Gluten-Free Picnic Recipes for Labor Day Weekend

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With summer coming to a close, and we celebrate it’s end with probably the second biggest bash of summer (the first being, of course, July 4th), I have prepared a splendid picnic arrangement to mark this occasion. Labor Day is here, and I wish to inspire all of you to head out of doors, to enjoy an al fresco meal that is guilt-free, and scrumptiously delicious. Life is short, so let’s take advantage of it, and celebrate every bit of life with a yummy meal and good company.


Simple Quinoa Chicken Salad with Cherry Tomatoes, Kalamata Olives, Basil and Mint

I absolutely love, love quinoa! I especially love its versatility, simplicity and the fact that it’s high in protein. You can make quinoa salad warm or cold, and they are both equally delicious. This salad comes with my Mediterranean kind of flavor – lots of minced garlic , olive oil, kalamata olives and lots of fresh mint.

Serves: 4-6
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes each to cook the quinoa and grill the chicken

 

Ingredients
2 1/2 cups cooked quinoa
6 Oz Chicken breast, grilled and chopped small
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 carrot, grated
3 green onions ( scallions) sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
4 Tbs almonds, chopped
2 Tbs chopped fresh basil leaves
2 Tbs chopped fresh mint leaves

Dressing:
1 Tbs Olive Oil
Juice of 1-2 lemons or limes
Pinch of Sea salt
Pinch of black pepper

Preparation
1. Cook quinoa according to instructions on package
2. In a large salad bowl, add quinoa and the rest of ingredients. Toss to combine all ingredients together.
3. In a separate small bowl, Whisk all dressing ingredients together, and pour over the quinoa salad. Toss well and enjoy!

 

Simple 2 Mins Vegan Guacamole Recipe

This guacamole is as easy as uno, dos, tres. To enhance the flavor add lots of garlic, scallions, and chopped cilantro.
20120718-DSC_8394-2
Serves 4
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 0 minutes

Ingredients
3 ripe avocados
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 scallions, chopped small
10 sweet cherry tomatoes, halved
Juice from 1 lime
Fresh cilantro, chopped small
Sea salt and pepper a pinch each.

Preparation:
1. Halve and pit the avocados. With a spoon, scoop out each avocado into a medium bowl and mash with a fork.
2. Add the scallions, garlic, cilantro and lime juice and mix until smooth (if you prefer, you may leave it chunky)
3. Stir in the tomatoes; reserve a few for garnish on the top.
Serve with gluten-free corn tortilla chips.

 

5 Minutes Vanilla Cream Pudding Parfait with Berries, Pistachios and Fresh Mint – It’s Raw, Vegan and Gluten Free!

The first time I made this recipe and served it to one of my clients, she was blown away first of all, by how pretty it looks in a martini glass, and second, by the rich creaminess of the cashew cream. When I told her that this dessert is actually good for her, and she can even have it at night when her sweet tooth has its cravings sometimes, she thought I was kidding her. As I always say: let’s have the cake AND eat it too. Life’s short. Enjoy!

Prep time: 5 minutDSC_1423es
Cook time: 0 minutes
Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

1 ½ cups cashews, soaked over night or at least for 2-4 hours
1/3 cup extra virgin coconut oil, melted
1 teaspoon Rose water ( optional)
1/3 cup water ( or coconut water)
1/4 cup agave nectar ( or less if you don’t want it too sweet)
1/2 vanilla bean, scraped
Lemon Juice from 1/4 fresh lemon

 

Preparation:
1. Place the cashews, coconut oil, water, rose water, agave and vanilla bean in a a high-speed blender (or Vitamix) and process until very smooth, about 2 -3 minutes.
2. Divide into 4 individual martini glasses, top with fresh strawberries, blueberries, slices pistachios, and garnish with fresh mint leaves.

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