Menu Plan May 17 – Picnic Foods

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menu-swap-009This week’s theme for the Gluten Free Menu Swap is Picnic Foods. Perhaps I chose the theme a little too quickly. When I sat down to write about it, I realized that “picnic foods” could mean a lot of different things: a lunch taken to the park, a company barbecue gathering, a potluck at a friend’s backyard, or maybe just some wine, cheese and fruit taken to the concert in the park. So, I guess this week’s theme is open to your own interpretation.

A friend of mine recently started on a gluten-free diet and asked me what I take to barbecues and parties at other people’s houses. So, I guess I’ll address picnic foods as a potluck barbecue.

I almost always bring a dessert item, so my kids won’t be tempted to eat the gluten-filled ones offered. I often make a tray of gluten-free brownies to share, but have to reserve a couple of them so I’m sure we get some. They are usually one of the first desserts to disappear from the table! When I’m in a pinch for time, I’ll use Betty Crocker’s Brownie Mix or The Gluten-Free Pantry’s Chocolate Truffle Brownie Mix. We think both of them are very good.

Salads are a great item to take to a potluck. They are naturally gluten-free, so they’ll be cheaper to make and better accepted by guests who eat gluten. For a large gathering, I might take Potato Salad for a CrowdSeven Layer Salad and Fruit Salad are also great dishes to take. They’re easy to make and usually appreciated by guests. If time is pressing, you can always pick up fruit and vegetable trays at the grocery store. And don’t forget about watermelon! Slices of watermelon are always a popular item at a picnic. I’ve got even more salads in our menu this week.

Celiac Family’s menu this week:

MondayTilapia Parmesan
Tilapia broiled with a Parmesan sauce and served with brown rice and asparagus.

Tuesday – Grilled Chicken Breasts
Chicken breasts lightly seasoned and grilled. Serving with Red Potato and Green Bean Salad.

Wednesday – Chicken Sausages
We really enjoyed the Al Fresco chicken sausages last week. So, we’re having them again this week and serving them with Corn and Black Bean Salad.

Thursday – Baked Salmon
Baking salmon with a balsamic glaze. Serving it with leftover brown rice and Fuit Kabobs.

Friday – No-cook Night
No cooking for me tonight, just leftovers.

Saturday – P.F. Chang’s
I’m hoping to try some of PF Chang’s new gluten-free menu items.

Sunday – Pork Chops
Grilling pork chops and serving with Spicy Slaw.

Here’s what some other gluten-free friends are planning this week:

Cheryl at Gluten Free Goodness is headed to the mountains. So, her menu this week has food items that are portable and don’t easily spoil. Sounds perfect for picnic foods.  And check out all the food she made for a cookout a couple years ago.

Renee from Beyond Rice and Tofu is joining us this week with menu items that would work out great at a picnic. The Spicy Ginger Noodles sounds like a salad I need to try. And a taco salad is always welcome at our house, though it’s usually how we use up our leftovers.

At Celiacs in the House, Wendy has a wonderful menu planned this week that starts with Fish Tacos and a Cilantro and Lime Coleslaw. That coleslaw sounds perfect for a picnic. She also has a Southwest Quinoa/Brown Rice Couscous Salad that got my attention. Wendy is hosting the Menu Swap next week with the theme of Book-Inspired Foods. I’ll have to think about that this week and see what I can come up with.

Angela at Angela’s Kitchen got a late start with her menu plan this week. But she had a good reason: a last-minute request for her to teach a gluten-free class. She made gluten-free/dairy-free brownie ice cream sandwiches? Yum! Angela has quite a few ideas for portable foods suitable for a picnic, including Hummus and Quinoa Tabouli, Stromboli, and Cucumber cups. Check out her full menu for even more great menu ideas.

Need more menu ideas?

  • Laura at hosts Menu Plan Monday every week. You’ll find links to hundreds of meal plans (not necessarily gluten-free) there.
  • Or, check out some of my past menu plans.

Want to join Gluten-Free Menu Swap?

Cheryl at Gluten Free Goodness manages the headquarters of Gluten-Free Menu Swap. There you will find the rules, the current and upcoming schedule, and links to past roundups. For this week, email the link of your gluten-free menu to me at celiacfamily[at]gmail[dot]com.

Categories : Menu Plan



P. F. Chang’s is a favorite with my teens. They love that Spicy Chicken and the Chocolate Dome. I had the GF beef and broccoli a few weeks ago and it was great. Here’s my link:
Thanks for hosting this week.


I’m with the teens, I love the Spicy Chicken and Chocolate Dome, too. I haven’t taken my kids there yet, but I’m hoping we can find something other than the chocolate dome for them to eat. 🙂 Maybe the Chicken Lettuce Cups or the Beef with Snow Peas.


[…] Gluten Free Menu Swap is hosted this week by Heather of Celiac Family.  She picked Picnic Foods for this week’s theme.  I am hoping for some great ideas from […]


Yikes! I just got my menu plan post up… on WEDNESDAY! Sorry about the delay.

Thanks so much for hosting. I love the picnic theme. I am always on the look out for new traveling food ideas… I have a list of some things we bring on a picnic beside gf sandwiches. My kids will love the fruit kabobs (everything is better on a stick!)

Lucky you, no cooking for 2 days. Woo!


Glad you could join us. You’ve shared a great list of picnic ideas on your post.


This will come in handy in college!!

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