Did you know that August 31st is National Eat Outdoors Day? This annual event celebrates the end of summer vacation with a day of outdoor dining.

Take your breakfast out to the balcony. Bring a bag lunch to the park, trail or playground. Have a cookout, picnic or BBQ with family and friends. Food might just be the hook you need to coax others outdoors and onto the trails. Plus, eating outdoors is just fun!

This is a place to share recipes and ideas for National Eat Outdoors Day.

Are you getting outside, even for a little bit? What are you bringing or making? Do you have any tips for outdoor cooking or food that travels particularly well? Let us know!

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My students will eat outdoors that day!

Great idea. We are also hosting a Natural Families event that day for KIVA in our favorite local park!
Hi Chip! That's great! It makes complete sense to combine teaching activities with Eat Outdoors Day. Let us know how it goes! Also great that the KIVA families are getting out, too, and that your event will coincide with the Eat Outdoors festivities.
We have planned a great outdoors teddy bear picnic lunch--right hree at Holmdel Preschool
Simple foods and sun tea!
Hi Debbie! That sounds perfect. I love making sun tea and having simple foods outdoors with children. The picnic lunch sounds like something you'll all enjoy.
Yes! It's the end of summer and we'll be dining outdoors on August 31st... and the 29th and 30th too.

Here's where I get my inspiration for outdoor feasts: One of my very favorite cook books is one I picked up at a yard sale. It's called "Picnics and portable feasts." This book has inspired many a outdoor meals in our family.

Here is one of my favorites:

Wild Rice Salad

1 2/3 Cup Wild Rice
3 cups boiling salt water
4 cloves Garlic
1/2 Cup virgin Olive Oil
1 bunch Scallions
1 handful wild green like corn salad, dandelion greens, or watercress
1 oz. fresh herbs, e.g. parseley, mint, basil, chives, chervil, or a mix
(I add fresh corn too if it's in season.)

Cook rice:This book recommends pre-soaking the rice for 2 hrs, rinsing it in cold water, covering it in 3 cups boiling salt water and bringing it back to a boil for 45 -55 minutes. Grains should have a give to them when pressed and some may have popped open and "butterflied" into a double curve shape. Do not under cook.

Drain the cooked rice. combine the garlic and the vinaigrette. Stir this well into the rice. Cool slightly. Pack into a snap top-bowl, or use a bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Put the prepared scallions and salad greens and herbs (and corn) into another snap top bowl or airtight container -- such as a plastic bag puffed up and tied off to keep greens crisp.

To present: Toss everything together, leaving some of the herbs on top as garnish. Serve.

Variation:
Add 4 hard-boiled eggs, shelled and halved lengthwise, to top this salad and make it into a full main dish, which can be served on it's own. Follow it with crusty rolls, some superb raw fruit and some Brie or Camembert for a perfect, easy portable feast. Delicious!

If you want to find a used copy online, here's the full title, author, publisher.
"Picnics and portable feasts" by Clare Ferguson (2001 Laurel Glen)
Now out of print but available used through Alibris.
I am asking my students to eat one meal outside next Tuesday and upload a picture for extra credit.
Hi Doug! That's a great idea. I look forward to seeing the pictures.

Thanks for posting the recipe, Amy! That sounds delicious and easy. You're inspiring me to dig up a good outdoor recipe. Anyone else have one they want to share?
Hi Suz

Just blogged about the joy of picking your own fruit. We're harvesting our peaches and making Jamie Oliver's awesome Grilled Peach Salad. Here's my blog post: http://www.marghanita.com/eating-outdoors-fresh-from-the-garden/
Growing your own fruit and vegetables is such a wonderful way to connect kids with anture.
We'll be eating lot's of delicious Peach recipes on National Eat Outdoors Day!!
Didn't know, but Eat Outdoors Day has to be the best day ever! Any excuse to be outside, but then we get edibles too... My co-workers don't know it yet, but we're having a sack lunch picnic to celebrate. I know just which blanket to bring! Thanks, Suz!
Hi Marghanita! That grilled peach salad looks perfect for an outdoor day. Thank you for posting it. Hi Cheryl (and welcome to the forum!) I'm thrilled that you'll be getting yourself and your co-workers outside to enjoy Eat Outdoors Day. Any excuse is a good one, right? Enjoy. And let us know how it went.
My good friend Cyndi, an outdoor enthusiast and an excellent cook, sent along this recipe. It looks wonderful -- easy and portable -- for Eat Outdoors Day:

Black Bean and Barley Salad

2 cans black beans (drained)
2 cups cooked barley (2/3 cups dry)
1 ½ cups cooked corn (2 cobs)
1 bunch scallion
1 large green pepper
3-5 cloves of garlic
½ TBSP olive oil
1/3 cup lemon juice
¼ cup chopped parsley
½ cup chopped cilantro
1 tsp salt

Combine and refrigerate.

(You may want to add a touch more olive oil and lemon juice if it sits overnight.)

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