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Summer Picnic Series

Batch Up Meals Dinner Ideas Lunch Ideas Nourishing Staples Real Food 101 Real Food Tips Summer Picnic Series

Golden Beet Slaw

April 15, 2016

Fresh and mildly sweet golden beets tossed in a delicious creamy dressing make for a cool, crisp kid pleasing side!

Golden Beet Slaw :: Fresh and mildly sweet golden beets tossed in a delicious creamy dressing make for a cool, crisp kid pleasing side!

Links in this post are affiliate links. It does not cost you anything and helps maintain the free information on this site, as well as answer the questions of “what brand do you use?” Please know I never personally recommend any product or service I wouldn’t use on my own family.

It was 60 glorious degrees this past week. 60!

Do you know how long it has been since I could send children outside to run energy off barefoot in the sun?! SO many months!

Golden Beet Slaw :: Fresh and mildly sweet golden beets tossed in a delicious creamy dressing make for a cool, crisp kid pleasing side!

Last weekend when I saw that the coming week was going to be our first actual warm spell of the spring, I went into summer food planning mode…which means prep a bunch of food that can be eaten throughout the week at multiple meals, giving us more time to *play* outside!

Golden Beet Slaw :: Fresh and mildly sweet golden beets tossed in a delicious creamy dressing make for a cool, crisp kid pleasing side!

My usual meal plans include veggies at every meal. In the fall and winter I tend to do a lot of roasting. It is quick, easy, and really tasty. But when the weather gets warm, I like to have veggies handy in a cooler option. I keep a variety of veggies cut up for easy grabbing to serve on a platter with 5 minute Ranch dip, and my other summer veggie secret is slaws!

Golden beets have a slightly sweeter taste than red beets and I find that the milder earthy flavor works really good for kids. Getting those veggies into a smaller, easier to chew form (shredded or spirilized) and tossed with a super yummy dressing helps too!

Fresh veggie slaws are so nice to make a big batch of and use throughout the week as a quick, cool veggie side to lunch, or a fresh, crunchy burger topper or chicken wrap addition for dinner. Since we have slaws often throughout the warmer months, it’s nice to change up the veggies for some variety.

Golden beets have a slightly sweeter taste than red beets and I find that the milder earthy flavor works really good for kids. Getting those veggies into a smaller, easier to chew form (shredded or spirilized) and tossed with a super yummy dressing helps too!

Golden beets have a slightly sweeter taste than red beets and I find that the milder earthy flavor works really good for kids. Getting those veggies into a smaller, easier to chew form (shredded or spirilized) and tossed with a super yummy dressing helps too!

Golden beets have a slightly sweeter taste than red beets and I find that the milder earthy flavor works really good for kids. Getting those veggies into a smaller, easier to chew form (shredded or spirilized) and tossed with a super yummy dressing helps too!

This golden beet slaw is actually my favorite recipe for beets. I love roasted veggies, especially beets that get super sweet, but for some reason I really enjoy beets in raw slaw form. And golden beets just like all beet varieties are a powerhouse of vitamins and minerals. They are great body cleansers so they make a really great “spring clean” salad to give you a kick start this season.

Golden beets have a slightly sweeter taste than red beets and I find that the milder earthy flavor works really good for kids. Getting those veggies into a smaller, easier to chew form (shredded or spirilized) and tossed with a super yummy dressing helps too!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Golden Beet Slaw
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 3 small/medium golden beets, peeled and spirilized (you could use a grater to shred if you don't have a spirilizer)
  • ½ small head of cabbage, sliced thin
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped
  • ½ lb (10 oz) cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ½ cup avocado oil or olive oil
  • ½ cup whole sour cream, yogurt, or coconut milk yogurt (I think coconut cream would work too)
  • Juice from ½ lemon
  • 1-2 TB raw honey
  • 1 TB garlic powder
  • 1 tsp mild paprika
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • ⅛ tsp cayenne pepper (more if you like a little more heat - this leaves it pretty kid friendly mild)
Instructions
  1. Put all of the veggies in a large mixing bowl. You may want to cut the spirilized beets a little so they aren't so long - it makes them easier for kids to handle that way.
  2. Put the rest of the ingredients into a pint mason jar and use an immersion blender to make the dressing. The immersion blender emulsifies the oil so if you do not have an immersion blender, you can use a food processor and add the oil into the other ingredients slowly using the oil drip top on your food processor to emulsify. You could also use a whisk and bowl and drizzle the oil in slowly so it emulsifies. The dressing should be nice and creamy.
  3. Add the dressing to the veggies and combine. You can eat the slaw right away or store it in the fridge up to 5 days. The salt in the dressing will pull some water out of the veggies and it will get a little liquidy at the bottom - simply toss the slaw to mix it all in - it is even more delicious after marrying all those flavors over a day or 2!

