Weekly Eats: 3 Meals Perfect for Outdoor Dining

Not that I need another reason to love spring, but it's the perfect time of year to dine alfresco. Some meals really lend themselves well to outdoor dining; when we eat outside I like to try to make it as easy as possible. Finger foods like mini pizzas are always a good choice, as are one-bowl dishes like the chicken and rice bowl below. You can also never go wrong with the classic outdoor cookout dish, the burger.

Here are three meals that are perfect for an evening of outdoor dining.


Clockwise from top right: 

{one} Chicken and veggie bowls adapted from Half Baked Harvest. Can you tell we are addicted to these burrito bowl-type dishes? I used the seasonings for the chicken from the Half Baked Harvest recipe, but did a fridge clean-out for everything else that went inside these bowls. My bowl included rice, chicken, black beans, red peppers, corn, sour cream, salsa verde, monterey jack, and cilantro. Just fill up your bowl and head outside! 

{two} Mini Cauliflower Pizzas from Damn Delicious. Mama got daring and decided to try a veggie-based pizza crust. To say Aaron was skeptical was an understatement, but he was pleasantly surprised with how they turned out. I will say though that trying to wring out all the water from the cooked cauliflower was ridiculous--the water just kept coming! I just put the pureed, cooked cauliflower in a dish towel and squeezed and squeezed. Is there a better way? That's really the only thing that's keeping me from wanting to make these little guys again soon. These pizza bites are another perfect meal for taking dinner outside. 

{three} Cheese-stuffed bacon burgers. You guys will be shocked by this, but Aaron came up with this one. To make these burgers, cook a few slices of bacon, then chop and cool. Stir the cooked bacon into the burger meat with your usual burger seasonings (we like Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and red pepper flakes). To make really thin patties, we rolled them out between sheets of parchment paper. Put a little pile of grated cheddar cheese on one patty, top with a second patty, then pinch the seams together to seal in the cheese. Then just cook them on the grill or stove top. These would be a hit at any cookout! 

Have you had any meals outside lately? 

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