Family Picnics: Enjoy Dining in the Great Outdoors!
It's the best time of year for family picnics and enjoying your meals outdoors. Simple picnic menus planned with food safety in mind will make your family outing healthy and enjoyable. Flavorful marinated chicken along with grilled potatoes and classic broccoli salad make a satisfying meal that's easy to prepare, pack and clean up. Follow our BBQ food safety guidelines below to serve your family a healthy and safe picnic.
Italian Marinated Grilled Chicken
So simple, but oh so flavorful and juicy! Enjoy this easy grilled chicken at your next family picnic or marinate the night before for a quick next day meal.
4 (4 oz.) Meijer boneless, skinless chicken breasts (thaw if frozen) - $2.83
1 cup Meijer light Italian salad dressing - $0.60
1 small onion, quartered - $0.30
Meijer non-stick cooking spray – on hand
1. Place chicken breasts in zipper-lock bag. Add dressing and onion seal and refrigerate to marinate 4 hours or overnight.
2. Spray grill with Meijer non-stick cooking spray. Pre-heat grill to medium-high heat.
3. Remove chicken from bag and grill chicken, turning once or twice, about 15 minutes or until done (when internal temperature reaches 165 degrees and meat is no longer pink). Discard bag and marinade.
Nutrition Information (per serving): Calories 283, Fat 12.5g, Cholesterol 92mg, Sodium 496 mg, Carbohydrate 5g, Fiber 0.5g, Protein 34g.
1 ½ pounds Green Giant* red potatoes, quartered (or small new potatoes) - $1.50
*Green Giant brand red potatoes, Produce for Kids (PFK) sponsor. A portion of sales from each PFK sponsor product benefits Children's Miracle Network Hospitals in your area.
1/2 cup water
Meijer Olive Oil non-stick cooking spray – on hand
½ tsp. McCormick dried Rosemary (or Herbes de Provence blend) or 1 tsp. chopped fresh herbs of choice – on hand
Salt and Pepper to Taste – on hand
4 wooden skewers, soaked in water for 30 minutes – $0.24
1. Place potatoes and water in a microwave safe bowl. Cook potatoes in microwave on high until just tender, about 10 minutes, stirring half-way through. Drain potatoes and allow to cool enough to handle.
2. Spray grill grates with non-stick cooking spray. Pre-heat grill to medium high heat.
3. String potatoes on skewers (leaving small gaps between potatoes)
4. Coat potatoes with non-stick cooking spray and season with herbs, salt and pepper.
5. Grill, covered, for 6 to 8 minutes, turning half-way through. Remove potatoes from skewers and serve hot.
Nutrition Information (per serving): Calories 105, Fat 1g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 124mg, Carbohydrate 22g, Fiber 3g, Protein 2g.
Classic Broccoli Salad
4 cups broccoli florets - $1.75
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion - $0.28
1/4 cup Meijer raisins - $0.22
1/4 cup sunflower seeds - $0.39
1/2 cup thinly sliced celery - $0.19
1/2 cup green grapes, halved - $0.23
1/4 cup Meijer light mayonnaise – on hand
1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar (or cider vinegar) – on hand
1. Place broccoli in a medium microwave safe bowl with 1/2 cup water. Microwave on high for 1 to 2 minutes, until just crisp-tender. Rinse immediately under cold running water.
2. Dice larger broccoli florets into bite size pieces.
3. In a large mixing bowl combine all ingredients and mix gently until well blended.
4. Season with salt and pepper if desired.
Nutrition Information (per serving): Calories 134, Fat 5.5g, Cholesterol 3mg, Sodium 122mg, Carbohydrate 20g, Fiber 3.5g, Protein 4g.
Total Meal Cost for family of four: $8.63
BBQ Food Safety Guidelines:
Keep It Clean
Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before and after handling food. If you're eating where there's no source of clean water, bring water, soap, and paper towels or have disposable wipes or hand sanitizer available. Sanitizing wipes are a must for cleaning surfaces and can also help to keep hands clean.
Marinate food in the refrigerator
Don't marinate on the counter—marinate in the refrigerator. If you want to use marinade as a sauce on cooked food, reserve a separate portion and place aside in the refrigerator. Do not reuse marinade that contacted raw meat, poultry, or seafood on cooked food unless you bring boil it for 1-3 minutes first.
Keep raw food separate
Keep raw meat, poultry, and seafood in a separate cooler or securely wrapped at the bottom of a cooler so their juices won't contaminate already prepared foods or raw produce. Don't use a plate or utensils that previously held raw meat, poultry, or seafood for anything else unless you wash them first in hot, soapy water. Have a clean platter and utensils ready at grill-side for serving.
Cook food thoroughly
Use a food thermometer to make sure food is cooked thoroughly to destroy harmful bacteria. Partial precooking in the microwave oven or on the stove is a good way to reduce grilling time—just make sure the food goes immediately on the preheated grill to finish cooking.
Safe Food Temperatures: Use a meat thermometer to check for doneness. Your food is safely cooked when temperatures reach the following for:
Steaks and roasts 145°F
Ground beef 160°F
Egg dishes 160°F
Chicken breasts 165°F
Whole poultry 165°F
Shrimp, lobster, and crabs cook until pearly and opaque
Clams, oysters, and mussels cook until the shells are open
Keep hot food hot and cold food cold
Keep hot food at 140° F or above until served. Keep cooked meats hot by setting them to the side of the grill, or wrap well and place in an insulated container.
Keep cold food at 40° F or below until served. Keep cold perishable food in a cooler until serving time.
• Keep coolers out of direct sun and avoid opening the lid often.
• Pack raw meats, poultry, or seafood on the bottom of the cooler. This will reduce the risk of them dripping on other foods. Pack coolers until they are full. A full cooler will stay cold longer than one that is partially full.
If you plan on getting takeout foods such as fried chicken, Eat them within an hour of pick up.
Do not partially grill extra meat or poultry to use later. Once you begin, cook until completely done to assure bacteria are destroyed. Grill raw poultry until the juices run clear and there is no pink. Hamburger should not be pink in the center.
Cold foods can be placed directly on ice or in a shallow container set in a pan of ice. Drain off water as ice melts and replace ice frequently.
Don't let hot or cold perishables sit out for longer than two hours, or one hour if the outdoor temperature is above 90° F. When reheating fully cooked meats, grill to 165° F or until steaming hot.
Transport food in the passenger compartment of the car where it's cooler—not in the trunk.
Do not allow your cooler to sit in direct sunlight.
Put these items on your list - Tools for a safe barbecue:
•Several coolers: one for beverages (which will be opened frequently), one for raw meats, poultry, and seafood, and another for cooked foods and raw produce
•Ice or frozen gel packs for coolers
•Jug of water, soap, and paper towels for washing hands
•Enough plates and utensils to keep raw and cooked foods separate
•Foil or other wrap for leftovers