 

Occasional Treats Real Food Tips Summer Picnic Series

Blueberry Peach Crisp :: Gluten Free

August 8, 2015

Fresh, juicy peaches meet sweet plump blueberries and buttery, crispy topping for an end of summer treat that is *quick* to make and full of summer flavor!

Blueberry Peach Crisp :: Gluten FreeBefore we switch gears to back to school recipes I just had to share one more quick summer treat that is a must have to celebrate the end of summer with the kids this month!

Blueberry Peach Crisp :: Gluten FreeWhere I live, blueberries and peaches ripen for harvest within a week or two of each other. In fact this year, we picked blueberries on a Saturday and picked up our couple bushels of peaches that Monday!

Blueberry Peach Crisp :: Gluten FreeTalk about a load of fruit to work with! I love every minute. While I freeze a majority of all the fruit to use for yogurt, oatmeal, and smoothies during the rest of the year (big money saver!), I do try to make a few special recipes using these fun summer fruits that we won’t see again until next year!

Blueberry Peach Crisp :: Gluten FreeBlueberries and peaches really taste amazing together and this simple crisp is my kind of summer treat because it is simple and *quick*. It is a great way to use up the last few peaches and last bowl of blueberries going too ripe!

Blueberry Peach Crisp :: Gluten Free

Blueberry Peach Crisp :: Gluten Free
Author: 
 
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Toss together the blueberries, peach slices, lemon juice, vanilla extract, ¼ cup sugar, and corn starch right in your 9 inch pie plate.
  2. In a small mixing bowl combine the white rice flour, butter, maple syrup, and ¼ cup sugar using a spatula - don't combine until super smooth - the point is for it to be a bit crumbly. Sprinkle this crumble mixture over the top of the fruit mixture in the pie plate.
  3. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes. Cool for a bit before serving.

 For more real food desserts, you can follow my Treat Ideas board on Pinterest!

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Dinner Ideas Lunch Ideas Nourishing Staples Real Food 101 Real Food Tips Summer Picnic Series

Spatchcock BBQ Chicken

May 30, 2015

Spatchcock BBQ ChickenMy kitchen has turned to summer meals, and I couldn’t be more excited!

I love the change in seasons. Summers are for quicker cooking meals so my hot oven isn’t running all day, cool salads, and the produce of the season! By September I’ll be ready to pull out my everyday soups, stews, and warming meals again, but while we are enjoying soaking up the sun for a few months, I really enjoy summer meals.

Spatchcock BBQ ChickenOne of the reasons I love summer so much is because I get to refresh my freezer chicken stash. Every October as our farmer’s markets wind down for the winter, I fill up a whole shelf in my deep freezer with 25 or so whole chickens to get us through the winter. I love my chicken lady 🙂 She is the sweetest thing in the world, and treats her birds so amazing.

Spatchcock BBQ ChickenThe flavor of chicken on pasture is unmatched, and when we run out of whole chickens around April/May, I long for our market to open back up for the year!

We headed up to the market this weekend, and I told my husband I was planning on chicken for dinner. The warm weather was begging me to keep my oven use to a minimum so I decided a summer spatchcock style chicken would be the best.

Spatchcock BBQ ChickenSpatchcock (or some people call this “butterfly”) chicken cuts the cook time way down to less than an hour, so it is perfect for summer. Just use kitchen shears down the backbone on both sides, and flatten the chicken down with the breast up.

Other than my crockpot chicken method, this is the method I use until I can slow roast my chickens during the fall and winter. Since cooking chickens spatchcock style offers so much more yummy skin to enjoy, we did our bird up barbeque style this weekend. It is one of our favorite summer meals alongside summer potato salad, and it was a fun way to start our summer off.

