It’s Picnic Month! From the trees to the breeze, Seafood Nutrition Partnership offers recommendations to make picnics a fun way for families to soak up the sunshine while enjoying a delicious and nutritious meal together.
“Picnics should be a prescription for health,” said registered dietitian nutritionist and TV host Annessa Chumbley. “They accomplish three amazing things needed for healthy living: nourishing the body, focusing on relationships and soaking up the benefits of being surrounded by nature.”
Consider planning picnics with a refreshing option like seafood. Eating seafood two times per week, as recommended by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, can provide unique health benefits as a lean protein and source of omega-3s, healthy fats that are beneficial for heart and brain health. To make it easier to create picture-perfect picnics, try these tips from Chumbley.
- Pack bottles of cold or even frozen water in the picnic basket to help keep everything chilled and fresh so it’s ready to devour.
- Plan to eat fresh and healthy foods like this Crab Salad for an easy-to-make option.
- Create a dip nearly everyone can enjoy. Seafood can be added to almost any dip, and can be enjoyed with fresh, crunchy vegetables.
- Jars can be a lifesaver when packing a picnic. Tape utensils to the sides of the jars for easy access.
- Don’t bring phones, tablets or any other device that can distract from family time. This is a time to relax and socialize with one another.
- Try taping a thermometer inside of a bag or cooler to ensure the food is at safe, cool temperatures.
- Place a small cutting board and knife in a cooler, which can come in handy for chopping up fruits and vegetables when it’s time to chow down.
For more seafood recipes and meal inspiration, visit www.seafoodnutrition.org or follow the #EatSeafoodAmerica campaign on social media.
For a fun Mediterranean-take on cowboy caviar, use a mix of canned and fresh veggies to top this delicious seared salmon.
Recipe courtesy of Annessa Chumbley
- 4 – 6 salmon filets about 1-inch thick
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- Sea salt
- 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 can quartered or chopped artichoke hearts, drained
- 1 cup diced cucumber
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, diced
- 1/3 cup diced red onion
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
- Handful of fresh spinach, chopped
- Drizzle balsamic glaze
1. In a skillet over medium high heat, add olive oil. Lay down each salmon fillet and let sear for 4 minutes. Sprinkle the top of each salmon fillet with a little sea salt. Flip and cook four minutes more, until just barely done. (Be careful not to overcook!) Remove to a serving platter.
2. In a medium bowl, make salsa by gently folding together all ingredients: chickpeas, artichoke hearts, cucumber, tomatoes, red onion, feta, and spinach. Sprinkle with a little salt. Drizzle with balsamic glaze and spoon salsa over each salmon filet. Refrigerate any leftover salsa.
3. Serve and enjoy!