Tag Archives: picnic

  1. Grilled Watermelon Salad with Arugula, Feta and Charred Limes

    Grilled Watermelon Salad with Arugula and Feta

    Grilled Watermelon Salad with Arugula and Feta

    Fruit and I have certainly had our ups and downs over the years. I like to describe our tumultuous connection using the Facebook relationship status of “it’s complicated”. In the past couple of years as I have worked very, very hard to get my gut issues under control, despite the usual suspects, I have come to find that many fruits, especially those highest in fructose to be one of THE biggest triggers in my chronic bloating, gas and general gastric upset.

    This isn’t exclusive to me and it’s actually quite common with folks that struggle with bacterial imbalances in their gut, SIBO, leaky gut, etc. Fruits high in fructose can cause fermentation in the gut, which can lead to some not-so-pleasant after effects.

    Grilled Watermelon Salad with Arugula and Feta

    It took me some time to discover that fruit was one of the biggest culprits and more, it was hard for me to understand how a nutritious, healthful whole food, like fruit could be create such gnarly side effects. Seemed wrong. It was in experimenting with a low FODMAP protocol that I found some of the greatest relief and while there are still some fruits today, that I have to be careful with and mindful of how much I consume, it has changed so significantly over the last few years as I have worked hard to heal my gut and get my gut bacteria in better balance.

    Read the rest of this entry »

  2. Our 15 Favorite Summertime Salads

    Our 15 Favorite Summer Salads

    I know we are creeping closer to summer’s end, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. We still have several weeks left of summertime abundance and then, of course, the magical swing season where summer and autumn meet for a brief time and the produce is extra special.  For now, I plan to continue to celebrate and indulge in all that the summer’s markets and local farms and gardens have to offer.

    Our 15 Favorite Summertime Salads:

    Read the rest of this entry »

  3. Summer Squash Salad with Basil Vinaigrette and Crispy Prosciutto

    Summer Squash Salad with Basil Vinaigrette and Crispy Prosciutto

    Summer Squash Salad with Basil Vinaigrette and Crispy Prosciutto

    Summer is definitely all about the fuss-free eating, but to me, it’s also all about enjoying the abundance. With so much beautiful produce in season, there is no shortage of foods to be inspired by and get creative with.

    To me, zucchini gets all the love during the summer and admittedly, I likely eat a farm’s worth myself every year. But lest we forget about the yellow summer squash, the beautiful golden sibling to the zucchini. While the flavor is very similar, the only real major difference is their skin color, so I find the yellow squash to be as equally versatile as the zucchini and it too is a mainstay in my summer kitchen.

    Read the rest of this entry »

  4. Tomato Cucumber Salad with Avocado and Olives

    This post is part of my ongoing Restricted Diet series with the Free People blog BLDG 25

    Tomato Cucumber Salad with Avocado and Olives

    This refreshing, summer-inspired Tomato Cucumber Salad with Avocado and Olives is a beautiful addition to any summer meal. Growing up in a Greek family, tomato cucumber salads were a staple with many of our meals in the summer. We would go to the garden, grab what we needed, mix it up, top it off with some variations of a Greek-inspired dressing, maybe some feta and kalamata olives and that was that.

    Tomato Cucumber Salad with Avocado and Olives

    I swap the feta cheese for avocado in this rendition, creating a dish to please everyone. This light and colorful side dish has a beautiful crunch from the cucumbers, a salty brine from the olives, creaminess from the avocado and the bright fresh flavor of the tomatoes. If you have an abundant garden of your own or maybe a weekly CSA box delivery, I am certain this classic refreshing salad will become a mainstay on your summer menu.

    Read the rest of this entry »

  5. Savor the Summer: Gluten-free 4th of July Picnic Recipes

    Savor the Summer: Gluten-free 4th of July Picnic Recipes plus a Picnic Giveaway from MightyNest

    Schools out for summer! OK, well for some of us, it’s been out for like 10+ years, but whatever – it’s still a time to celebrate!!  It’s the best time to focus on enjoying the long days of summer with family and friends. Barefoot temps, trips to the beach and the farmers market, making time for fresh and simple meals and doing as much as possible outdoors… there is just so much that is especially delicious about summer. To me, there is no better word for what it we need to be doing right now – than savoring!!