Spatchcock BBQ ChickenThis method it super easy. Don’t be intimidated with halving the chicken. Just follow the backbone – it is very simple and quite forgiving. I remember the first time I did a chicken this way just falling in love with how quick our chicken night could be cooked in – especially one these beautiful summer days when we are out at the beach all day!

Spatchcock BBQ Chicken

5.0 from 5 reviews
Spatchcock BBQ Chicken
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 whole pastured chicken, split down the back (mine are anywhere from 4-6 pounds)
  • 3-4 TB butter (or olive oil, or avocado oil for the bottom of the pan and surface of the chicken
  • 1 cup or so of BBQ sauce (This 5 minute BBQ sauce is so good and no junk ingredients! If you purchase store bought just check those labels for corn syrup, preservatives, etc)
  • 1 onion, sliced into rounds
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
Instructions
  1. Butter the bottom of a large baking sheet or jelly roll pan, lay slices of onion on top, and garlic on top of the onions.
  2. Put the butterflied chicken on top of the onion rounds, and butter the surface of the chicken.
  3. Cook at 425 degrees for 40 minutes, take it out and brush the surface of the chicken with BBQ sauce.
  4. Place the chicken back in the oven and cook another 5-10 minutes, take it back out and brush it with more BBQ sauce. Cook another 5 minutes until the chicken is fully cooked and juices run clear.
  5. You can use more BBQ sauce for dipping if you wish!

For more real food dinner ideas, follow my Dinner Ideas board on Pintrest!

More real food recipes you might like:

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Dinner Ideas Lunch Ideas Real Food Tips Summer Picnic Series

Real Food Summer Picnic Series :: Potato Salad

May 30, 2015

Real Food Summer Picnic Series :: Potato Salad
We kicked off summer this past weekend! It is *finally* starting to feel like a little bit of summer (heck, I’ll even take a little bit of spring at this point!), and we spent the weekend playing at the beach, swinging, going to Memorial Day parades, and, of course, enjoying some good food!

Real Food Summer Picnic Series :: Potato Salad
As I was mixing up my potato salad it dawned on me I ought to put together some of the summer’s best picnic dishes up on the blog in the next month! Keep your eyes peeled for the Real Food Summer Picnic Series in the coming weeks! I’m starting off today with potato salad – and you have *never* had potato salad so good!

Real Food Summer Picnic Series :: Potato Salad
I can’t tell you how much I had to play around with potato salad to get it the way I liked it. The way I remember it as a kid.

See, I grew up with potato salad drowning in Miracle Whip. That ingredient label will make your head spin! The main ingredient is soybean oil followed by high fructose corn syrup. And listen. I want to enjoy my summer! I don’t want to have picnic food just once! We picnic all summer long, and I would say I make potato salad at least once a month until fall! (If you have never read The Ploy of Soy, click over now and read it before you read anything else!)

Real Food Summer Picnic Series :: Potato Salad
This potato salad tastes every bit as good and you can feel good about every single ingredient! By the way! The recipe feeds a small family gathering – if you are feeding a crowd double up! If you are feeding just your family half it.
4.0 from 1 reviews
Real Food Summer Picnic Series :: Potato Salad
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • • 3 lbs organic small red or yellow potatoes, whole
  • • ½ cup whole sour cream (If you are dairy free, use coconut milk yogurt. If you make your own homemade mayo that works too!)
  • • 2 TB organic Dijon mustard (Watch those ingredients!)
  • • 1 TB good olive oil
  • • 1 ½ TB fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • • 1 ½ TB raw honey (Could do sucanat or pure cane sugar. Could add more if you want it sweeter.)
  • • ½ tsp paprika
  • • ⅛ tsp cayenne pepper (Could add more if you want more heat)
  • • 1 tsp sea salt
  • • ¼ tsp pepper
  • • ⅓ cup chopped pickles
  • • ½ cup chopped green onions (about 3 stalks)
Instructions
  1. Put the whole potatoes in a large pot along with water to cover potatoes and 2 TB sea salt and bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce to a simmer for 10 minutes (until they are just barely fork tender), and drain.
  3. Cover the potatoes in the colander with a kitchen towel in the sink and let them “steam” for about 15 minutes.
  4. Dump the potatoes out on your cutting board to cool a few minutes before cutting while you fix the dressing.
  5. Whisk the sour cream, mustard, oil, lemon, honey, and seasonings in a small bowl.
  6. Once the potatoes have cooled enough to handle, chop them into pieces to your liking – halved, quartered, or smaller and put them into your serving bowl.
  7. Pour the dressing over the potatoes and combine. It will seem runny but it thickens up in the fridge as the potatos absorb the moisture.
  8. Fold in the pickles and green onions.
  9. Let the salad refrigerate for the flavors to come together for a few hours before serving.

