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Healthier picnic recipes

Few things scream “summer” more than eating outside, especially whenplenty of friends and plush green grass are involved. But sometimes, transporting that gourmet meal to the park and eating without a table can be tricky. Here are 38 healthy and (most importantly) portable recipes to try at your next summer picnic. Before you head out, try this DIY picnic blanketproject for a blanket that can stand up to your crew — and all the spills — too!

Sandwiches

1. Pressed Roasted Vegetable Sandwich
This recipe certainty doesn’t skimp on the veggies. Oven-roasted tomatoes, eggplant, and bell peppers get layered with homemade pesto and fresh mozzarella for a super flavorful, antioxidant-filled meal.

2. Hummus-Veggie Spirals
This might be the perfect healthier sandwich. Using lavash (a thin flatbread available near the deli section of most grocery stores) on the outside cuts down on carbs, hummus replaces other fatty spreads like mayo or cheese, and the inside’s all veggies, including protein-rich edamame and healthy-fat-filled avocado.

3. Muffuletta
This New Orleans classic is not kidding around. A mixed olive salad makes this sandwich unique and adds tons of color and flavor to an otherwise meat-heavy meal. Be forewarned: It’s considered blasphemous to toast or otherwise heat a Muffuletta.

For more sandwich recipes, go to Greatist.com.

Salads

9. Shaved Beet, Carrot, and Radish Salad
This simple salad’s as healthy as it is gorgeous. Thinly sliced raw carrots, beets, and radishes create a crunchy, fresh-tasting side dish packed with antioxidants. The dressing — flavored with apple cider vinegar, Dijon, and coriander — is perfectly acidic and slightly spicy.

10. Potato Salad with Green Olive Pesto
Walnuts and olives add an interesting twist to the pesto that dresses this mayo-free potato and egg salad. Celery adds some nice crunch to the mix.

11. Barley-Wax Been Salad with Golden Beets and Cucumbers
When summer hits and farmers markets are overflowing with fresh produce, there’s really no way to make a bad salad. This combo of cucumber, yellow beets, wax beans, and red onion gets some protein from a hearty barley base and some sweetness and crunch from walnuts.

For more salad recipes, go to Greatist.com.

Snacks and Sides

17. Buffalo Chicken Quinoa Bites 
One the easiest ways to enjoy quinoa is in mini-bite form. Mix a bit of the cooked grain with fillings and flavorings (shredded chicken, goat cheese, sharp cheddar, buffalo sauce, and breadcrumbs), scoop the mixture into a mini muffin tin, and bake. When they come out, they’re crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. A creamy dipping sauce — like this one with Greek yogurt, blue cheese, and spices — makes the dish complete.  

18. Caprese Fruit Skewers
We’ve all tried the classic tomato-mozzarella-balsamic combo, but what about adding some fruit to the mix? Instead of tomatoes, these Caprese salad-esque skewers are filled with chunks of watermelon and strawberriesalongside the traditional fresh mozzarella and basil leaves. Don’t forget the balsamic reduction sauce!

19. Mojito Fruit Salad
Use whatever fruit’s in season for this colorful salad. Stone fruit such as nectarines, plums, and peaches pair well with the slightly-sour lime (or lime and rum!) dressing. Mixing in some berries, kiwi, grapes, and melon will add a bit of sweetness. The recipe calls for ¾ cup of sugar, but we think cutting back to ¼ cup (or subbing honey) would taste delicous, too.

For more snack and side recipes, go to Greatist.com.

Snacks and Sides

22. Shortbread Cookie Sandwiches with Basil Cream Cheese
While these cookies aren’t entirely “healthy,” we like them because they’re much less sweet than traditional sandwich cookies (and they fit in one of our favorite healthy herbs — basil!).

23. Healthier Thumbprint Cookies
Using ground up nuts or nut flour as a cookie base is one of our favoritehealthier baking tips. Rolled oats also make these cookies super wholesome. Sweeten with maple syrup and just a dollop of fruit jam in the center.

24. Roasted Cherry Hand Pies
We promise these homemade treats are healthier than the version sold at the Golden Arches. Opt for whole-wheat flour for a healthier take on this recipe, and feel free to cut back on the sugar if you’d like a more tart filling — the raspberry preserves, vanilla, and natural sweetness of the cherriessweeten the filling just plenty!

