Friday, 01 May 2015

Perfect Picnic Recipes

With the weather getting warmer it's time for picnics. Here are some perfect picnic recipes

Streamline's healthier homemade Victoria sponge (pictured above)

When you want to make healthy changes, you don't always want to cut out the things you love. Here the British classic Victoria Sponge is given a healthy twist. Made with rapeseed oil and yoghurt to keep it moist, the lighter sponge is spread with Streamline strawberry jam. Now you can have your cake and eat it!

Serves: 8
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes

You'll need
200g self-raising flour
2 tsp baking powder
140g golden caster sugar
2 large eggs
175g Total Greek Yogurt
2-3 drops vanilla extract
25g unsalted butter, melted
1 tbsp semi-skimmed milk
2 tbsp rapeseed oil
5 tbsp Streamline Strawberry Jam
fresh strawberries to decorate

What to do
Preheat your oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4.

Lightly oil 2 x 18cm sandwich cake tins with a little rapeseed oil and line the bottom with greaseproof paper. Tip the flour, baking powder and sugar into a mixing bowl and combine. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs, add the yogurt, vanilla, melted butter, milk and oil and stir until smooth. Tip this into the dry mixture and gently fold with a large metal spoon until well combined.

Divide the mixture between the tins and level the tops. Bake for 20 minutes until the cakes have risen and spring back when you gently press the top.

Let the cakes cool for a few minutes in the tins, then turn them out, remove the greaseproof paper and leave to cool on a cooling rack until completely cold.

Upturn one of the cakes onto a serving plate and spread the Streamline Strawberry Jam over. Gently place the other cake on top and decorate with slices of fresh strawberries.

The Ultimate On-the-Go Snack: Chicken, Watercress and Mozzarella Wrap

Lower in gluten content than other snack options, this wrap won't cause a big energy high only to crash later. The combination of ingredients is high in protein, antioxidants and flavour! The watercress gives a big iron hit alongside the spinach, red onion is great for cardiovascular health and a little chilli gives the digestive system a boost. Leave the mozzarella out for a dairy-free alternative or replace with goat's cheese.


Serves: 2
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 5 minutes

You'll need
1 tbsp olive oil
1 chicken breast, cut into small chunks and
Seasoned with salt and pepper
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 small handful of grated hard mozzarella
2 large flour tortillas (we used seeded ones)
1 red or yellow pepper, sliced
1 red onion, finely sliced
½ tsp chilli flakes
15 pitted olives, black or green, quartered
1 handful watercress
1 handful of spinach
Few torn basil leaves

For the dressing
1 tbsp honey and 1 tbsp wholegrain mustard, mixed
Salad (to serve)

What to do
Prepare and cut the chicken into small chunks. Then, in a frying pan, heat the olive oil and fry the seasoned chicken over a high heat for approximately 4 minutes until browned on all sides and cooked through.

Turn the heat down to medium and add the garlic so it softens but doesn't burn.

Put a thin layer of the grated mozzarella on the tortillas, then spoon the other ingredients (cooked and raw) out evenly on top.

Finally, drizzle the dressing over the filling, roll it all up, tucking in the sides like a burrito and cook it in a dry, medium-hot frying pan for 2-3 minutes each side, using another pan to weigh it down.

Slice in half and serve with salad. The cheesy filling should be all gooey and have a spicy kick!

Watercress and Garlic Dip with King Prawns

Serves: 4
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes


You'll need

1 tbsp olive oil
1 shallot, chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 potato, peeled and chopped
100ml dry white wine
1 pinch of chilli flakes
170g watercress
squeeze of lemon juice
4 tbsp half fat créme fraiche
King prawns, barbecued
wedges of lemon to serve

What to do
Heat the oil in a frying pan add the shallot and sauté over a gentle heat for 5 minutes.

Add the garlic, potato, wine and chilli, cover and simmer for 10 minutes or until the potato is tender.

Add the watercress and cook, stirring for 4 minutes until the leaves have wilted. Cool.

Add the créme fraiche, then transfer to a food processor and blitz until just smooth. Season to taste. Spoon the dip into a bowl ready to serve with the prawns.

Cook the prawns on a barbeque or griddle for 3-4 minutes on each side until they turn pink. Place on to the plate while still sizzling hot.

The dip can be served with barbecued fish and meat or for a vegetarian option with roasted vegetables and warm pitta bread.

British Asparagus Cigars

This is a great little snack for parties, so simple, a winning little time saver, double or triple the recipe as they disappear quickly.


Cooking time: 20 minutes
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Serves: 16 sharing

You'll need
2 bundles of British asparagus
4 sheets of ready-made filo pastry
50g butter melted
2 handfuls of finely grated parmesan
Black pepper

What to do
Pre-heat the oven to 190°c

Cook the asparagus in well salted water, cooking it for only 1 - 2 minutes once it has come back to the boil.

Drain and cool the asparagus in cold water then drain again, making sure it's thoroughly dry with a tea towel.

Cut the asparagus 2/3 of the way down, either discarding the lower stem or saving it for a soup, such as pea and asparagus & sorrel.

Take one sheet of filo pastry and brush it lightly but thoroughly all over with butter. Cut each piece into four. Place each asparagus spear along the bottom of your filo piece and roll snugly but not over tightly.

Picking it up with your fingers brush the outside with butter again, then scatter the grated parmesan thoroughly over the top of each cigar.