  • Leftovers are delicious! Make up a batch over the weekend and save any leftovers for hot weekday dinners so you don’t have to cook!
  • Add some chopped hard boiled eggs to the salad if you tolerate eggs!
  • Play around with the seasonings and veggie add-ins to your liking! A lot of potato salads have celery – I don’t care for it but add it in if you wish! Some don’t use the cayenne but we love the heat so we use it! I have added tomatoes and love that add-in too!

So TELL ME! What are your favorite picnic foods??? I’ve got some ideas for what I plan to post but am willing to change things around to what you need to see!

Feeding Babies Lunch Ideas Real Food 101 Real Food Tips School Holidays school lunches Snack Ideas Summer Picnic Series

Antioxidant Rich Berry Gummies

May 9, 2015

Antioxidant Rich Berry GummiesI cannot even wait for warmer weather to *finally* be (consistently) here! My goodness do we have a long winter – but, you guys…we have the best summer. I’m talking warm but not too warm, and on the hot days the amazing waters of Lake Michigan are right down the road to you cool you off with the world’s best kept secret in beautiful beach sand to relax in. Antioxidant Rich Berry GummiesAs much as I like to keep summer popsicles in the freezer for lazy summer days at home, we are actually on the go to the beach or park quite a bit during the summer. These berry gummies come in handy for a quick pick me up for the girls and an extra protein boost. They make for a pretty special treat in their eyes as well! One of my feeding mottos for kids is to make every bite count. I’m not a huge fan of empty calories, or just giving kids something to “hold them over” until lunch. They are on the grow all the time even through the teenage years, so I want every bite they take to count toward that. And especially in the little ones like toddlers, who don’t take in a whole lot of food volume in the first place – I am not about to snack them on a bag of fruit snacks with zero nutrient value. Antioxidant Rich Berry GummiesThese gummies are not only packed with protein rich grassfed gelatin, but my choice of fruit has a purpose too. Berries are loaded with antioxidants to protect and repair in the body. And since they have amazing flavor they is really no need for extra sweetening. Many days grabbing a hand full of berries and a slice of raw cheese or crispy nuts to bring to the park for a snack is my choice, but as my kids get older and see their peers with fun snacks in colorful bags, its been nice to have something like this to bring a smile to their face. They also make for great classroom birthday treats. We definitely do up fun birthday ice cream and special birthday cakes at home to celebrate, but I don’t think cupcakes need to be consumed both at their party and in the classroom (that usually happen within the same week!). These have been popular with my little girls’ classes so far (yes I realize they are young yet – we will take one year at a time to see if it goes over as well as they get older!) Antioxidant Rich Berry GummiesProduct links in this section are affiliate links. It does not cost you anything and helps maintain the free information on this site, as well as answer the questions of “what brand do you use?” Please know I never personally recommend any product I wouldn’t use on my own family.

A couple notes on the molds for the gummies! I really like the silicone molds that are firm to give a good hold, but also flexible enough that I can push out the gummies easily without them sticking, by popping the mold “inside out”. I have been using mine for years now and they have held up very well! I obviously have a house full of girls so I have a couple sheets of these flower molds and these bunny molds (which are great for celebrating Easter too!). But I am actually thinking about getting some of these plain circle molds, and these square molds since I’m thinking my nephews might prefer those to eat when they come visit! I thought these lego molds were pretty cool too! And I’m pretty sure even my girls would love these dinosaur molds and robot molds! The molds are a fun investment that you can use for everything from these gummies, to ice cube trays!

