Then, we’ll gather our nearest and dearest on a scrap of blanket, and settle down to an absolute palaver of quinoa, kale and tartlets and tabbouleh.
With this whimsical spread comes the hefty picnic kit: a big old box or hamper, clunking with crockery, cutlery and glasses – with perhaps everything covered in a slick of leaked vinaigrette. A stack of napkins flutters into the atmosphere. Someone forgets the cutlery and a whole Victoria sponge (hastily bought and packed) slides off its own cream. So relaxing? I think NOT!
For an effective picnic, we have found that you need a complete meal that you can carry in a leak-proof box, unclip and eat with your hands. Each and every box hand-picked and filled with what that person wants and can eat. And – just wait for it, because I’m about to make an earth-shattering pronouncement – that’s usually a sandwich or a salad.
When the sun is shining we do this here at Bariatric Cookery without too much thought – we simply all grab our Bariatric Bento Boxes (ready-filled if we’re organised, or quickly-loaded from the refrigerator and fruit bowl if not) and head to the garden, park or yard. Sometimes it’s for a quick lunch and sometimes for a more leisurely ‘time-off’ affair – we call it a ‘brain-storming session’.
Nine times out of ten it will contain a sandwich but not always one with traditional bread – sometimes a bariatric-friendly filling is sandwiched between lettuce leaves, cucumber slices, cloud bread (see here) or the same and other vegetables are used as scoops for the filling. And often it’s a salad which doesn’t look terribly different to our sandwich filling – just something high protein and delicious minus the bread!
We run the gamut of our favourites – chopped chicken and grape, flaked tuna with red onion or sweetcorn, sliced cold beef and horseradish, grated cheese and tomato, egg mayo and chive or a deli tower of what’s leftover from our recipe testing. To this we add some seasonal fruit, the odd cracker, maybe a piece of protein bar or bariatric-friendly cake and any extras like olives, pickles or sauces individually liked. It’s a veritable feast!
The secret of course is our bariatric bento – it’s just the right size to carry without being cumbersome; seals firmly and safely preventing leaks; has an integral piece of cutlery for eating if required; and cleverly separates savoury from sweet and wet from dry foods. It also has a little lidded pot to add your dressing or handful of nuts, olives or seeds if required. With it’s special bag (perfect for sitting on or covering your lap) and freezer block to keep things cool – it’s all you need to picnic ‘imperfectly’.
Here are some ideas for filling and some extras for that full-blown picnic affair when you feel you want to pull out all the stops and impress!
General Ideas: Pack a Quick and Easy Picnic (see here)
Some information courtesy of thepool.com