Superfood Summer Picnics - CulinArt Group

Eat Well Blog

Superfood Summer Picnics

Warm days, warm nights, late sunsets, and plenty of time to enjoy the outdoors. One of our favorite ways to enjoy summer is to take advantage of the wonderful weather with a picnic. Gather your friends, family, and pets and head outside to enjoy a meal together. Read below for some picnic tips and summer superfood suggestions for your next picnic adventure.

**Since food packed for a picnic will be without proper refrigeration for a few hours – choose foods and recipes that do well in the heat and won’t spoil. It’s easy to get caught up in all of the fun, but it’s important to keep our friends and family healthy. For some extra tips check out our Safe Summer Sizzles June blog post.


  • It may be a little hot to turn on the oven, but veggie chips make a great addition to any picnic. Roast thin slices of seasonal zucchini, squash, carrots, or beets with a drizzle of olive oil and seasoning until crispy. Make some fresh guacamole to take these chips to the next level.
  • Looking for a cool and refreshing summer meal? Fill up a salad with fresh summer greens and a mix of colorful vegetables. Get fancy and spirilize zucchini, carrots, or squash for a “noodle” salad.


  • For a sweet snack loaded with vitamins and minerals, chop and mix your favorite seasonal fruits into a fruit salad. Cherries, cantaloupe, mangos, honeydew, blueberries, and plums will create a beautiful rainbow fruit salad! Sprinkle with a little bit of lemon or lime juice to keep the fruit fresh and to add a burst of citrus flavor.
  • Finely chop fruit like apples or peaches and sprinkle with cinnamon and citrus to create your very own fruit salsa. Serve with sugar cookies, rice cakes, or pita chips.


  • Plant proteins like beans, tofu, nuts, and seeds hold up well in the heat and are great sources of heart healthy fats. Mix these protein packed items into salads, grains, or pasta. Include seasonal produce like bell peppers, cucumbers, corn, and tomatoes. Make your own trail mix with nuts, seeds, and dried fruit, mash beans into creamy dip, and add tofu to cold sesame noodles for yummy picnic options.
  • Some cheeses are better suited for a picnic than others. Firm, low moisture cheeses like cheddar or parmesan are good choices to bring to your outdoor meal. Make a cheese plate with summer fruits like berries, apples, cherries, and peaches, nuts, and crackers, or grate cheese over pasta and salads. Cheese also supplies calcium and vitamin D.


  • Whole grains like quinoa, farro, brown rice, or freekeh, once cooked, are easy to pack and take on the go. Combine your favorite grain with some summer vegetables like green beans, eggplant, or zucchini, and a tasty sauce or dressing for a quick and easy picnic friendly dish.
  • Pasta salads and picnics make a perfect pair. These cold salads make it easy to get creative and add in whatever veggies you have around. Use whole grain pasta for some extra fiber. Or, try bean pastas like chickpea or lentils for added protein.


  • Transportation is the biggest issue for picnics – nobody wants a squished dessert at the end of a yummy meal. One tip is to use a jar. Create individual desserts and layer them up with yogurt, fruit, whipped cream, cake, or brownies. Put a lid on, and you’re ready to go.
  • Fruit cobblers are simple yet tasty. They can be made with any fruit, which makes them naturally sweet. Utilize your favorite summer fruits and top with an oat crumble and some nuts for a crunch.


  • All year round, but especially during the hot summer months, hydration is extremely important. Picnics tend to be centered around food, but don’t forget the beverages! Keep yourself cool with fresh lemonade, iced tea, seltzer, or just plain old water.
  • Make water exciting by adding fresh fruit for added flavor. Let lemons, limes, pineapple, or even cucumbers soak in water and let the flavors seep in.

Make sure you’re ready for your next picnic by having these items on hand:

  • Picnic basket
  • Picnic blanket
  • Cooler (and ice!)
  • Plates
  • Utensils
  • Cups
  • Napkins
  • Condiments
  • Trash bags
  • Sunscreen
  • Outdoor activities
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  • July 24, 2019


What our clients are saying

“Many, and I do mean many, thanks for a great Parents Weekend.  I heard from so many happy parents and you all work very hard to make it happen.  In gratitude and kindness…”

“This is EXACTLY the type of service and experience we had always envisioned for our patients at MSK Koch!  Thank you Chef Ryan for going out of your way for this patient and all patients and staff!”

“Even though we see challenges every day, each one of you rises to the occasion and makes it seem so easy. I cannot express how impressive it is to see you all work in such a fashion. You are true professionals.”

“We appreciate the excellent service that is a hallmark of the Chadwick Culinart team. You all are such professionals - and you always deliver your service in such a pleasant manner! Thank you for everything you do to help make the Village events successful. We greatly appreciate your talents, efforts, and kindness.”

“This has been a year of unprecedented uncertainty, but through it all, Denee, chef Darby, Samantha, and the whole CulinArt team, provided the best dining experience the school has had in my thirteen year tenure.  It was an absolute pleasure to work with them, and I can't wait for next year when the craziness of COVID brings everyone back into the dining hall for meals. We look forward to working with Denee, Chef Darby, Samantha, and the rest of the CulinArt team again next year.”

“With all the prep work from Winterim ramping up and classes continuing as usual, it's a busy time to be a Forman teacher. Imagine my delight, tired as I was, when I delved into the upscale-restaurant-quality chicken parmesan our dining hall served last night. Forman is all about support, and providing our students with a dinner of that quality is just as important a measure of support as anything that happens in a classroom.”

“We want to take a moment to celebrate all the employees who worked on the front lines during unprecedented times. Your efforts and dedication to going above and beyond are noticed and appreciated. Thank you for being the heart and soul of CulinArt Group. We couldn’t do this without you. Chef Jay and Chef Paul have been so awesome in the Hubbell Café.  There has been significant change, but they take it in stride and keep the delicious food coming.  We truly appreciate them!”

“Thank you for including me today in the food waste demonstration/[chef competition] and flattering me with the role of “judge.” I will proudly don the [Stop Food Waste Day] apron the next time I plan an “event” in our own kitchen. I think this is a very worthwhile cause and the statistics you read off are staggering. They, alone, can intimidate a home chef, let alone be the “driver’ for a professional one.”

“Thank you so very much for the AMAZING dinner you provided for the President, Dean and Jim & Marilyn Simons. They really enjoyed it!! It was perfectly thought out and delicious. Your expertise and impeccable presentation and taste were truly appreciated!”

“I just wanted to touch base as another school year draws to end. I cannot thank you enough for how smoothly this year went. Chef Felix [Herrera] and his staff made it seamless in a year with lots of wrinkles.    ”

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