5.0 from 10 reviews
Antioxidant Rich Berry Gummies
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 3 cups frozen organic mixed berries (I get the big bags of frozen organic at Costco. Since berries are a heavily pesticided crop I would opt for organic.)
  • ¼ cup water
  • Optional ¼ cup raw honey (My kids are used to just the fruit, but if I am making these for other kids that might be used to sweeter food then I add it. If you have little ones I would leave it out and keep their palates used to just the fruit)
  • ¼ cup grassfed gelatin
Instructions
  1. Put the berries and mwater in a small sauce pan and bring to a simmer. Stir for a few minutes while everything melts and warms.
  2. Turn off the heat and add the raw honey. Stir to combine/melt.
  3. Put the warmed berry mixture in a food processor or blender, add the gelatin, and blend completely.
  4. Pour into your silicone molds (this amount fills about 48 slots in my molds) and refrigerate. I like to stick them in the freezer to make this part go faster – only takes about 15 minutes or so! The firmer, almost frozen gummies pop out of the molds nicer/easier too!
  5. After the mixture gels up, you can pop out the gummies – I just push the silicone mold “inside-out” – works great!
  6. Store your gummies in the fridge. They keep fine in the lunchbox without an ice pack though!

For more nourishing snack ideas check out my Snacks board on Pintrest!

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Italian Daikon Radish Salad

May 9, 2015

Italian Diakon Radish Salad

Ever have one of those weeks where you just don’t feel like being in the kitchen? Or just don’t have time to be fiddling around in the kitchen?

Last week was one of those weeks for me. And friends, when that happens sometimes I forget just how crummy I feel when I don’t eat well – or enough. On busy days (or beautiful 80 degree days when I just want to be outside!) I tend to under-eat, or just eat the “quick” stuff like a few bites of cold leftovers, a quick granola bar from the freezer, or a banana from the fruit bowl.

But I function much better when I eat better than that. Those are all good things in and of themselves – but our bodies need veggies! Minerals! Our bodies need protein and fat to balance out too!

During these busy, warm spring and summer months I like making jars of 5 minute salad dressing so quick bowls of salad are easy and do-able. Or a big bowl of coleslaw to keep in the fridge. I can scoop out what I want when I’m rushed and still get some nutrient rich vegetables in my afternoon.

It is important to rotate veggies as much as it is important to rotate any other food we eat, so I have a few quick, fresh salads to change things up during the week! I shared this spring coleslaw a couple weeks ago, and this Italian daikon salad is another favorite of mine.

Italian Diakon Radish SaladDaikons spirilize so easily, and give a crisp texture with a noodle-like feel to the salad. I like to add chopped pecans for crunch, and if this ends up being all I have time for at lunchtime I add grated Parmesan and/or chopped local pepperoni. So full of flavor!

Cold salads like coleslaw and this daikon salad can also be piled up into a rice wrap.

Italian Diakon Radish SaladProduct links in this section are affiliate links. It does not cost you anything and helps maintain the free information on this site, as well as answer the questions of “what brand do you use?” Please know I never personally recommend any product I wouldn’t use on my own family.

And don’t forget the kids! I think spirilizing just about any veggie makes them more appealing to kids since it make them feel like noodles. It also makes them easier to chew and manage. I just love my spirilizer, and use it multiple times per week. I also like using my julienne peeler for smaller veggies like carrots for making veggie “noodles”.

5.0 from 2 reviews
Italian Diakon Radish Salad
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 medium daikon radish, spirilized (or use a julienne peeler!)
  • 10 stalks green onion, chopped
  • 3 roma tomatoes, seeded and juices scooped out, cubed
  • ⅓ – ½ cup chopped crispy nuts (I like pecans in this the best!)
  • ¼ cup of my DIY Olive Garden dressing OR my Italian dressing
  • Sea salt/pepper to taste
  • Optional sprinkle of grated parm and/or chopped pepperoni if you want to make it a meal!
Instructions
  1. Everything into a medium mixing bowl, toss together, and chill for at least half hour.
  2. This can be made ahead of time and sit in the fridge up to a few days. One side note on the diakon radish “noodles” – since the radish is so long, the noodles are quite long so I like to cut them a bit after I spirilize them to make them easier to manage while eating.

