingredients:
12 ounces (1 1/2 cups) beer, preferably lager style
2/3 cup marmalade
2 teaspoons coarse sea salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 whole (3 1/2- to 4-pound) chicken, cut into 8 pieces
3 lemons

●Method:
In a small bowl, whisk together beer, marmalade, salt and pepper. Transfer 3 tablespoons of the mixture to a small bowl, cover and refrigerate (this will be used for drizzling over the grilled chicken). Pour remaining mixture into a large resealable plastic bag and add chicken pieces. Cut each lemon into quarters, remove and discard any seeds, and add lemons to the bag. Remove excess air, seal the bag, place it on a plate and refrigerate at least 8 hours or overnight.

When ready to cook, prepare a charcoal grill for medium-heat cooking or preheat a gas grill to medium. Once hot, make a cooler place on the grill by either pushing the hot coals to one side or turning one of the grill’s heating units off or to low; this will give you a place to move chicken pieces, if they begin to flare up or cook too quickly.

Remove chicken and lemons from the bag; discard marinade. Grill, turning pieces frequently and moving pieces to the cool area on your grill as necessary. Grill until chicken is well-browned and juices run clear when pierced with the tip of a paring knife, about 15 minutes for smaller pieces and 20 minutes for larger pieces. Grill lemons until they are browned and very soft. (Since the lemons marinated with the raw chicken, they must reach a temperature of at least 165°F to ensure that they are safe to eat.)

Transfer lemons and chicken to a platter and drizzle with reserved beer and marmalade mixture.

For more info visit: https://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/recipe/beer-marinated-citrus-grilled-chicken

●≡ CLASSIC BAKED BEANS | Serves 6 to 8 ●≡

Assembling baked beans from scratch is not hard, and the resulting delicious flavor makes it worth it. Beans can be assembled ahead of time and baked just before serving.

●Ingredients:
3 slices bacon, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/2 cup light brown sugar
2 tablespoons molasses
1/2 teaspoon chipotle chile powder
1 teaspoon powdered mustard
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
3 (15-ounce) cans white beans, such as navy, rinsed and drained or 6 cups cooked white beans
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth, plus more if needed
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

●Method:
Preheat the oven to 325°F. Cook bacon in a large, oven-proof skillet over medium heat until it starts to release its fat. Add olive oil and onion and cook until translucent and soft, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in tomato paste, sugar, molasses, chile powder, mustard and vinegar until well combined and cook for 1 minute. Add beans, broth, salt and pepper and stir gently to combine.

Cover skillet tightly with a lid or foil and bake until beans are just tender, about 1 hour. Remove lid, add more broth if needed to moisten beans and continue to bake, uncovered, until top is browned and bubbly, about 30 minutes more. Serve hot.

For more info visit: https://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/recipe/classic-baked-beans

●≡ RED, WHITE AND BLUE FRUIT SALAD | Serves 8 ●≡

Celebrate Independence Day with this patriotic-hued, light, yet luscious dessert. Serve it family-style by bringing the fruit and cashew cream to the table in separate bowls. Or dish the fruit into individual bowls, cups or wine glasses and top with the cream.

●Ingredients:
1 cup raw, unsalted cashew pieces (about 4 1/2 ounces)
2 pitted dates (about 1 1/2 ounces), roughly chopped
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 pound strawberries, hulled and halved
11 ounces blueberries
1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh mint

●Method:
Put cashews into a large bowl, cover with water and set aside at room temperature to let soak for 4 hours or overnight; drain well. Transfer to a food processor, and add dates, vanilla and 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons warm water and purée until smooth. In a large serving bowl, toss together strawberries, blueberries and mint. Serve with cashew cream.

For more info visit: https://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/recipe/red-white-and-blue-fruit-salad

●≡ CRUNCHY OKRA PICNIC SALAD | Serves 6 to 8 ●≡

This salad combines the South’s most beloved summer garden ingredients—okra, cucumbers and tomatoes—in a playful dish that’s perfect alongside grilled pork chops or burgers. You could also toss this hearty salad with freshly chopped Italian parsley or baby arugula.

●Ingredients:
2 large egg whites
1 tablespoon hot sauce, plus more as desired
1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 cup finely ground cornmeal
1 pound fresh okra, sliced into 1/2-inch rounds and patted dry
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1 medium cucumber, peeled, quartered and sliced
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar

●Method:
Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Whisk together egg whites, hot sauce, salt and pepper in a medium mixing bowl. Place cornmeal in a wide, shallow bowl or pie plate. Add a handful of okra to the egg white mixture and stir to coat. Transfer okra to cornmeal, shaking off any excess egg white. Toss to evenly coat and then arrange coated okra in a single layer on a parchment-paper-lined large rimmed baking sheet. Repeat until all okra is coated with cornmeal.

Bake okra until golden brown and crisp, 20 to 22 minutes. While okra is baking, combine tomatoes, cucumber and vinegar in a medium bowl. Cool cooked okra for 5 minutes, then toss with tomato-cucumber mixture, taste and adjust seasonings (adding more hot sauce as desired). Serve immediately.

https://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/recipe/crunchy-okra-picnic-salad

●≡ GRILLED STRAWBERRY COBBLER WITH FRESH THYME | Serves 8 ●≡

Topped with flaky biscuits, this skillet cobbler features summer strawberries when they’re at their juiciest. Crown each serving with a spoonful of whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, if you like.

●Ingredients:
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 pounds strawberries, halved
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons turbinado sugar, divided
1 (16-ounce) package biscuit dough (contains 8 biscuits)
1 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme

●Method:
Prepare a grill for medium heat cooking. In a large bowl, toss together strawberries, 1/4 cup of the sugar, flour and thyme. Transfer to a well-seasoned 10-inch cast-iron skillet and spread out evenly.

Arrange biscuits over strawberries and lightly brush with water. Sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and cover skillet tightly with foil. Place on the grill, cover the grill, and cook until juices are bubbling and biscuits are puffed, about 15 minutes. Carefully uncover the skillet (the foil may stick a bit, so remove it slowly), close the grill lid, and continue to cook until biscuits are cooked through and strawberries are very soft, 10 to 15 minutes more. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Alternatively, preheat the oven to 350°F. Place skillet on a baking sheet and bake, uncovered, until strawberries are juicy and biscuits are golden brown, about 45 minutes; tent biscuits with foil if they begin to get too dark. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.

For more info visit: https://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/recipe/grilled-strawberry-cobbler-fresh-thyme

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