Anyday Picnic Salad

AnyDayPicnicSaladPhotoServing Size: 3/4 cup | Serves: 4


  • 1 1/2 cups cooked chicken, diced
  • 1 apple (cored and diced)
  • 1/3 cup celery, chopped (about 1 rib)
  • 1/3 cup light ranch dressing or creamy salad dressing
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup pecans or walnuts, chopped (optional)


  1. Combine chicken, apple, and celery in a medium bowl. Add dressing and pepper and stir to coat. Stir in pecans or walnuts, if desired.
  2. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate up to 24 hours. Serve on a lettuce leaf; spread on bread, tortillas, or a sandwich; or spoon into a halved tomato or cucumber.

Nutrition information per serving: 230 calories, 10g total fat, 2g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 80mg cholesterol, 450mg sodium, 11g total carbohydrate, 2g fiber, 6g sugar, 25g protein

This recipe is courtesy of ISU Extension and Outreach’s Spend Smart. Eat Smart website. For more recipes, information, and videos, visit

Summer Food Safety Tips

Hot or Cold?Picnic food

Warm weather and outdoor celebrations increase foodborne illnesses. The most important principle of keeping food safe is to keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold. Bacteria grow best between temperatures of 40°F and 140°F so it is essential to keep food out of this temperature range.

For warm weather travel, it is best to transport chilled foods.

  • Refrigerate or freeze the food overnight.
  • For a cold source, bring frozen gel-packs or freeze some box drinks.
  • The drinks will thaw and keep your meal cold at the same time.

If you are keeping hot foods hot while traveling, you can use the new insulated casserole dishes, which will keep food hot for an hour or so. Use a food thermometer and follow the new recommendations for safely cooking meat, including grilling. Take the temperature in the thickest part of the meat without the thermometer touching bone while it is still on the grill. When it comes to safely grilling meat, remember these three numbers:

  • 145°F for all whole meats PLUS three minutes rest time (This is a new recommendation for pork.)
  • 160°F for ground meats
  • 165°F for all poultry (including ground poultry)

Hot or cold, plan ahead: decide what you are going to eat, how it will be prepared, and how you will transport and store it.

  • Pack safely: use a cooler with a cold source if picnicking, camping, or boating; pack foods in the frozen state with a cold source if hiking or backpacking.
  • Keep raw foods separate from other foods.
  • Never bring meat or poultry products without a cold source.
  • Toss leftover food unless your cooler has enough ice to maintain foods below 40°F.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water before and after handling food.
  • Pack cold beverages separately from food to prevent food being exposed to frequent opening/closing of cooler.
  • Never use the ice used for cooling for consumption.

Adapted from USDA’s Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS)

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