For more quick lunch ideas, check out my Lunch Ideas board on Pintrest!

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Dinner Ideas Lunch Ideas Real Food Tips Summer Picnic Series

Spring Coleslaw

May 1, 2015

Spring Inspired ColeslawI don’t know about you, but right around April I start getting antsy for summer food. We have a really (really!) long winter, and while our spring is absolutely gorgeous, it tends to really take its time getting here.

We toy around with warm days that make my forsythia and magnolia buds tease us with slightly opening…and days where we have to pull the winter coats back out and brush the dusting of snow of the tulip leaves.

Spring Inspired ColeslawI have a special place in my heart for the veggies of spring, and after a long winter of greens and squashes, I load up on gorgeous spring produce to use them in any way I can – including taking the traditional summer picnic food of coleslaw and dressing it up spring style!

Spring Inspired ColeslawPacked with fresh flavor, and vibrant spring color this coleslaw is fantastic on its own for lunch, or as a side for dinner. Grill up some chicken on that first warm spring day you get and use the coleslaw as a side. It also gives an amazing crunch and flavor piled up on a grassfed burger!

Spring Inspired Coleslaw

5.0 from 2 reviews
Spring Coleslaw
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • ¼ medium cabbage, sliced thin
  • 7 radishes, sliced thin
  • 4-5 stalks green onion, chopped (plus more to garnish if you wish)
  • 2 TB chopped garlic scapes (If you can find them – the season is late spring. If you don’t grow garlic you can look for them at the farmer’s markets! The coleslaw is fine without them if you don’t have access.)
  • ½ cup mayo (Homemade mayo preferable to avoid rancid oils. My simple egg free mayo blends up in just minutes right in the jar!)
  • 1 TB juice from a lemon
  • 2 tsp raw honey
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste (this will vary based on what mayo you use)
Instructions
  1. Everything into a medium mixing bowl and stir to combine. Let the coleslaw sit in the fridge for at least a half hour before serving.

For more fresh lunch ideas visit my Lunch Ideas board on Pintrest!

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Dinner Ideas Lunch Ideas Summer Picnic Series

Real Food Summer Picnic Series :: Pasta Salad :: Grain, Egg, Nut, Dairy Free

July 23, 2014

Product links in this post are affiliate links. It does not cost you anything and helps maintain the free information on this site! Please know I would never personally recommend any product I wouldn’t use on my own family.

Real Food Summer Picnic Series :: Grain Free Pasta Salad
I thought I would get one more summer picnic staple in before we hit August! We still have a lot of summer to enjoy – and summer food!

Real Food Summer Picnic Series :: Grain Free Pasta Salad
I just adore pasta salad because you can do so much with it. A simple beautiful dressing and you can add whatever veggies are in season around you.

Real Food Summer Picnic Series :: Grain Free Pasta Salad
Right about this time of year gardens explode with summer squash and zucchini and, honestly, I just never tire of it! I don’t get to use it much the rest of the year when my garden is empty and the grocery store jacks up the price. For years I used a little julienne peeler to make “zoodles” when I wanted a grain free pasta and I loved that little peeler! This year, I sprung for a spirilizer and, OH! You must promise me you will put this on your wish list! It is so wonderful!

Real Food Summer Picnic Series :: Grain Free Pasta Salad
Hit up your farmer’s markets (or take a walk through your garden!) this weekend and find some simple, colorful combos to make up some pasta salad for your weekend picnic!

Real Food Summer Picnic Series :: Grain Free Pasta Salad

Real Food Summer Picnic Series :: Pasta Salad :: Grain, Egg, Nut, Dairy Free
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 4 summer squash, spirilized or julienne peeled
  • 2-3 zucchini, spirilized or julienne peeled
  • 3 cups cherry and/or heirloom tomatoes, halved
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped
  • ½ cup grated organic parmesan cheese (if you are dairy free use goat cheese or just omit)
  • 1 TB good olive oil
  • 2 TB organic white wine vinegar
  • 1 TB Italian dressing season (See Tips section for this mix – so quick!)
Instructions
  1. Sprinkle some sea salt all over the spirilized summer squash and zucchini, combine, and then put them in a large strainer for about 10 minutes. The salt draws out all the liquid in the squashes and makes the texture “noodle” like! You can help the process along by gently pressing to squeeze out the liquid, and/or dab with a towel.
  2. While the squashes are draining, whisk up the olive oil, vinegar, and Italian dressing seasoning, and get the green onions chopped and parm grated.
  3. Put the drained squash “noodles in a large serving bowl, and add in the green onion, parm, and the whisked up dressing. Combine and serve!