    One of my personal favorite ways to Savor the Summer is with PICNICS!! We love packing up some goodies and heading to the beach, to a local park, farmers market or even just our own backyard for a some good old fashioned – dining al fresco! There truly is no better way to enjoy the flavors of the season than with your feet in the grass, your skin being kissed by the hot summer sun enjoying the freshest food the season has to offer.

    I am super excited to share with you today a bunch of great naturally-colored red white and blue 4th of July-inspired picnic recipes plus a ton of other summer-worthy recipes!

    Read the rest of this entry »

  6. Grilled Asparagus Spring Salad with Meyer Lemon Shallot Vinaigrette (Gluten-free w/ Vegan Option)

    Grilled Asparagus Spring Salad with Meyer Lemon Shallot Vinaigrette (Gluten-free and Vegan)

    Spring produce honestly makes me giddy. I get school girl crush excited to stroll the aisles at the farmers market and my favorite organic grocery store and it feels like Christmas morning every Wednesday when I open the CSA box that our farmer drops off and I get to look inside. I am not sure how you feel about it, but I seriously think all of this fresh green goodness is definitely worth celebrating.

    Grilled Asparagus Spring Salad with Meyer Lemon Shallot Vinaigrette (Gluten-free and Vegan)

    One of my absolute favorite in season vegetables is asparagus. I am not joking when I tell you I consumed about 3 lbs of it myself in a 24 hour period, one day last week. I love it. My two favorite ways to enjoy it is roasted in the oven and grilled. The smokey flavor and those char marks from the beautiful caramelization of the natural sugars are just perfection.

    Oh and I personally find just picking those spears up with my hands and enjoying them, sans silverware, only enhances all of this! Try it, you’ll see. Read the rest of this entry »

  7. Sprouted Quinoa Salad with Mango, Black Beans and Avocado – Gluten-free + Vegan

    Sprouted Quinoa Salad with Mango, Black Beans and Avocado - Gluten-free + Vegan

    Phew! Life has been a bit busy lately. We’re still trying to get caught up on all the work we have going on right now. Between being away from the studio for 2 weeks and with how much client work we have booked, we’ve really been putting in the hours. We also spent the weekend painting the downstairs here at the house, getting it ready to sell. OK, well actually we had a friend here doing most of the painting while we worked on client work, but I helped for a handful of hours on Sunday! We also spoke at the State University at Fredonia on Monday night, to final-year design and print making students, which was really, really fun. On top of all of this, I have been trying to get to yoga every morning for my 90-minute practice. I have had to miss a day here and there, but when life is busy, it is when I need it the most.

    The last week and a half actually seems a little bit like a blur. So, I have been trying to sneak time into the kitchen here and there, when I can, but it is proving to be a bit difficult right now. Last week, besides the delicious Baingan Bharta that I made, I made a HUGE pot of vegetable soup and I also made a version of this delicious gluten-free flatbread with roasted vegetables from Karina, the Gluten-Free Goddess. I basically lived off of those meals and that worked fine, but now I am ready for life to calm down a bit, so I can start playing with new recipes!

    I am hoping to have some time this weekend to play around with some gluten-free, vegan waffle recipes and I am also thinking of making a fun new dessert treat, similar idea to the coconut dark chocolate treats that I made and everyone has been loving so much! Plus, I have been dreaming of a pie recipe, that I just need to find the time to actually make. So look for those recipes, hopefully really soon, and definitely some others, too.

    In the meantime, I made this salad for lunch today and I was really glad that I made the time to do so. It was super simple and a really nice bright and fresh spring meal. I happened to have sprouted quinoa that I had picked up at the market, but any regular quinoa would do. I also ended up topping this salad with avocado when I served it. I forgot about the avocado when I took the photos, but it was a perfect addition. You could also add in some red bell pepper if you have some on hand or fresh corn, etc. If you don’t want a little spice, skip the jalapeño or just start with half of one.

