Picnic lunch ideas
Now that the weather is warming up, you’ll want to spend time outdoors with your family. Use these delicious recipes to pack the perfect picnic, or for lunch box ideas.

Couscous salad with roasted veg


  • 1 cup couscous
  • 2 cups Chicken stock (made with boiling water or heated to boiling)
  • 1 cup roasted vegetables in season (butternut, cherry tomatoes, courgettes, etc. drizzled with olive oil and roasted under a hot grill for about half an hour)
  • ¼ cup feta cheese, cut into cubes
  • small bunch of fresh herbs (such as parsley, mint & coriander leaves), chopped
  • zest & juice of half a lemon


  1. Place couscous in a medium-sized mixing bowl and add the chicken stock. Cover the bowl with cling film and let it stand for 15 minutes.
  2. Mix in the roasted vegetables, lemon zest & juice, feta and herbs and serve in a container with a tight fitting lid – or recycle old jam jars to serve salad in when you’re out and about.


You can adapt this recipe to be suitable for a 9 to 12 month-old baby, by using steamed, grated vegetables in the couscous salad instead of roasted veg. Or mash the roasted veg and mix with the couscous.

Honey glazed chicken wraps


  • 1 orange: juice & zest (or 125ml orange juice)
  • ¼ cup (60ml) olive oil
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 12 chicken thigh fillets
  • 1 baby cabbage, shredded
  • 1 carrot, peeled & grated
  • 4 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 8 small flour tortillas
  • small handful of raisins


  1. Put the orange juice & zest, olive oil, soy sauce, honey and garlic into a shaker or screwtop jar and mix well.
  2. Place the chicken thighs in a single layer on a roasting tin and pour the honey glaze over. Cover and marinade in the fridge for 1 hour (or overnight if you have the time).
  3. Preheat the oven to 220ºC. Remove the cling film from the roasting tin and turn the chicken fillets. Cook for 30-40 minutes, turning halfway through.
  4. Remove chicken from the roasting tin and leave to cool.
  5. Cut into strips and set aside.
  6. Mix the shredded cabbage, grated carrot and mayonnaise together and sprinkle in the raisins.
  7. Spoon some coleslaw onto each tortilla, top with several strips of chicken, roll the tortilla up (like you would a pancake) and fold a paper napkin around the tortilla to secure.


You can use the same honey glaze to marinade chicken drumsticks and wings. Cook them for 45 mins to an hour, turning halfway through, and take along on a trip or to a picnic as perfect finger food.

Low GI chocolate brownies


  • 1 tin white beans, drained & rinsed
  • ½ tin pie apples
  • ¼ cup (60ml) milk
  • 1 cup (250ml) flour
  • 10ml baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ cup (125ml) cocoa powder
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup (250ml) sugar
  • 1 tsp (5ml) vanilla essence
  • ½ cup (125ml) pecan nut halves


  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC.
  2. Lightly grease a medium-sized rectangular baking pan (18cm by 26cm).
  3. Place the drained beans, pie apples and milk in a food processor or liquidiser and process until smooth.
  4. In a medium bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, salt and cocoa powder together.
  5. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs using an electric beater. Add the sugar in three batches, beating well in between to ensure the sugar dissolves.
  6. Add 1/3 of the bean and apple mixture to the egg mixture, together with a 1/3 of the sifted dry ingredients. Fold in carefully. Repeat with another 1/3 of both the bean mixture and the dry ingredients, and again until all the wet and dry ingredients are incorporated, then add the vanilla.
  7. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin, sprinkle the nuts over the top and bake for 40-45 minutes. Insert a skewer into the centre of the cake to make sure it is cooked. Remove from the oven and cool for five minutes in the pan. Cut into squares while still warm. Remove from tin and cool the brownies on a cooling rack.


No picnic is complete without the sweet stuff. You can serve these low GI brownies (already healthier than many other cakes), but fruit makes an equally great ending to your meal.

You could also serve wedges of watermelon or pack raspberries and strawberries into your child’s lunchbox.

And don’t forget the wet wipes for sticky fingers, as well as hats and sunblock.

Shopping list


  • 12 chicken thigh fillets


  • ¼ cup feta cheese
  • ¼ cup milk

Fruit & vegetables

  • 1 orange
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 baby cabbage
  • 1 carrot
  • variety of vegetables suitable for roasting (cherry tomatoes, butternut, courgettes, onion, bell pepper)
  • small bunch fresh herbs (parsley, coriander leaves, mint)


  • 45ml honey
  • handful seedless raisins
  • ½ cup pecan nut halves
  • 8 small flour tortillas
  • 1 cup couscous
  • 1 tin small white beans
  • ½ tin pie apples
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs

Check your store cupboard for:

  • Olive oil
  • Soy sauce
  • Mayonnaise
  • Chicken stock powder/cubes
  • Cake flour
  • Baking powder
  • Vanilla essence

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