Tips:

  • HERE is the Italian Dressing season mix – this is not Italian seasoning – this mix is what I use to make Italian dressing and it is just delicious! You will love it!
  • This amount makes up enough for my family to eat at 2-3 meals. Double up if you are bringing it for a crowd.
  • Be sure to check out the spirilizer! You can make noodles out of sweet potatoes, carrots, etc in addition to the zucchini! If you want to start out smaller the julienne peeler works fantastic too and I used it for years. The veggie noodles are a great size for little hands and little mouths to handle.
  • You can certainly use regular pasta instead of, or in addition to, the “zoodles” if you wish!
  • Make this one up ahead of time! Flavors will only get better as they sit in the fridge!
  • Looking for more summer picnic staples done in a real food way? I’ve got you covered! This summer make up some potato salad, baked beans, BBQ sauce, chicken salad, and coleslaw too!
Dinner Ideas Lunch Ideas Summer Picnic Series

Real Food Summer Picnic Series :: Classic Coleslaw :: Grain Free, Egg Free, Nut Free, Dairy Free Option

June 23, 2014

Real Food Summer Picnic Series :: Classic Coleslaw :: Grain Free, Egg Free, Nut Free, Dairy Free Option
I think coleslaw is one of my favorite summer foods.

That is such a bold statement because summer brings so much great food!

Real Food Summer Picnic Series :: Classic Coleslaw :: Grain Free, Egg Free, Nut Free, Dairy Free Option
But this coleslaw has been a labor of love to get just right – and I’m so excited to share it with you. Even if you aren’t usually one to go for the coleslaw at a picnic, you are going to be blown away at the flavor in this one.

Real Food Summer Picnic Series :: Classic Coleslaw :: Grain Free, Egg Free, Nut Free, Dairy Free Option
The dressing itself can stand on its own and is one of my secrets to the coleslaw. It is one of my husband’s favorite dressings even on a regular salad!

Real Food Summer Picnic Series :: Classic Coleslaw :: Grain Free, Egg Free, Nut Free, Dairy Free Option
This recipe makes enough for a small family gathering. If you are prepping for say, a large family reunion, just double up. This is a great dish to make up ahead of time for your gathering since it keeps well in the fridge, and the flavor only gets better over time!

Real Food Summer Picnic Series :: Classic Coleslaw :: Grain Free, Egg Free, Nut Free, Dairy Free Option
And even if you are making it for just your family dinner this week, make up the full batch! The flavors only get better over time as they sit in the fridge and you can use it all week as a lunch or dinner add on. I have even been known, *ahem* to make a large bowl of it my entire lunch!

Real Food Summer Picnic Series :: Classic Coleslaw :: Grain Free, Egg Free, Nut Free, Dairy Free Option
Such simple ingredients. Visit your farmer’s market this week and pick up some of these frugal veggies and you can make your own!

Real Food Summer Picnic Series :: Classic Coleslaw :: Grain Free, Egg Free, Nut Free, Dairy Free Option

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Real Food Summer Picnic Series :: Classic Coleslaw :: Grain Free, Egg Free, Nut Free, Dairy Free Option
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 small head cabbage sliced thin
  • 2-3 carrots shredded
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped
  • 1 cup whole sour cream (if you are dairy free use coconut milk yogurt)
  • 1 TB juice from a lemon (could go more if you like it more tart)
  • 1-2 TB raw honey (local if possible!)
  • 1 TB garlic powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • ⅛ – ¼ cayenne pepper
  • ½ - 1 tsp sea salt to taste
  • ¼ - ½ tsp pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Put the cabbage, carrots, and green onions in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Whisk the rest of the ingredients in a small bowl.
  3. Pour the dressing over the veggies and combine.
  4. Refrigerate the coleslaw for a couple hours before serving.