    The weather is starting to really warm up here, but more than the temperature, the biggest change in this time of year that I absolutely adore is the sunshine. I miss the sunshine during the winter months and it is my favorite part of the spring. Salads like this feel like the perfect light meal to eat when the sun is shining!

    What have you been eating lately? Have you had a lot of time in your kitchen or has life been hectic?


    Sprouted Quinoa Salad with Mango, Black Beans and Avocado - Gluten-free + Vegan

    [print_this]Sprouted Quinoa Salad with Mango, Black Beans and Avocado – Gluten-free + Vegan
    serves 4-6

    • 2 cups cooked organic sprouted quinoa
    • 1 mango, diced
    • 1 cup of canned organic black beans, drained and rinsed
    • 1 cucumber, quartered the long way, then sliced
    • 1 cup organic cherry tomatoes, halved
    • 1 jalapeño, seeds removed, minced
    • 3-4 scallions, sliced thinly
    • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
    • 1 avocado, diced


    • juice from 1 lime
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 clove garlic, minced
    • zest from 1/2 lime
    • salt and pepper, to taste

    Cook the quinoa according to package directions. After it is cooked, fluff the quinoa with a fork and set aside to cool.
    While the quinoa is cooling, mix the dressing in a small bowl, whisk well to combine.

    Once the quinoa is cooled, toss it with the mango, black beans, cucumber, tomatoes, jalapeño, green onions and cilantro. Drizzle the dressing over top the salad, and toss gently to evenly coat. Salt and pepper to taste.

    Serve the salad at room temperature or chilled topped with a small sprinkle of sliced green onions and fresh cilantro, as well as some diced avocado on top, if you wish.



  8. Creamy Vegan Broccoli Salad with Mushrooms and Almonds

    Creamy Vegan Broccoli Salad with Mushrooms and Almonds

    Hey guys – I apologize for the lack of recipes right now, but I have had my head buried in work while we get ready for SXSW and the Flatstock Rock Poster Convention in Austin, Texas. We leave next Saturday for the long and fun road trip down there and we will be on the road for a total of 11 days. Many of you probably recall me talking about it last year at this time, it is such an enjoyable excursion that comes at the perfect time of year for us. We get to see so many of our wonderful and talented friends from all over the world, we eat lots of delicious Mexican food, plus some of the best BBQ food you will ever have, oh and we get to sell all of our handmade goods and wares to music fans from all over the world for 4 days! Plus, did I meantion it is usually somewhere in the 80s, with the sun shining every day. Ahhh, see it couldn’t come at a better time, it is the perfect break at the end of a dreary, grey and cold Buffalo winter. The only thing I dislike about this trip is how much time I am away from my own kitchen, the comforts of my own homemade foods and my daily yoga practice. In an effort to circumvent the lack of these daily comforts, I plan to pack a cooler full of my homemade Kombucha and some tasty snacks for the road trip down and I will most definitely have my yoga mat rolled up in a corner of the car somewhere so I can squeeze in some practice and meditation each day of the trip.

    I plan to get a couple more recipes up here before I leave and if I can pull it together, I plan to get some guest posts together from some of my favorite bloggers! It is funny, this is the first trip I have taken that I am actually feeling weird about the lack of posting on here while I am away. I think because I am finally getting a really decent amount of visits each day, I don’t want people to get bummed when they stop by and nothing new has been added. Yup, my blogging obsession is officially official, I don’t wanna leave Tasty Yummies the way I don’t wanna leave my pets! haha

