A red and white checked cloth, a wicker basket and…wait a second. What are you going to pack for your picnic now that the cheese and crackers you used to snack on before your meal, as well as the deli sandwiches and coleslaw that were your main course, are no longer on the menu? Now that you’re a full-fledged Paleoista, it’s hardly going to be hot dogs on buns with baked beans and macaroni salad!
The good news is it’s actually quite simple to make a paleo-friendly picnic. Here are some simple ideas for make-ahead foods that will work for the whole family at the next summer picnic!
- Grass-fed red meats or free range poultry are easy protein options, either grilled on their own, or cubed and skewered with your vegetables such as onion, bell peppers and zucchini.
- Reinvent your leftovers, too; extra flank steak on top of a bed of Mache lettuce with avocado, strawberries and cashews makes nice, light option or take the leftover chicken, dice it, add some chopped celery, apple & red onion, raisins, curry powder, olive oil, and enjoy a paleo chicken salad atop a bed of steamed broccoli
- Crudités and guacamole make a delicious replacement for chips and dip.
- Cole Slaw. There’s no reason why you can’t make a paleo version of this picnic staple. Skip the vinegar-laden mayo and replace it with a healthy combination of lemon juice and olive oil. Combine finely shredded green cabbage with chopped scallions, shredded carrot, one small diced apple, olive oil and/or flaxseed oil, lemon juice, your favorite fresh herbs and freshly ground pepper in a large, flat bowl, refrigerate and stir occasionally over the next 24 hours. Add some slivered, toasted almonds and garnish with whichever herbs you used in the salad. Serve cold, with your bison burgers in lettuce wraps, and a side of fresh, grilled pineapple.
- Grill peaches and pineapple ahead of time and cool. Those, along with frozen grapes, offer a naturally sweet finish to the meal.
Bring along plenty of flat or sparkling water and you’ll have a meal everyone is sure to enjoy!
Nell Stephenson, the original “Paleoista,” is the author of Paleoista, Gain Energy, Get Lean and Feel Fabulous with the Diet You Were Born to Eat (Touchstone, 2012) and co-author of The Paleo Diet Cookbook with Dr. Loren Cordain, PhD (Wiley & Sons, 2010). In addition to her work as nutrition consultant and trained chef, Stephenson is a personal trainer and competitive endurance athlete who credits the Paleo diet for her transformed health and athletic success. Visit her blog at www.paleoista.com.