While some might beg to differ, May is the most beautiful time of the year in our book. With breezy temperatures, blooming trees, and longer days of sunlight, it’s the perfect time to enjoy a meal outdoors with the ones you love. To celebrate that notion, we’ve loosely themed this week’s menu plan around all your picnic favorites reimagined. We’re giving the picnic staples like chicken skewers, pasta salad, and strawberry shortcakes an elevated makeover, and we’re also including a grown-up lemonade with a minty bourbon twist.
We’ve created dozens of menu plans over the past year, but this one might be our best yet.
The minute the weather becomes consistently warm, we’re all about utilizing the grill. Particularly when that involves meals requiring minimal prep or planning. Luckily, we came across these flavorful chicken skewers that have “easy spring meal” written all over them. While you will want to marinate the chicken beforehand, the rest comes together in less than 30 minutes. Top with a homemade lemon and herb vinaigrette for the finishing touch.
Whether you’re fully committed to a vegan diet or just trying to eat less meat, these quinoa burgers should be on your weekly meal rotation. Using a combo of quinoa, vegan cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, flax eggs, and spices, they’re easy to make and pack a flavor punch. We know store-bought Beyond Burgers are all the rage at the moment, but hear us out. This homemade version is so tasty with simple ingredients you can actually pronounce.
It wouldn’t be a picnic without pasta salad, but that doesn’t mean heavy mayonnaise has to be involved. Instead, we’re turning to this pasta dish made with tortellini, cherry tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, and tons of fresh basil. You’ll dress your dish with some high-quality olive oil and vinegar and finish with a balsamic glaze if you feel so inclined. Serve it as a meatless main or as a crowd-pleasing side.
We promised you a menu of elevated picnic classics, and this recipe is exactly that. You’ll start by roasting your fingerling potatoes and boiling your haricot vert (aka, thin French green beans) until tender. Next, you’ll make a saffron aioli using ground saffron, lemon juice, garlic and egg yolks. Toss your veggies and aioli together, top with some fresh dil, and enjoy.
We’ve never met a panzanella we didn’t love, and this version is no exception. It was loosely inspired by an East African breakfast staple known as Kitcha Fit Fit, but Dani of Sweet & Sorrel is bringing her own twist. You’ll begin by grilling your baguette pieces for a few minutes to achieve that crispy, golden perfection. From there, you’ll toss with fresh corn, tomatoes, basil, olive oil, and one key ingredient—berbere (an Ethiopian spice blend) for the ultimate flavor kick.
We made these strawberry shortcakes over Mother’s Day weekend, all we could say is WOW. Instead of the typical spongy shortcakes, you’ll be making flaky, scone-like biscuits that taste incredible all on their own. From there, you’ll slice up up the freshest strawberries you can get your hands on and toss with sugar and lemon zest for extra flavor. The finishing touch? A honey whipped cream to spoon over your shortcakes with generous proportions.
Lemonade is a picnic must, but this one is for the grown-ups. It’s a tart-sweet cocktail made with the simplest ingredients for a drink that can easily be batched up and served to a crowd. You’ll need lemons, fresh mint, bourbon, sugar, water (flat and sparkling), along with plenty of ice. There’s a bit of prep work involved to make your lemon simple syrup, but the payoff is so worth it.
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