    Anyhow, this recipe is one that I have been sitting on for a few days and I finally made time tonight to get the photos edited and the recipe fully written up. This salad is my take on a salad I had recently at local food shop/deli/cafe, Globe Market. They are located on Elmwood, literally right at the front door of my yoga studio, East Meets West Yoga. Though I rarely grab food after yoga, since I just head home and eat something light, I stopped in there one day after yoga, about two weeks ago to grab a quick gluten-free hummus and veggie sandwich before heading to a meeting. When he found out I was stopping there, Mark asked me to grab a serving or two of one of their delicious-looking side salads, for him to eat alongside sandwiches at lunch at home during the week. I opted for a creamy raw broccoli salad with red onions, bacon and almonds. That sounded just up his alley, healthy enough with some naughty stuff, too. Mark loved it, but truthfully I ate most of it. I couldn’t help it, it was so tasty, it was perfectly simple. It wasn’t even the bacon that got me, it was the delicious dressing and the combination of all of the ingredients.

    So, I decided that it was a simple enough salad that I could make my own version at home, but with a Tasty Yummies twist. I wanted to make it vegan. I was determined to make it just as delicious without the bacon and with a delicious egg-free and dairy-free creamy dresssing. So I bought some Grapeseed Veganaise from Follow Your Heart, to make the dressing creamy and I went from there. I was honestly surprised that I pulled it off and was even happier with my own version that the bacon containing version from Globe. I decided to use shallots instead of red onions for a bit milder of a flavor and I added in some mushroom slices that I had on hand. This salad has been the perfect side dish with so many different lunches and dinner. I made sure to make a large enough batch that we could eat it throughout the week.

    If you aren’t crazy about totally raw broccoli, feel free to blanch or steam yours for about 3-5 minutes. I love raw broccoli, myself, though I should probably consider steaming it to take down on the :ahem: gassy after-effects (sorry TMI, but it’s the truth)!

    If you aren’t vegan, you can use your favorite mayonnaise and you could even consider adding in some crispy bacon crumbles. It really is quite complimentary.

    Creamy Vegan Broccoli Salad with Mushrooms and Almonds

    [print_this]Creamy Vegan Broccoli Salad with Mushrooms and Almonds
    Serves 6-8

    1/2 cup grapeseed oil veganaise (or other vegan mayo)
    2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
    1 tablespoon coconut sugar (you could also use brown sugar, maple syrup, honey or any other sweetener of your choice)
    1 tbsp gluten-free unsalted whole grain mustard
    kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
    1 clove garlic, minced

    Approximately 8 cups of broccoli florets (about 2 pounds of florets)
    2 shallots, chopped
    9 ounces mushrooms, sliced
    1/2 cup sliced toasted almonds

    In a small bowl, whisk together all of the dressing ingredients, until well combined and smooth. Set aside.

    Place the broccoli in a large serving bowl, toss with the shallots, mushrooms and almonds. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss well to combine. Serve.

    This salad can be stored covered in the fridge for up to 3 days. Toss well before serving. You can serve this room temperature or cooled.


  9. Gluten-free + Vegan Lentil “Meat” Loaf

    Gluten-free + Vegan Lentil “Meat” Loaf

    Hey guys, sorry it was a bit quiet on here last week, we were getting ready for and working our (Hero Design Studio) Pop-Up Shop over the weekend. It went super well and I can’t wait to share some photos from the event with you guys. I am a bit behind on recipe posting from being so busy last week, so look for lots of new recipes this week!

    I am super duper excited to not only share this new recipe with you, but to also be the guest blogger at Healthful Pursuit today! If any of you follow me on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook, you will probably remember my extreme excitement about 2-weeks ago when I finally got this Lentil “Meat” Loaf recipe right. I had messed around with a few different versions, but no matter how delicious my loaves tasted, they just didn’t want to stay together, they ended up being a crumbly, sloppy mess on the plate when I would serve them. I finally got it figured out and I couldn’t wait to share it with anyone who would listen, it’s that good.

    Gluten-free + Vegan Lentil “Meat” Loaf

    When Leanne, from Healthful Pursuit, contacted me to share a recipe on her blog with her readers while she is on an incredible trip to India, I was in the middle of experimenting with this recipe, so I knew this was the one to share. Plus, knowing it would be out there in front of even more people, it gave me an even more incentive to try to get it right and perfect.

