Pick up some ingredients from your local farmers' markets for an easy summer picnic.
Pick up some ingredients from your local farmers' markets for an easy summer picnic. kate o'neill

Okay, we'll bite: What's the secret to hassle-free dinners?

ONCE the frenzy of Christmas food and cooking is over, the last thing most of us want to do is get back into the kitchen.

Long, hot summer days are all about picnics on the beach and hassle-free dinners.

Here is some inspiration for easy, tasty and healthy meals you can put together in minutes during the holidays using fresh, local produce available at the Mullumbimby Farmers' Market.

Beach picnic

Bring your basket to the market and fill it with some of these goodies for a lazy picnic lunch: Fresh bread from Scratch Patisserie, Heart Bread or Crabbes Creek Woodfired, some beetroot or hummus dip from The Spice Palace or Baraka Foods, a bunch of baby carrots from Everest Farm, some cucumbers and cherry tomatoes from Coopers Shoot Tomatoes, and a bag of falafel balls from Not Just a Tart or mini quiche from The Witches Broomstick.

Add some cheese from Cheeses Loves You or Nimbin Valley Dairy, some fresh olives from Grumpy Grandma's Olives, and then a selection of fresh fruit like peaches and nectarines from Morrow Farm, watermelon from Everest Farm, strawberries from Morrow Farm or Rainbow Fruit Flats, blueberries from Blueberry Fields or papaya from Mt Chowan Organics.

To wash it down, grab a bottle of Organic Forrest's refreshing organic turmeric and ginger or organic ginger, hibiscus, elderflower and turmeric kombucha, or a takeaway bottle of fresh sugar cane juice from Byron Bay Cane Juice.

Quick dinners

Byron Bay Gourmet Pasta has a big range of fresh pastas and ravioli, including gluten-free options, that you can have ready for dinner in under 10 minutes. Fresh sauces are also available, or pick up some basil pesto from The Salad Hut or some chilli and garlic-infused olive oil from Grumpy Grandma's olives to drizzle over the top.

For a quick and easy barbecue dinner, grab some sausages from Hayters Hill Farm (they have 10 varieties - including gluten-free and preservative-free), some sweet corn to throw on the barbecue as well, and some fresh salad from the farmers - lettuce, tomato, cucumber, capsicum, green beans, beetroot, carrots and sprouts are all in season now and tasting great.

Church Farm's home-made Thai curry paste is another easy option. Just add meat or vegies and some rice for a quick, easy dinner.

Mullumbimby Farmers' Market is held every Friday, 7-11am.


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