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Summer Picnic Foods Round-Up

Well here we are at the height of the summer picnic season. I don’t know about the rest of you but I rather dread having to go somewhere that I am expected to share a dish. This is largely because our food restrictions mean that I will have to also bring everything that my family eats, in addition to something that others can eat. It is rare for us to find much of anything that we can consume at a pot luck type affair that we didn’t bring ourselves. My other dread is the fact that after 3.5 years on GAPS and 2+ on the low oxalate diet (LOD) my taste buds have changed. I’m never quite sure if something that we like will taste good to a SAD (standard American diet) palate. The only thing worse than seeing your food overlooked at a pot luck, because it was too weird to try is seeing it in the trash because it wasn’t appreciated by those who did try it. Pastured meats, coconut flour, pastured eggs, organic veggies,and the like, our food isn’t cheap! It hurts to see it tossed out. I am happy to share it generously with my friends but it just hurts to see it in the trash.

Ok so enough complaining. You can always bring watermelon or a green salad to a picnic but if you want to get a little more creative I have some real winners here that I found on a few different blogs. These can be either for your own picnic fare or to share with your friends. Some of these recipes are mine and some are from others. I’ll let you know which ones fit GAPS and which ones fit LOD and if there are any easy fixes needed to make them compliant with either diet.

Main Dishes

Wings with honey Mustard sauce

Crispy Wings with Honey Mustard Sauce (GAPS, LOD) These were a big hit with my kids.


Meatballs for Parties ny GAPS Diet Journey (GAPS)- This recipe makes a lot of meatballs for a party. It also has a version of the recipe for making a much smaller batch.

Salads and Cold Soups

Gezpacho in bowl with sour cream

GAPS Gazpacho (GAPS) This cold tomato soup is a favorite of mine. It even has some hidden GAPS goodness, broth and fermented vegetable juice!  It is popular at picnics too and a great way to get a full serving of veggies.

Wilted Lettuce Salad

Wilted Lettuce Salad with bacon (GAPS, LOD) This salad is a family favorite. My kids get super excited whenever I announce that I’m making it. It has broth and bacon fat. What could be better?


Savory Wilted Lettuce Salad (GAPS, LOD) this is a bacon free version of the wilted lettuce salad. I think we like the bacon version better but this was very good too and if you bring this to a picnic you don’t have to share your bacon. *smile*


Beet Salad By GAPS Diet Journey (GAPS) Sadly Beets are high oxalate but the rest of you can enjoy this twist on the potato salad.


Carrot and Cucumber Veggie Noodle Salad with Cilantro Hemp Pesto by Beyond the Peel (GAPS, LOD if you use arugula instead of spinach and don’t eat too much.) This really looks lovely with the spiralized veggies. I love another reason to use my spiralizer (affiliate link).


Roasted Cauliflower Mint Salad with Cashew Citrus Dressing by Beyond the Peel (GAPS) According to the recipe this is good at room temperature and so it would be great on a picnic table waiting to be eaten.


5 minute Avocado Gazpacho by Beyond The Peel (GAPS, LOD) I always think of Gazpacho as a tomato soup but apparently it can be any cold pureed veggie soup. This one looks quick and tasty.


Spicy Garlic Cabbage and Carrot Slaw with Probiotic Dressing By Delicious Obsessions (GAPS, LOD – replace most or all carrot with more cabbage) This looks like a great twist on coleslaw for sharing at a summer picnic.


Simple Summer Carrot Salad by Delicious Obsessions (GAPS-replace stevia with honey and use rasins since dried cranberries usually have sugar) This is another twist on cole slaw made using just carrots for the bulk of the salad.


Tangy Green Bean Salad with Toasted Walnuts  by Delicious Obsessions (GAPS) This green bean salad looks great! All GAPS legal as written although sadly green beans are high oxalate so I won’t be able to try this.




Aunt Joanne’s Lacto-Fermented Watermelon Pickles (GAPS, LOD)-These sweet lacto-fermented pickles are easy to make from something you might think you should throw away. Plus they are a quick to make ferment so you won’t mind sharing them with your friends. 


The Best Garden Fresh Salsa by whole New Mom(GAPS) Salsa is a great multi purpose kind of food. It can be a side dish or serve as a dip for chips for those who can have them. This one looks very quick to throw together from summer garden produce.


Banana Walnut Muffins by GAPS Diet Journey (GAPS, LOD -leave out the walnuts) I like to make up muffins and cup cakes and freeze them for future needs. These are sure to be popular with friends or you can save them for yourself as a treat at a picnic laden with junk food.

Don’t Miss Part 2 Desserts!

How do you feel about summer picnics? Do your food restrictions make you dread them like me or do you have a better perspective that you want to share.

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  1. Garden Gossip

    Oh, Yum! <3

  2. Garden Gossip

    Oh, Yum! <3

  3. If only the creators of these dishes all lived close by we’d have a feast! I guess I have orchestrated my life so that I am rarely expected to participate in potlucks or get togethers. When I started on GAPS we were attending church and that was very difficult with the tempting SAD home baked (and sometimes store bought) goodies in the entry way every Sunday morning (we stopped attending a couple of months later). There is really only one that I am expected to attend and that is the annual Christmas potluck at my job. I have learned to bring a main dish (like my meatballs included above) and a dessert (like banana nut muffins) and then I know I have *something* to put on my plate and can walk over to the dessert table and get something from there, too. Someone usually brings a plain iceberg lettuce salad and another of my coworkers brings her signature hot sauce which rounds out my plate. I’ve grown very used to having to look over a huge collection of old favorite comfort foods that I no longer eat. Thankfully that no longer bothers me as like you I’ve been eating GAPS 3.5 years. Great collection and perfect for 4th of July, I’ll be sure to share!
    Starlene @ GAPS Diet Journey recently posted…Healed From Asthma and Seasonal Allergies on the GAPS DietMy Profile

  4. Thanks for all these ideas! Just tonight my husband was saying that the “cake” we eat (really a modified coconut muffin recipe with hardly any sweetener) is sooooo good he wants us to share it at our church potluck. My youngest (age 8) laughed out loud and said nobody would eat it after the first bite! It wouldn’t make them have that sugar rush they are used to so they’d think it was yucky. So you are definitely not alone! (We have a *weekly* church potluck and I bring for my family only; we’ll gladly share with others (and have!) but in 3 years of attending there has been maybe a handful of times that there was something we could eat… and it was always fresh fruit that someone grabbed at the grocery store that morning and didn’t prepare in any way. Obviously we didn’t take any as we hadn’t brought anything to share back, but it is interesting how people prepare the same SAD foods week after week!)


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  2. Week in Review - July 6 | Cultured Palate - [...] are a couple of recipe round-ups – picnic foods, cool meals for hot days and grain-free [...]

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