    Leanne’s blog has always been one of my favorites, I found her through her comments on my blog about a year ago and I was always so inspired by what she was making in her own kitchen. In addition to having a similar approach to health and well-being as I do, as a Holistic Nutritionist, Leanne, also has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to foods, eating and our health. Finding Healthful Pursuit brought a wonderful new breath to my cooking and has affirmed all of my decisions about food. I promise after just one visit to HP, you too will be adding it to your bookmarks.


    Gluten-free + Vegan Lentil “Meat” Loaf

    This Lentil “Meat” Loaf pretty much sums up so many of my feelings for food. It is healthy, comforting, satisfying and you won’t feel like you are missing out on a thing when you eat it. It is hearty without being heavy and it is packed full of foods that are great for you. In addition to all of that, the most important thing to me is that it stayed together when I sliced it and it looks beautiful, instead of a lumpy pile on the plate 🙂

    This lentil loaf is almost a little meaty and is sure to satisfy even the meatiest of meat-lovers in your family, I promise. My hubby, Mark, LOVED it. He even made up a song for it. Reheat a slice or two of this loaf up in a cast iron skillet to get it a little toasted on the outside and toss it on your favorite gluten-free (or not) bread, with a little more BBQ sauce and some pickled red onions for a delicious “meat” loaf sandwich. The perfect hearty and healthy lunch.

    Spicy Vegan BBQ Sauce

    In addition to the loaf, I also made a delicious and spicy vegan BBQ sauce to go on top. You could certainly use your favorite store bought BBQ sauce, but I urge you to try making your own, even if just one time. It is much easier than you think, you can skip all the gross refined sugar or corn-syrup laced store brands and you can tweak the ingredients to have a taste that is all your own. My BBQ sauce is a tad bit spicy (you can make it as spicy as you’d like), a little tangy and just a tad bit sweet. I love it.

    This recipe was originally shared on Healthful Pursuit.

    [print_this]Gluten-Free and Vegan Lentil “Meat” Loaf
    Makes about 8 slices

    2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
    6 tablespoons boiling water
    2 cups cooked green lentils, cooled and split into 1 1/2 cups and 1/2 cup
    1 cup mushrooms, diced
    2 cups fresh baby spinach, roughly chopped
    1 tablespoon olive oil
    1 onion, diced
    1 clove garlic, minced
    1 tablespoon fresh thyme, roughly chopped
    1 cup gluten-free rolled oats, split in half
    1/2 cup almond flour
    3/4 cup spicy vegan BBQ sauce (see below)

    Preheat the oven to 375º. Add the ground flax seeds to a small bowl, pour the boiling hot water over and stir to combine well. Set aside and allow it to thicken and cool.

    Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat, add the onion and garlic and sauté for 5-8 minutes until the onions are tender. Add in the mushrooms and cook another 3 to 5 minutes until the mushrooms are tender, add in the thyme and spinach and cook until the spinach is wilted, about 2 minutes. Add in 1/2 cup of the BBQ sauce, stir to combine and turn off the heat, add salt and pepper to taste, if it needs it.

    Process 1 1/2 cups of the cooked lentils and1/2 cup of the oats in the food processor until smooth (some whole bits may remain, that’s ok). Spoon the mixture into a large bowl, add in the remaining lentils and oats, plus the flax “egg”, almond flour and vegetable mixture. Stir really well to combine. Then get your hands in there, just like you would with a regular meat loaf or meatballs, and make sure it is mixed and mashed together really well.

    Spoon the mixture into a parchment paper lined 9″ x 5″ loaf pan, (leave a bit of the parchment paper hanging over so you can easily lift the loaf out when it is cooked). Using your hands, you really want to press it in good. Brush on the remaining 1/4 cup of BBQ sauce over the top.

