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Picnic & Pot Luck Season: What to Bring


It’s that time of year, when the weather is nice and we look forward getting together with our family, friends, church groups and sport teams to enjoy the sun and share food. It's pot luck and picnic season!

But what to bring? I always chose something that I know I can eat - as I am gluten-free. So our family is quite predictable in that we most often bring our specialty: Gluten-free Pasta & Bean Salad. I thought I’d share the recipe with you so you can prepare it for your next pot luck or picnic event.

This salad can be made with regular pasta instead of gluten-free if you chose. Consider putting the goat cheese on the side to make it vegan. With or without the cheese, it's a protein packed vegetarian option in alignment with current health recommendations, which encourages "going vegetarian" more often.

Here’s the recipe, there are a number of steps but it is quite easy to make.

For the dressing mix the ingredients below in a small bowl or bottle:

  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp salt (or to taste)
  • 2 tsp pepper (or to taste)

To prepare the salad:

  • Cook 1 cup of dry quinoa in 2 cups of water
  • prepare 1 cup of frozen green peas, either microwave or boil
  • Boil ½ - 2/3 cup gluten-free pasta until al dente (firm)

Then combine everything in 1 large bowl:

  • Cooked quinoa
  • Heated peas
  • Cooked pasta
  • 1 can of mixed beans, rinsed
  • ½ can chick peas, rinsed
  • ½ cup diced red onion
  • ½ cup each of green, red and yellow pepper

Pour the dressing over the salad and mix, then sprinkle goat feta on top if desired. 

The three different varieties of peppers with the green peas make this salad colourful too, it presents nicely to guests. Enjoy!

Happy friends in the park having picnic on a sunny day

Christine Hanlan
Christine is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist, and is ORC's Health & Wellness Ambassador.