Why not gather your family together for a healthy Labor Day picnic with this fabulous meat-free salad?
Why a Labor Day Picnic?
We still have some warm summer days to enjoy the outdoors, so a Labor Day picnic is a great excuse for a family get-together before autumn when everyone starts thinking about school projects, Halloween and cooler weather.
You can have lots of fun at a Labor Day picnic – whether you hold it in the park, on the beach, in a mountain resort, or in your backyard.
And because a Labor Day picnic is also all about the food, my meat-free salad is an excellent dish to make (or take). It’s easy to assemble, and the variety of colors and taste makes it appealing to all ages.
Labor Day Picnic Salad
- 2 cups black-eyed peas, drained
- 2 cups cooked white rice
- 8 ounces thawed frozen corn kernels
- 2 cups chopped fresh Roma tomatoes
- ½ medium red onion, chopped
- ¼ cup finely chopped cilantro
- ¼ cup finely chopped Italian parsley
- ½ cup shredded carrot
- 1 cup shredded parmesan cheese (garnish)
- ½ cup lime juice
- ¼ cup lemon-flavored olive oil
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground oregano
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh celery leaves
- Salt & pepper (to taste)
- (Tabasco sauce, optional)
Whisk all the Labor Day picnic salad dressing ingredients thoroughly, adjust to taste, and set aside.
The dressing should have a strong fresh flavor to accent the mild rice and black-eyed peas; make adjustments as desired.
Combine the rest of the salad ingredients in a large glass bowl.
Drizzle with dressing and toss.
Garnish top with parmesan cheese and cilantro sprigs.
The salad will be ok sitting out for several hours, which is ideal for a Labor Day picnic.
Variations for the meat-free salad
I’ve made this Labor Day picnic salad for many years, and always get compliments.
Sometimes I serve it with tiny corn tortillas to make a great vegetarian taco.
You can also eat it with crackers or small leaves of romaine lettuce.
I’ve also used brown rice and black beans for a variation, so feel free to alter this recipe to fit your tastes and lifestyle!