Pesto & Picnics
Summertime is just around the corner, and with summer comes sunshine and picnics… Lots of picnics with my crew! Picnics don’t have to just mean cold cuts. Keep your entire family excited about outside play and quality time together, by bringing along a dish that delights! Try my Grilled Chicken Pesto Pasta for a dish that is more than just a side, easy to prepare and will have the whole family asking for seconds! Be sure to invite a few friends along too! Entertaining friends and family outside of the dining room is a great way to make meals fun and turn lunch or dinner into something everyone will look forward to!
- 2-3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1 box (16 oz) farfalle pasta, or other pasta of choice
- 1 cup basil pesto (use your favorite recipe or purchase a quality store bought jar)
- 1 ½ cups cherry, grape or san marzano tomatoes (I used heavenly villagio marzano tomatoes from @village_farms)
- 1/4 cup fresh basil
- 1/4 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
- Prep your produce. Wash tomatoes, then slice in half and set aside. Next, cut basil into thin strips and set aside.
- Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper on both sides, then grill until completely cooked through. Remove chicken from grill and allow to cool some on a cutting board. Then, slice into strips and set aside.
- Boil pasta until al dente. Rinse and drain pasta once cooked, and set aside.
- In a large bowl, mix together the pasta, chicken strips and pesto. Mix until well-combined and then place in your refrigerator until chilled (or until you are ready to eat).
- Just before packing your bowl up to take outside (or if you are serving it at home, just before serving), stir in your tomatoes and basil. Top with grated Parmesan and viola!
* This dish is delicious & kid-friendly. It screams summer and is perfect for packing up and taking on the go!
Last week, for our first picnic of the season, I made up a double batch of my Grilled Chicken Pesto Pasta (some for the picnic, and some for leftovers!). We also took along some raw veggies, cut up watermelon sticks and a couple of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches mainly because I wasn’t sure if our youngest would like the pasta (it was his first time trying it)… The verdict: He LOVED it, and so did everyone else. Some other fun items we took along: Nod Bingo, Rainbow Playground Ball, Organic Cloth Napkins, and of course our Gathre All Purpose Mat for laying everything out on/ sitting on; it is the perfect gathering place!
We had so much fun and are so excited for more nice weather headed our way! Quick tip: when it comes to mealtimes and little ones, presenting real food in fun ways can often make meals more of a success! So, make up a healthy meal, grab a mat and a few games and head outside with your little ones! Summer is the perfect time for picnics, making meals fun and spending quality time with the ones you love the most!
Post by Lunches + Littles
Lunches + Littles focuses on quick, healthy and fun meal options for little ones while sharing practical tips & tricks on how to make meals enjoyable, all the while keeping things simple. A lover of colorful plates, and an advocate for getting kids in the kitchen, Lunches + Littles is also a great resource for parents of picky eaters, parents looking for healthy family and toddler recipes and those mamas (dads too!) who are short on time. A mantra of sorts: Making meals fun doesn’t have to be hard! With 3 little ones (3 and under) it can’t be! Follow @lunchesandlittles for all of the above… And more!