Nice day on the beach


Lazy Days:
Picnic Caribbean Style

By


Nothing can beat a lazy, leisurely day at the beach with family and friends and here in the BVI, we are so lucky to have so many beautiful beaches to choose from.

Although some beaches have great restaurants where you can pop in for lunch, some of the more secluded, off-the-beaten track beaches have no facilities at all, which not only adds to their appeal but also provides the perfect opportunity to put your picnic skills to the test.

Long hours in the sun though mean that you need to keep hydrated, so make sure you include lots of water to drink. Also remember that everything that you make will have to be easy to carry and, even if there is some shade, it is going to have to sit in the heat for a few hours – so go for mayonnaise free dishes that work well cold or at room temperature.

Ease of eating is also key. Use plenty of snap top containers for communal items and sides such as salads, dips, couscous, grilled vegetables, etc. They also make carrying everything much easier, can be stored in a cooler to keep crisp and fresh and will keep the sand out of your food!

So what makes good beach picnic food? Well, you need menu items that are tasty, colorful, healthy and easy to eat – and take along lots of peeled, chopped fruit for snacks using what is in season, such as pineapples, mangos and guavas. There is nothing quite like eating a juicy mango on the beach and then diving into the sea to clean off the sticky juice. Just heaven.

So grab a cooler, a picnic basket, a nice rug to lay out all those yummy wares and have a day that memories are made of. Here are some appetizing and healthy recipe ideas for your perfect day at the beach… Enjoy!.


Picnic at the beach photo by Daniel Mejia

Hummus Dip


Lemony and Cooling, the perfect beach dip

  • 2 (15oz) cans chickpeas (drained and rinsed)
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus a splash for garnish
  • 1/2 lemon (juiced)
  • 2 tbsps rough chopped parsley leaves, plus more for garnish
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 tsp dark Asian sesame oil
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 cup water
  • Paprika for garnish

In a blender, combine all the ingredients, except the parsley and paprika until smooth. Put dip in a snap top container, add the garnishes and store in the cooler.

Cut up some fresh veggies into strips and put these in a Ziploc bag to scoop out this delicious dip. Makes 2 cups of dip.




Blueberry and Pomegranate Salad


A fruity salad full of goodness

Lemon Pita Chips

  • 2 (15oz) cans chickpeas (drained and rinsed)
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus a splash for garnish
  • 1/2 lemon (juiced)
  • 2 tbsps rough chopped parsley leaves, plus more for garnish

Salad

  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 tsp dark Asian sesame oil
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp ground cumin

Lemon Dressing

  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 tsp dark Asian sesame oil
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp ground cumin

To make the lemon pita chips, pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees F. Brush with the olive oil and lemon juice. Sprinkle with sea salt, ground black pepper and hot chili flakes. Bake for about 5 minutes until golden.

For the lemon dressing, combine all the ingredients and shake to emulsify. Put dressing in a separate container to use when needed.

For the salad, toast the pumpkin seeds in a dry pan until golden. Put the mint leaves in a bowl with the blueberries, pomegranate seeds and feta cheese.

Crumble the lemon pita over the salad and sprinkle with the toasted pumpkin seeds.




Caribbean Wrap


Easy to eat and perfect for a walk down the beach

  • 2 cups chopped chicken from a rotisserie chicken
  • 2 cups cubed mango
  • 1 cup of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • ½ cup red onion
  • 8 tsps fresh cilantro
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • 4 whole-wheat 8" tortillas
  • Crushed red pepper, generous pinch

In a bowl, combine all of the ingredients and spoon evenly into the tortillas and roll up. Cut into thirds on an angle. Serves 4.