Monday, August 11, 2008

Canoe Picnic Menu

My parents, Joe, and I signed up to go on a canoe trip through my parents' church that occurred this past Saturday. We met in Kingston Springs, TN (after breakfast at Loveless Cafe) to canoe down the Harpeth River. Being the cook in the family, I was assigned the task of coming up with a picnic lunch that hopefully would not end up at the bottom of the river after a tipped canoe. Sandwiches would've been easy, but I wanted to do something a little different, so I made two salads. We also brought fruit salad, a loaf of French bread that I made in the breadmaker, smoked gouda, smoked turkey, and the last of the oatmeal raisin cookies.

These were the leftovers.

Tuscan Couscous Salad (from Bridget at The Way the Cookie Crumbles)

1 ½ cups couscous
½ teaspoon turmeric
2 cups boiling water
½ cup pine nuts
1 (15-ounce) can small white beans such as navy or Great Northern, rinsed well and drained
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
¾ cup shredded fresh basil
1 small red onion, slivered

The dressing:
3 garlic cloves, unpeeled
⅓ cup lemon juice
½ teaspoon salt
Generous seasoning freshly ground pepper
3 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1. Place the couscous and turmeric in a large bowl and mix. Pour on the boiling water, stir, and immediately cover the bowl with a large plate. Let sit for 10 minutes. Remove the cover and fluff the couscous with a fork. Let cool.

2. Place the pine nuts and unpeeled garlic cloves in a small skillet and toast over medium heat, tossing often, until golden, about 5 minutes. Watch them carefully because they can easily burn. Let the pine nuts cool, then mix them into the couscous along with the beans, tomatoes, basil, and red onion.

3. Mince the garlic. Place the dressing ingredients in a jar with a tight-fitting lid and shake vigorously. Pour over the couscous mixture and toss well. Let marinate at least 30 minutes before serving. Cover and chill if longer than 30 minutes. Serve at room temperature.

Notes: This makes a lot of salad. We'll be eating leftovers for a while, not that I mind at all.

Corn and Black Bean Salad (adapted from Allrecipes)

  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder (less if you don't like it quite as spicy as we do)
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (8.75 ounce) can sweet corn, drained
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped

In a small bowl, mix together balsamic vinegar, oil, salt, sugar, black pepper, cumin, and chili powder.

In a medium bowl, stir together black beans, corn, and bell pepper. Toss with vinegar and oil dressing, and garnish with cilantro. Cover, and refrigerate overnight.

Notes: This would also be good with some chopped red onion.

Overall, the picnic was a big hit!


Joelen said...

Mmm - both the salads look great. I've made the corn & black bean one I think (they have a few different ones on AllRecipes).

Jennifer said...

How'd that canoeing go after starting your push-up challenge?

Anonymous said... your parents go to St. Paul's in Franklin by any chance?