For more dessert recipes, go to Greatist.com.

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The Latest News Headlines

  • More than a year after it introduced the concept, Amazon opened its artificial intelligence-powered Amazon Go store in Seattle Monday. The store on the bottom floor of Amazon’s headquarters billed itself as grocery shopping for the future. It has no registers and no cashiers. >> Read more trending news  Shoppers have to download the Amazon Go app to scan to get in the door. Once they are inside, the store tracks what they buy through cameras and shelf sensors. Anything a shopper takes off the shelf is automatically added to their virtual cart, and anything put back is taken out of the cart. Once shopping in finished, you just walk out the door. You will get a receipt in your app about five minutes later. The system works by combining computer vision and machine-learning algorithms and sensors. The Associated Press reported there are people there making food, stocking shelves and helping customers. The store offers ready-to-eat breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks, as well as some grocery staples like bread, milk, cheese and chocolates. It'll also have Amazon Meal Kits. KIRO spoke to some of the shoppers who were among the first to experience the store and they seemed to like what they saw.“It will make it a lot quicker. The biggest reason you don’t want to go to the store is waiting in line so it’s pretty great,' Betty Paschke, who lives in Seattle, said. Tech expert Todd Bishop with Geekwire said the success of the store is yet to be seen and depends on how much the public is willing to let the business track their spending and accounts virtually. “It basically treats people walking around a physical space exactly like people are tracked online currently,” Bishop saud. Amazon Go had been open only to Amazon employees since December 2016 to test out the technology. Acording to Amazon, there are no plans to open up more stores like the Seattle location.
  • Three members of a Texas family were sentenced to prison last week in the brutal 2013 beating and stomping of a 13-year-old relative who authorities said was raped -- and impregnated -- by her own brother.  Sharon Jones, 47, of Dallas, and two of her children, Cedric Jones Jr., 29, and Cecila McDonald, 28, pleaded guilty for their part in the 2013 crime, which caused the girl to miscarry, The Dallas Morning News reported. The newspaper reported in 2016 that the victim and five siblings, including a younger sister forced to help hold her down during the beating, moved from California to Texas to live with Sharon Jones, their aunt, after their grandmother died.  “Most people would treat strangers better,” prosecutor Rachel Burris said during last week’s sentencing hearing, according to the newspaper. “Yet these people did it to someone they promised to love. “They held her down. They forced her to lay there while people stomped her. It was savage.” >> Read more trending news A judge sentenced Sharon Jones to 12 years in prison. Cedric Jones was sentenced to five years in prison and his sister was sentenced to serve seven years, according to the Morning News. The siblings and their mother each pleaded guilty to felony family violence aggravated assault.  A fourth suspect, Lonnell McDonald, was convicted in 2016 of aggravated assault and sentenced to 10 years in prison, the newspaper reported.  The beating, which the now-19-year-old victim reported in 2015, stemmed from a sexual assault case in which the girl’s 24-year-old brother was accused of raping her in 2012, when she was 13. The brother, who relocated to Dallas a year before his siblings, was ordered to not have contact with them, though it was not immediately clear why. The brother’s name is being withheld to help shield the victim’s identity.  Testimony in Lonnell McDonald’s trial showed that, despite Sharon Jones promising to take in the siblings to keep them out of foster homes, the children were instead sent to live with Lonnell and Cecila McDonald. Their older brother was living at the McDonald home at the time, the Morning News reported.  It was there that the alleged sexual assault took place, according to testimony.  Sharon Jones is accused of telling the girl and her siblings to lie to Texas Child Protective Services caseworkers so authorities would not find out they were living in the same home as their brother. The 13-year-old victim told authorities that she told Jones and Cecila McDonald about the sexual assault after it came out that their older brother had sexually abused McDonald’s own three young children. The women, who were reportedly worried that McDonald would lose custody of her children, never told authorities about the girl’s allegations.  The brother has since been found mentally incompetent to stand trial and his criminal charges remain in limbo, the Morning News said. When the teen’s relatives learned that she was eight months pregnant, they tried forcing Plan B birth control pills and cinnamon tablets on her to induce a miscarriage, the Morning News reported. When that didn’t work, they held her down and took turns stomping on her abdomen. Cecila McDonald screamed during the attack, “(Expletive), you ain’t about to get my kids taken away from me,” the newspaper said.  