Thanks Alea for this great late summer picnic!

Hello there everyone :)
It seems that Kelly’s little one has impeccable timing for arrival- within a few days my own sister had a new baby too, and the first thing I thought of was, feeding them of course!

There’s really nothing like a late summer picnic, especially if it means bringing the older siblings outside for a picnic to give mama a bit of a break. The great thing about the recipes below is that they are simple, loaded with flavor, and keep for a long time in the fridge (so this means easy lunches in between baby feedings!).

Everything is made from real food, blissfully grain and legume free, no eggs dairy or soy, and sings summer. (Plus, I must admit, it was the perfect excuse for me to break out my ‘new’ vintage picnic basket and dishes!).

You’ll find some drinks recipes, salads, main dishes, and desserts. Enjoy.

Watermelon Lemonade

I use this as my juice replacement. Its so incredibly satisfying and light to drink- when its hot out I find myself drinking glass after glass…. For a little variety, try other flavors like grated fresh ginger and lime juice.

8 cups watermelon
½ cup fresh lemon juice (or more to taste)
¼ cup honey (or more to taste)
Water, to taste

Blend the watermelon in a blender. (I do it in batches in my Magic Bullet, works great).
Pour through strainer.
Add lemon juice and honey. (I melt the honey so it blends well).
Adjust lemon and honey to taste- you may want more.
Add water to your preferred consistency.

Other neat picnic drinks:
Blackberry Raspberry Iced Tea
Rhubarb Lemonade
Dairy Free Iced Orange Ginger Tea Latte


Melon Mint Salad

I really like a nice refreshing fruit-based salad at picnics. It quenches the heat and lifts up your dishes. Mint is perfect with the lime juice here. If you want, just use a whole cantaloupe or honeydew instead of cutting them in half. Both options are tasty.

½ cantaloupe, peeled, seeded and cubed
½ honeydew, peeled, seeded and cubed
1/3 cup chopped fresh mint
Juice of 1 lemon and 3 limes
Salt, pepper, olive oil to taste.

Toss all the ingredients together and adjust seasonings to your preference.

More picnic salads:
Sweet Potato Cranberry Salad with Maple Dijon Dressing
Zippy Apple Salad


Dairy Free Creamy Bacon Broccoli Salad

It seems every summer potluck I go to, there is this creamy broccoli bacon salad that shows up… I got tired of wishing I could eat it and sadly walking by, and decided to come up with my own safe dairy-free, egg free mayo dressing version instead! I like this version even better now.

½ cup bacon bits
1/3 cup raisins
¼ cup sunflower seeds
2 heads broccoli, washed and cut in bite sized pieces

1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp sunflower seed butter
1 tbsp tahini
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice (or more to taste)
1 tbsp honey
¼ cup olive oil
Salt / pepper to taste

Melt the honey and mix with all the other dressing ingredients.
Pour over the salad ingredients and toss.
You’re done!


Apricot Almond Quinoa Pilaf
I seem to keep finding beautiful couscous recipe ideas and then, I realized, quinoa is a great replacement for my experimenting… so, here is a middle eastern-inspired dish. Its hearty and full of beautiful unique flavours.

1 cup light quinoa
2 1/3 cups chicken stock
½ cup chopped apricot
1/8 tsp cinnamon
½ cup slivered blanched almonds
1 tsp fresh thyme, to taste

Rinse your quinoa thoroughly or soak overnight to remove the saponin. (This is important!).

Add quinoa, stock, cinnamon, and ¼ cup of the apricots to a covered pot. Simmer about 15-20 min or until all the stock is absorbed.

In the meantime, you may wish to toast your almonds if you prefer a stronger taste.

When the quinoa is ready, add in the rest of the apricot, the almonds, and toss with the thyme. Served and yum.

Other great salads:
Red Pepper Mango Salad
GF Red Quinoa Tabouleh


Rosemary Orange Chicken Cutlets

Simple chicken cutlets with a new spin on them… these remind me of my aunt Brigitta in Italy who made me turkey cutlets with orange. I was surprised at how easy it was, and how flavorful. You’re going to love her as much as I did, for this recipe.

2 chicken breasts
1/3 cup potato starch (or your choice starch)
Olive oil
¾ cup fresh orange juice (3 oranges)
½ cup white wine (or chicken stock)
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
4 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped

Cut the chicken breasts into several cutlets about ½ inch thick (do it when they’re still a bit frozen, its way easier!). Pound them out to about ¼ inch thickness.

Season the starch with salt and pepper to taste. Dredge the cutlets in the starch.

Put a few tbsp olive oil in a skillet, turn up to medium. When the pan is hot, add in the chicken pieces, and sprinkle 1 tbsp of the rosemary over top.

Turn the chicken over when the underside is generously golden. Brown on both sides, and remove chicken from the skillet.

Deglaze the pan with the orange juice and white wine or chicken stock and Dijon mustard, adding in 2 tbsp of the rosemary. Let simmer until the mix is reduced by half. (If your pan has too many burnt pieces at the bottom, instead of deglazing you may wish to clean off the surface first).

Add the chicken back to the pan and let simmer on low heat 10 min till everything is incorporated. Before serving, sprinkle remaining tbsp rosemary overtop your dish. Lovely!

More main dish ideas:
Salmon Pomegranate Salad
Tilapia Citrus Pilaf
GF Egg Free Rosemary Sesame Turkey Meatballs
Chicken Hazelnut Cranberry Salad



Now, what is a picnic without dessert? Exactly! Try a few of these recipes for something tasty. Ice cream, cookies, cupcakes, or a special little Mediterranean peach dish for a romantic picnic a deux.

Dairy Free Pistachio Ice Cream!

Other Picnic Dessert Goodies:

Red Velvet Cupcakes (GF, Dye Free, Xanthan Free,Vegan)
Peach Sambuca Macedonia
Molasses Gingersnap Cookies (GF, Vegan)


  1. says

    This looks quite delicious! I am definitely a water drinker, but the lemony sweetness looks fab. Btw, I love your recipes and have gotten the grain-free dessert cookbook! (first one) I just finished allergy testing via elimination diet, so your recipes give me hope in case I find out there are things I can no longer eat! Tomorrow I see the naturopath and discuss my experiences these past four weeks. You are such a nice mom to make all those things for your girls. Thank you for sharing your recipes!

  2. Barbara says

    Oh my goodness! That’s a whole lot of love in one picnic basket! Thank you so much for sharing. Can’t wait to try out the recipes!

  3. says

    Made the broccoli salad last night – it is so good! The only sub I made was dried cherries for the raisins, since that’s what I had. I have been missing this since switching my diet up, so this really hits the spot. Thanks for a super recipe!

  4. izofnight says

    Yum! What a kind and generous picnic basket (and stylish, too!)…. and I made the rosemary orange chicken cutlets tonight and they were fantastic! I used arrowroot powder for the starch and kept the rosemary leaves whole. Other than that, I made it as written and absolutely enjoyed! My husband was going back to the pan with a spoon to get more sauce on his plate. Yum!

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