Keep me posted if you try my favorite summer coleslaw! What is your favorite summer dish?

Batch Up Meals Dinner Ideas Lunch Ideas Summer Picnic Series

Real Food Summer Picnic Series :: Sprouted Baked Beans

June 9, 2014

Real Food Summer Picnic Series :: Sprouted Baked Beans
I hope everyone’s summer is kicking off to a fun start! I began this real food summer picnic series a couple weeks ago while making potato salad and I’m so excited to share with you how to make baked beans in a real food way so you can enjoy them all summer!

Canned baked beans has nothing on homemade! The flavor will blow you away, and your picnic guests are sure to be asking for the recipe.

Real Food Summer Picnic Series :: Sprouted Baked Beans
My method is not oven baked or in a slow cooker, but rather using a big stock pot to simmer. As much as I love my slow cooker, I just feel you get much more flavor when you slow sauté the onions, garlic, and bacon and then meld the flavors of the rest in a simmer. You can absolutely make it up and then keep it warm in a slow cooker though! And the flavors only enhance over time!

Real Food Summer Picnic Series :: Sprouted Baked Beans
This is such a great one to make up a few days ahead of time for your summer gatherings. It gets one thing out of the way and done for you, and it warms right up in a slow cooker well. This is a nice big batch that would be perfect for a big gathering – OR you can get leftovers into jars in your freezer so you can pull them out on a hot summer day when you don’t want to cook!

Real Food Summer Picnic Series :: Sprouted Baked Beans
One note on sprouting the beans! If you are “not there yet” – I would much rather see you just use the beans without sprouting them, and still make your own, instead of just buying a can of baked beans. I’m all about baby steps. Just keep in mind the nourishing benefits of the sprouting – and please don’t be intimidated by it! It is so simple and takes barely any hands on time. HERE is my simple post about the hows and whys to sprout beans!
Real Food Summer Picnic Series :: Sprouted Baked Beans
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 ½ lbs dry organic navy beans (My local health food store has them in the bulk section)
  • 1 lb bacon, chopped (preferably from a trusted local organic/pasturing pig farmer – see Tips section for sourcing info)
  • 2 small onions, sliced long
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 – 15 oz can organic tomato sauce
  • ¼ cup water
  • ⅓ – ½ cup pure maple syrup
  • ½ cup organic blackstrap molasses
  • ¼ cup organic Dijon or regular mustard (watch ingredients!)
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • ¼ tsp chipotle powder (could add more if you like more heat)
  • Sea salt/pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. A couple days before you want to make your beans, sprout your beans according to my sprouting post linked up at the top. It is also linked up below here in the Tips section.
  2. Cook your soaked/sprouted beans in water or chicken stock (just cover the beans with water to cover a couple inches, bring to a boil, and simmer for a good hour or 2. At this point you can either freeze your cooked beans until you are ready to make your baked beans, keep them in the fridge up to a week until you are ready to make your beans, or make the baked beans right away.
  3. In a large stock pot, fry the bacon pieces in a tablespoon or 2 of butter or coconut oil until their fats start rendering out.
  4. Add the onion and cook for 5-7 minutes while stirring occasionally.
  5. Add the garlic and cook for a minute.
  6. Add the rest of the ingredients including the cooked beans and bring to a simmer.
  7. Put the lid on and let the beans low simmer for 30ish minutes until it thickens. Stir every 5-10 minutes.
  8. Taste test for salt and pepper – and if you want more heat from more chipotle.
  9. You may store in a crockpot on low or warm if you are taking this to a picnic or park.

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Tips:

  • HERE is how to sprout your beans – again it is super simple and barely any hands on time!
  • HERE are the benefits of using pastured/local/organic pork for your bacon source. If you are unsure of where to find some around you, head to your local farmer’s market and ask around! The farmers are usually more than willing to help.
  • If you don’t have a nice big stock pot for your kitchen…oh! Treat yourself to one this year. I use mine at least weekly and it is one of my kitchen staples! It is so nice to have to make very large batches of soup for your freezer, and it is easier to cook down a big batch of beans in a big stock pot!
  • THIS would be a nice “to-go” slow cooker that you could bring your beans in for a picnic or park day!

Keep me posted if you try the baked beans for your family gathering this summer!