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May 14, 2019
5 Recipes for Eating Outdoors

5 Recipes for Eating Outdoors

The Hood Answer Mom, Elizabeth M. Ward, M.S., R.D.

After a rainy spring, it’s finally time to get outdoors and start enjoying the warmer weather with picnics, parties, and barbeques! For me, dining outside is all about the side dishes. Most cooks have their favorites, but I like to mix it up. Instead of serving the same sides at every get-together, why not give some of our favorite recipes a try?  

I can’t stop craving Taco Salad with Creamy Chipotle Dressing – maybe because it’s packed with fresh tomatoes, red bell pepper, avocado, black beans. and corn. The dressing, made with Hood Sour Cream, supplies just the right touch of spicy warmth. Snack chips add extra crunch and flavor to this salad. Your guests will devour it! 

Greek Pasta Salad is my go-to grain dish when cooking for a crowd. Artichokes, black olives, and fresh herbs in this salad make me think of the Mediterranean! Hood Cottage Cheese stands in for half the feta cheese in this recipe, and, along with garbanzo beans, boosts protein levels. Vegetarians can enjoy this salad as an entrée, so there’s no need to make a separate meal for guests who avoid meat.   

Nothing says warm weather like cucumbers! Cucumber Radish Salad is an out-of-the-box duo of two of crunchiest vegetables ever. It takes just 10 minutes to toss sliced cucumbers and radishes with a dill sour cream dressing. It’s not your typical salad, but it’s a lot of fun! 

Fresh basil, dill, chives, and mint infuse Broccoli Salad with layers of flavor that will leave you wanting more of this broccoli, bell pepper, and celery combination. Quick time-saving tip: Blanch the broccoli ahead of time and assemble the salad when ready to serve.  

Is an outdoor gathering with friends and family even a party without potato salad? Not in my book! Cool & Creamy Red Potato Salad offers a few simple twists on the classic potato side dish. The potatoes are dressed with sour cream, and the flavor is amped up with diced red onion, chives, and drumroll please…bacon bits! 


Elizabeth M. Ward

Elizabeth M. Ward

Elizabeth M. Ward, M.S., R.D., is a writer, nutrition consultant, and mother of three. She is the author of several books, including MyPlate for Moms, How to Feed Yourself & Your Family Better and Expect the Best, Your Guide to Healthy Eating Before, During, & After Pregnancy . Ward is also a contributing writer for Muscle & Fitness Hers and Men's Fitness magazines.

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