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GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. - When the sun is shining and temperatures are climbing this spring, most of us enjoy a day outdoors.

Kirsten Shabaz, Fresh Foods Educator at Valley Natural Foods in Burnsville, showed us how to pack the perfect goodies for a picnic in the park, and pointing out the freshest, local vegetables we can find right now to line our picnic baskets.


Chicken & Sun-Dried Tomato Panini

Ingredients

2 Tbsp. butter

1 small red onion, sliced

6 pretzel buns, sliced

½ C. sun dried tomato spread

12 slices provolone cheese

1 lb. oven roasted deli chicken slices

2 C. arugula

Directions

1. Melt butter in large skillet over medium high heat, add sliced red onion and cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onions are caramelized then set aside.

2. Spread some sun dried tomatoes on the bottom of the pretzel bun.

3. Add a slice of provolone cheese, two or three slices of chicken deli meat and some arugula.

4. Top arugula with another piece of provolone cheese and spread some sun dried tomatoes on the top of the cheese.

5. Place top of bun on the sandwich and place into Panini press and cook until cheese is melted.


Tomato, Broccoli and Bean Salad

Ingredients

½ C. olive oil

1/3 C. fresh squeezed lemon juice

1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard

½ tsp. salt

¼ tsp. pepper

¼ tsp. oregano

¼ tsp. red pepper flakes

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 (15 oz.) cans Cannelini beans, rinsed & drained

4 tomatoes, seeded & diced

2 lb. broccoli florets

½ C. grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

1. In a large bowl whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, salt, pepper, oregano, red pepper flakes and minced garlic.

2. Add the beans, tomatoes, broccoli and Parmesan cheese, toss to coat well.

3. Refrigerate for 1 hour to blend flavors, toss again before serving.


Curried Potato Salad

Ingredients

3 lb. red potatoes, cleaned & diced

1 (15 oz.) can garbanzo beans, drained & rinsed

10 oz. bag frozen green peas

1 C. plain Greek yogurt

1 C. mayonnaise

1/2 tsp. ground ginger

1 - 1 1/2 tsp. curry powder

1 Serrano chili, seeds removed & minced

1/2 C. diced celery

2 Tbsp. fresh minced cilantro

Salt & Pepper to taste

Directions

1. In a large pot of boiling water cook diced potatoes for 8-10 minutes or until potatoes are just about fork tender, but not overcooked.

2. Add the garbanzo beans and peas and boil an additional 4 minutes.

3. Drain vegetables, pour into a large bowl and cool for 10 minutes.

4. Place bowl with vegetables in refrigerator to cool completely.

5. Meanwhile, in a small bowl mix together the Greek yogurt, mayonnaise, ground ginger, curry powder and Serrano chili.

6. Add dressing, celery and cilantro to the bowl of cooled vegetables, gently stir to coat, being careful not to break apart the potatoes.

7. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

8. Refrigerate for at least an hour for flavors to blend, serve cold.


Almond Coconut Bark

Ingredients

1 C. almond butter

1 C. coconut oil

¾ C. carob powder

2 - 3 Tbsp. coconut palm sugar or honey

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1/3 C. chia seeds

3/4 C. raw almonds, chopped

1 C. coconut flakes

Directions

1. In a large pot over low heat, melt and stir together the almond butter and coconut oil.

2. Once melted whisk in the carob powder and honey until well combined.

3. Turn off the heat and stir in the vanilla, chia seeds, chopped almonds and coconut flakes.

4. Pour into a jelly roll pan, place in the freezer & once frozen, cut or break into serving sized pieces.

VARIATION: Dried cherries, dried blueberries, dried pineapple, dried bananas or other dried fruit can be stirred into the mixture prior to freezing.

Valley Natural Foods

Community-owned co-op, where everyone is welcome to shop and enjoy the community activities

13750 Co. Rd. 11

Burnsville, MN 55337

(952)891-1212

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