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Best Lunch for a Summer Picnic


While summer’s official arrival isn’t until June 21, the weather is finally shaping up for outdoor activities. Playing in the park, swimming in the pool and enjoying a picnic with loved ones are a few of the many fun ways to spend your time this summer.

If you’re looking for a new delicious meal to pack for your next picnic, consider the following primarily raw, plant-based options:

1. Portobello BLT Sandwich
This delicious sandwich is bursting with nutrients and flavor! Make it the main entree for an outdoor get-together with friends and family.


For the Portobello “bacon”:

  • 2 Portobello mushroom caps – thinly sliced at a 45 degree angle
  • 4 tablespoons grape seed oil
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • Dash of ground cayenne
  • Fresh cracked black pepper to taste

For the sandwich:

  • Sliced spelt or other whole grain bread
  • Romaine or baby lettuce leaves
  • 1 avocado – mashed
  • 1 tomato – sliced
  • Vegan mayonnaise
  • Sea salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste


Leaving out the mushrooms, whisk together all Portobello bacon ingredients in a large bowl. Place mushroom slices in a bowl and add completed marinating mixture, tossing to coat. Set aside for 15 minutes.

Prepare a PFOA-free, non-stick skillet over medium heat. Place sliced mushrooms in pan, searing each side until golden brown – this should take 2 to 3 minutes. Set aside.

To assemble the sandwich, toast the bread and spread each slice with vegan mayonnaise and mashed avocado. Add a layer of Portobello bacon, tomato and lettuce to one slice, stacking with another slice to complete the sandwich.

Cut each sandwich in half and enjoy!

2. Raw Couscous and Tomato Salad
Here is a light and refreshing recipe that we consider to be the ultimate summer salad!


  • 1 cup couscous
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley – minced
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons fresh mint or 1 teaspoon dried
  • 2 medium tomatoes – seeded and diced
  • 2 scallions – sliced thin
  • Juice of 1 lemon plus zest
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
Hand using knife to cut fresh tomatoes on top of lettuce.Use fresh tomatoes to create this delicious salad.


In a small saucepan, boil water with a half teaspoon of unrefined sea salt over medium heat. Add the couscous and let boil, then remove from heat, cover and let steam for five minutes.  Set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest and cayenne pepper. Set aside.

In a large bowl, mix couscous, parsley, cilantro, mint, tomatoes and scallions, then toss with the olive oil mixture.

Let sit for 30 minutes and enjoy!

3. Jazzed Applesauce
Looking for a sweet and simple dessert? Try this jazzed applesauce that takes the treat to the next level.


  • 1 apple, chopped –  core removed
  • 1/2 banana – in chunks
  • 3/4 cup cucumber – chopped
  • 1 tablespoon almond butter
  • 1 tablespoon lemon or lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 teaspoon minced raw ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Raisins to taste


Leaving the raisins out, mix all ingredients in a food processor until you reach the desired consistency.

Pour mixture in a serving bowl and garnish with raisins. Enjoy!

For more delicious plant-based dishes, browse through our database of Hallelujah Diet recipes!


  1. Jennifer May 17, 2018

    My family loves to go on picnics this time of year. Thank you for the great recipes!

  2. Carolyn B, Calhoun May 31, 2018

    The Portobello sandwich was delicious. Very filling and soo easy to make. Thanks for theses great suggestions for healthy meals.

  3. Annette June 1, 2018

    This was a great Blog with the recipes. This time of the year when the tomatoes are ripe,we make tomato sandwiches seem like all time. I like the other recipes, I might try making Jazzed Applesauce and do a picnic with my grand babies. The BLT with the Portobello looks very interesting, I would like to try making it. Thanks for the recipes for the summer.

  4. Connie Gesser June 1, 2018

    The recipes sound great. I love the healthy alternatives to the typical picnic lunch.

  5. T Black June 11, 2018

    Yum!!! The Portobello BLT Sandwich looks amazing. You simply CAN’T go wrong when you have tomatoes, avocado, and mushrooms in one recipe together! Can’t wait to try it.

  6. Is there Protein In a Portobello? Wondering why they are always served as a vegetarian substitute? Thanks

    • Melody Hord June 18, 2018

      Hi Donna,
      1 cup portabella mushrooms is 5.2. grams of protein (see Nutrition info. Here)
      ½ cup almond butter contains about 19 grams protein.
      1 cup of chicken meat contains around 46 grams protein.
      The texture of mushrooms in the mouth feels a little like meat. They do have some protein but are used more for their texture and nutritional value. I personally think that sautéed or grilled mushrooms better resemble meat than do raw ones.
      A large portabella cap, grilled and sprinkled with extra virgin olive oil, even resembles a hamburger patty in size and color.
      Appreciate your comment.

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