How To Pack The Perfect Beach Lunch

I always wonder why some people feel the need to clap when their plane touches down at the airport. This happened on my plane yesterday. I wanted to turn around and ask the clappers, “What exactly did you expect would happen?” Because, really, landing is the only acceptable finale to a flight, right? Does it really deserve applause?

But anyway, I landed in California yesterday, to the sound of applause. I ran away from the nasty storms on the east coast and was greeted with 70 degrees and sun.

I love California.

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So, I thought it only appropriate today to share with you all how to pack a perfect beach lunch. 

(If you live somewhere either cold or landlocked, I apologize. Feel free to stop reading.)

The key to a good beach lunch is, obviously, finger food. That’s kind of a given. But you also want a nice mix of protein, fruit, and veggies, with maybe a little cheese thrown in for fun. (And because life without cheese really isn’t a life at all, in my honest opinion.) Trust me, a beach bag full of snacks does NOT have to be a couple of bags of chips and a PB&J. It can be, if that’s what you like, but with all the good food in the world, why not go for broke?

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My personal favorite beach protein is chicken. The Man usually throws on a picnic pack of thighs and drumsticks on the grill, seasons it will all kinds of spice and goodness, and voila! 

Chicken is the perfect beach protein. Just remember to bring some wet wipes.

Once you have that out of the way, you can move on to your sides. Chopped veggies are always a good idea – celery, carrots, zucchini sticks, my personal favorite snap peas…as well as some fruit. Some easy (and no mess) fruit ideas are apple slices, red pears, or…DONUT PEACHES!

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Apparently Trader Joe’s calls them Saturn Peaches, and I guess they do sort of look like little Saturns, maybe, but I grew up calling these adorable little things Donut Peaches. They both work, really. 

I have been known to eat these by the bagful. When they are in season, they are my favorite fruit. They pack well, you can scarf one down in two minutes flat, they are super sweet, and while juicy; they aren’t actually all that messy. Perfect!

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Once you have some varied fruits and veggies, you can call it a day — or, if you’re feeling frisky, you can add some extra snacks to round out your basket. Yesterday The Man and I sliced up some sopressata salami with some grass fed cheddar and smoked mozzarella.

Your beach picnic just turned into a party.

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And, to top it all off, (and if your beach allows it)…add some refreshing beverages!

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Now you are ready for a day at the beach!

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Some other beach picnic add-ons we love:

– prosciutto wrapped melon chunks

– roast beef and spicy mustard roll-ups

– raw marcona almonds with rosemary and sea salt (or any raw nuts really)

– hard boiled eggs

The possibilities are endless! 

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Just don’t forget the sunscreen!

 

 

 

Cooking – California Style!

Greetings from California!

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So, when cooking with The Man, things usually revolve around the grill. I’m not complaining, because I happen to love anything cooked on a grill…but as I’ve said before, I won’t use a grill by myself. You say lazy, I say…lazy. Great, so we agree!

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I do have to say that I wouldn’t have considered making breakfast on the grill, but I was very pleasantly surprised. We had some steaks thawed that we needed to eat, and what goes better together than steak and eggs? We also had an abundance of sweet potatoes, so we whipped up a batch of sweet potato hash to go with.

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Super easy and way filling! We ate this around 1000, and didn’t need a true “lunch” — instead, we packed a picnic of fruit, veggies, hard boiled eggs, and roast beef slices and took it to the beach. I have no pics, because I was more interested in eating and sunning that taking pictures 🙂

Dinner was a little more elaborate – and actually did NOT involve the grill! Shocker, huh?

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We’re still working on the whole food photography thing.

Anyway – I pan fried some salmon and kept it incredibly simple – cooked in coconut oil and seasoned with just salt and pepper. I can’t tell you how long it’s been since I cooked salmon with so few spices. And can I tell you? It was delicious! Sometimes it’s the simplest things that taste the best.

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The Man made scallops, and we roasted some butternut squash and asparagus on the side. As I’ve said before, you can’t go wrong with roasted veggies as a side.

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But the best thing about tonight’s dinner?

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We made homemade mayo/aioli again! This time we added garlic and just a bit of dijon mustard to give it a kick – which was a beautiful complement to the simplicity of the salmon and the vegetables. And it turned out even BETTER than the last time – I think a blender works better than a food processor, just in case you try to make your own. It was deliciously creamy and had the perfect mayo consistency.

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And the other best part? Another Whole 30 approved meal (two, if you count breakfast), from me to you! Happy Sunday, all! I hope you enjoyed your weekend!