    Bake uncovered for 35 to 40 minutes at 375º. Cool in the pan for about 5, pull the loaf out by grabbing the sides of the parchment paper and lifting up and allow it to cool for another 5 to 10 minutes on a cooking rack. Slice and serve.[/print_this]

    [print_this]Spicy Vegan BBQ Sauce
    Makes about 1 quart of sauce

    1 tablespoon olive oil
    1 large onion, diced
    3-4 garlic cloves minced
    1 teaspoon celery seed
    24-ounce jar of strained (or crushed) tomatoes (or a 28-ounce can)
    7-ounce jar of tomato paste (or a 6-ounce can)
    2 tablespoons Sriracha (if you don’t like spicy, you can skip this, add less or use just a pinch of two of red pepper flakes instead)
    1/4 cup cider vinegar
    1/4 cup whole grain mustard
    1/4 cup maple syrup
    1/4 cup blackstrap molasses
    2 teaspoons liquid smoke

    Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan over a medium heat. Add the onion sauté for about 5 minutes, until the onion is slightly tender, add the garlic and saute for another minute or two. Add in the remaining ingredients and stir well to combine, reduce the heat to a medium-low and allow to simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, stirring often. Taste the sauce and make sure you don’t want more of anything, you may want it more sweet, spicy, sour, salty. I like my BBQ sauce tangy and smoky, so I added another 1/4 cup of vinegar and another teaspoon of liquid smoke. Remove from the heat, allow to cool for a few minutes, then puree until smooth in the food processor or blender.[/print_this]

  10. Potato Salad with Yogurt Cheese Dressing

    Potato Salad with Yogurt Cheese Dressing

    I usually am not a fan of mayo based potato salad, something about most of them just never seems very appetizing to me. However, I had been meaning to experiment with a yogurt-based dressing as an alternative. I had bought some great yogurt cheese from White Cow Dairy at the farmer’s market and I thought that would be perfect for a potato salad dressing. White Cow Dairy is located in East Otto, NY where all of their cows enjoy a life full of grazing on their lush pastures. They make a variety of artisan products including custards, crème bulgares, thick yogurts, whey drinks, sauces and more. When sweetening is required, their products are flavored with maple found right on their own land, additionally they use wild leeks, onions, blueberries and apples all from the land on or surrounding their farm. I love that.

    I really don’t know much about yogurt cheese, just that it is the creamy white cheese you get when liquid whey drains from yogurt. It has a great thick and rich consistency without the fat and it really gives a nice tang to all kinds of dishes. I have put it on everything from veggie burgers to fresh berries. It is quite versatile with either sweet or savory items. I will definitely be buying it again. I have also seen recipes for making your own yogurt cheese at home, though I am not sure I would bother considering the perfection that White Cow Dairy has achieved with theirs.

    As usual, I threw this recipe together by taste, so I am not exactly sure on the measurements. I had a small bushel of baby potatoes from the market last week that needed to get eaten up, so I just pulled this together on the fly.

    Potato Salad with Yogurt Cheese Dressing
    serves 4

    1 cup yogurt cheese
    approx 1/4 cup organic milk to thin the cheese
    approx 30 or so baby potatoes, (red or otherwise)
    half of a medium-sized red onion, chopped
    fresh herbs, dill, chives, etc (dried will work as well)
    kosher salt
    fresh ground black pepper

    In salty water, boil the potatoes, cook until soft. Drain and allow to cool. Once cooled, you can peel and half them. I leave the peels on myself. Put the halved potatoes in a large serving bowl, add the chopped red onion, chopped fresh chives and dill (I went with dried dill as that was all I had). To prepare the dressing, take 1 cup of the yogurt and slowly add the milk, one tablespoon at a time, whisking. Add milk until the yogurt is thinned to your desired consistency. I left mine fairly thick, but not chunky. Add the dressing to the potato salad and season with salt and pepper. Mix to combine and coat, being careful not to mash the potatoes. Taste and add more seasonings as needed. Chill until you are ready to serve. Allowing this to chill for a good couple of hours really brings all the flavors together and all the ingredients get nice and cold. Serve with fresh chives and fresh ground pepper on top. Enjoy.

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