By Barb Biagioli
Summer is finally here in Saratoga! Those sunny Saturday mornings can now be pleasantly spent perusing the abundance of vendors at the Saratoga Farmers’ Market.
The summer season yields such a beautiful harvest of fresh fruits and vegetables – ones that are perfect for your next picnic in the park. On your next trip to the market, look out for those summer staples that you can use for packing a plant-based picnic, like radishes, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, zucchini, yellow squash, pickles and sauerkraut, carrots, and all of your greens – spinach, kale, arugula, and lettuces galore. You can use these plant foods in a variety of picnic-perfect snacks, like:
- Homemade hummus with sliced carrots, cucumber, radishes, and zucchini
- Homemade green pesto with sliced carrots, cucumber, radishes, and zucchini
- Homemade pickled radishes with fresh herbs
- Pesto and veggie wraps or hummus and veggie wraps
- Zucchini noodle pasta with cherry tomatoes and pesto
- Garden picnic pasta salad (see recipe below)
It’s time to dust off that picnic basket, soak up the sunshine and get outside before the sun sets on summer. My favorite summer memories are filled with days spent lounging by the pool, making forts in the woods, traipsing through the cornfield, homemade lunches on my parent’s back porch and picnics at the lake. Picnics, that likely included some variation of a summer pasta salad.
Inspired by fresh finds from the farmer’s market, my Garden Picnic Pasta Salad includes a healthy helping of dark leafy greens, summer vegetables, and a tangy sun-dried tomato dressing. It contains 25g of plant protein per serving and is a hit among the kids. It’s fresh, seasonal and delicious. Beyond your next picnic, this pasta may accompany you to a friend’s BBQ, boat day on the lake, the beach, camping or a regular ole summer shindig.
Barb Biagioli is a board-certified holistic health coach and nutrition consultant, mother of two, and an avid farmer’s market shopper. She works with women and families to improve their health by implementing sustainable diet and lifestyle changes. Barb offers one-one-one coaching programs, workshops and classes, grocery tours, pantry rehab, and menu and restaurant consultation.