Lay them down on a tray lined with greaseproof paper with the outside edge of the filo facing down on the paper, this stops them unravelling when they cook.

Once done grind over with a heavy bombardment of black pepper.

Place in the oven for 15- 18 minutes until deep golden and crispy.

Lime Zest Beetroot, Caerphilly & pecan salad with mixed leaves, lime & honey dressing

Ka-pow! This salad is full of zing. Whip up and enjoy as a light lunch Al Fresco on a sunny day.


Serves: 2
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: less than 5 minutes

You'll need

for the dressing
juice 1 lime
1 tsp wholegrain mustard
1 tsp honey
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper

for the salad
80g bag wild rocket
180g lime zest beetroot, cut into wedges
100g Caerphilly cheese, crumbled
50g pecan nuts

What to do
In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the lime juice, mustard and honey. Drizzle in the olive oil, whisking as you go, until the dressing has emulsified. Season to taste with salt and pepper and set aside.

Divide the leaves between 2 plates, and scatter over the beetroot and Caerphilly cheese.

Add the pecans to a small frying pan and set over a medium heat. Toast for a couple of minutes until they smell lovely and nutty. Tip on to a board and roughly chop, then scatter over the salad.

Finally, give the dressing a final whisk and drizzle over the salad. Serve immediately.

Cook's tips: lime zest beetroot can be purchased from Waitrose during the summer, or choose a different flavour from the infused beetroot ready-to-eat range, which includes Spicy Sweet and Fiery Beetroot (Tesco Finest), Sweet Chilli Rosebud Beetroot (M&S), Red Wine Vinegar & Orange Blossom Honey Beetroot (M&S), Sweetfire® Beetroot Wedges (Waitrose), Juniper & Black Pepper in Red Wine Vinegar Baby Beetroot (Morrison's), Lime Zest Baby Beetroot (Waitrose) , Juniperberry & Black Pepper Cocktail, Beetroot (Sainsbury's Taste the Difference), Sweetflame Beetroot (Sainsbury's Taste the Difference), Honey & Ginger Baby Beetroot (Asda)

Sweet Eve Strawberry & British Asparagus Mini Quiches

This recipe is quick and easy - using bought puff pastry it's a twist on a classic quiche. Crème fraiche, eggs and pink peppercorns work together beautifully and the final result looks & tastes divine. Sometimes I like to make tiny individual tarts for picnics!


Serves: 6
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 35 minutes

You'll need
1 tbsp flour for dusting
250g ready roll puff pastry
1 whisked whole large egg, for glazing
75g asparagus tips
150g Sweet Eve strawberries, washed and halved
4 tbsp creme fraiche
2 large eggs, plus 1 extra yolk
10 crushed pink peppercorns
50g Parmigiano cheese, grated
salt & pepper

What to do
Preheat your oven to 200c and line a baking tray with baking paper.

On a floured surface, roll out the puff pastry and cut into 6 equal portions, pressing each into a shallow tart tray.

Prick the pastry all over inside the border, brush with whisked egg mixture and bake for 12-15 minutes then remove and push down the bases inside the borders and set aside.

In a bowl, mix the creme fraiche, eggs and yolk and the parmesan together, lightly season, then empty the filling onto the chilled pastry cases.

Arrange the asparagus tips and the strawberries over the mixture and using a pastry brush, cover the exposed pastry borders with the whisked egg mix and gently brush the asparagus and strawberries too. Sprinkle with the crushed peppercorns.

Bake for about 20 minutes until the pastry is golden brown and the filling is cooked.

Warm steak & O'live Bunched Beetroot sandwich with O'live Cos Lettuce

This tasty recipe uses ruby red organic beetroot with its earthy flavour and organic cos lettuce with its crispy bite to freshen up - and offer a more healthy take on - the traditional steak sandwich.


Serves: 2
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 45 minutes

You'll need

for the dressing
6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp honey
1 small clove garlic, crushed
salt & freshly ground black pepper

for the sandwich
a 2-3cm fat ribeye steak (approx 225g weight)
1 tbsp olive oil
a little sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
2-4 shallots, finely sliced (for a summer version, replace the shallots with a handful of peppery watercress leaves)
2 O'live Bunched Beetroot, boiled for 40 - 45 minutes and cut into slices
O'live Cos Lettuce, a few leaves
a ciabatta loaf, cut in half & sliced open

What to do
Firstly, make the dressing by putting everything in a small jar with a tight fitting lid. Shake well until thoroughly mixed and season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Heat the oil in a heavy based frying pan until smoking hot. Season the steak on both sides with a little salt and freshly ground black pepper. Lay the steak in the pan and fry, undisturbed, on one side for 2-3 minutes. Flip over and fry on the other side for a further 2-3 minutes. For a 2-3cm thick piece of meat these timings should give you a medium steak. Cook a little less for rare, a little more for well done. Remove the steak and allow to rest on a warm plate tightly covered in foil.

Add the shallots to the frying pan and fry for a few minutes over a medium high heat until softening and beginning to caramelise. Remove to a plate and keep warm.

Lay the ciabatta slices, cut side down, in the frying pan and toast lightly for a minute or two.

Place some torn lettuce leaves between 2 pieces of the ciabatta. Slice the steak into 1cm wide strips across the grain and arrange on top of the lettuce. Top with the sliced beetroot and fried onions. Finally drizzle over a little of the dressing and cover with the top of the ciabatta. Serve immediately.

Any leftover dressing with keep in the fridge for at least a week.

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