After beating her for hours, they left the girl in a bathtub, bleeding and drifting in and out of consciousness, as she gave birth to a stillborn baby, the Morning News reported. To combat her loss of blood, they fed her iron pills. The victim told authorities they took her baby away before she got to see the child.  The girl’s younger sister tried to care for her afterward. The Morning News reported in 2016 that the younger girl, who was 12 during the attack, was granted immunity in the case in return for her testimony.  After the baby was born, Cecila McDonald put the infant’s body in a bucket. She, her brother and her mother then tried to burn the remains on a grill. Sharon Jones subsequently paid her son $25 to get rid of the portion that did not burn. The Morning News said he hid the remains, which have never been found.  “To this day, we don’t know what happened to that baby,” Burris told jurors during Lonnell McDonald’s trial. 
  •   Lake Wales police are searching for those responsible for igniting two marine flares Sunday evening near the entrance of the JC Penney at the Eagle Ridge Mall Sunday evening. >> Read more trending news Firefighters responded to reports of an explosion at the mall on 451 Eagle Ridge Drive around 5:20 p.m. Firefighters initially said that an improvised explosive device had been detonated in a corridor located next to the mall entrance of JC Penney. The FBI later determined that there was no explosion and no pipe bombs were discovered. Officials also said that the incident didn’t appear to be terrorism-related. 'It appears two items, believed to be marine flares, were ignited in a mall hallway, creating a large amount of smoke, and a backpack was located at the scene,' said Andrea Aprea, an FBI spokeswoman. 'Bomb technicians examined the contents of the backpack and determined it did not contain any incendiary or explosive devices.' A witness who called 911 told WFTV that she heard a fire alarm sound and saw orange smoke billowing from an object. The mall was evacuated. No one was injured, but a ceiling and a wall were damaged by the flares, officials said. After speaking with witnesses, police said they are looking for a person of interest described as a stocky, middle-aged white man wearing a gray shirt and a hat. Detectives said they will review surveillance footage recorded at a jewelry store in the mall. The investigation is ongoing.
  • Two people and their dog Lucky escaped a Mandarin house before it was destroyed by fire Monday. Sky Action News Jax flew above the home as firefighters hosed down the roof. Lucky and two other people escaped the fire on Blue Pacific Drive @ActionNewsJax pic.twitter.com/Sv4pCUdZYH — Brittney Donovan (@brittneyANjax) January 22, 2018 Mangled metal and charred wood is all that’s left of the back of the home on Blue Pacific Drive. Ed Laing said he ran outside after hearing a loud explosion. “The windows rattled in the house and I’m two doors down from there,” he said. “It was quite an explosion.” Laing says he grabbed a fire extinguisher and ran outside, where he found thick, black smoke. This is a photo a neighbor took of the fire on Blue Pacific Drive @ActionNewsJax pic.twitter.com/hgpB9XGEYI — Brittney Donovan (@brittneyANjax) January 22, 2018 “The flames were probably 35, 40 feet up in the air,” he said. Jacksonville firefighters worked for 30 minutes to put out the flames.  The fire chief said the home has extensive damage.  “Very devastating. It’s unbelievable,” Laing said. The plastic siding on the house next door melted because of the heat. Investigators with the state fire marshal’s office are working to determine what caused the fire. This is the back of the home on Blue Pacific Drive. Thankfully everyone made it out OK @ActionNewsJax pic.twitter.com/mWsXQ8yMBn — Brittney Donovan (@brittneyANjax) January 22, 2018 Home next door has some damage from the heat of the fire. Fire chief tells me the siding melted @ActionNewsJax pic.twitter.com/g8HB4cE2lL — Brittney Donovan (@brittneyANjax) January 22, 2018 First ground images from #JFRD on scene from Blue Pacific Dr @JFRDJAX pic.twitter.com/hlvmqP34WY — JFRDincidents (@JFRDIncidents) January 22, 2018
  • The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office is investigating after a woman's body was found inside a home in the Moncrief area. According to JSO, officers and a JFRD crew found the body inside the home on Frank East Avenue, after getting a call to check on the well-being of an individual.  The victim is said to be a black woman in her 50's; her name has not been released at this time.  However, police did say they do suspect foul play in her death and that they are treating the incident as a murder.  If you have any information, you're urged to contact JSO at their non-emergency number, at (904) 630-0500.

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