A Favorite Picnic Salad

This post may contain affiliate links. See full disclosure here.

A Favorite Picnic SaladI love to travel. As a child we didn’t have many family vacations but I do remember a couple of trips. One was a camping trip from our home in Kansas to Idaho and back. Driving most of the day and camping in a new campground at night was very fun to a young girl!  I believe all of our meals were prepared in the campground or a simple picnic sandwich. I don’t remember eating out in a restaurant even once. I’m sure that my parents did this to help with the costs of the trip.

My husband and I tend to follow my parent’s example. We prefer to provide our own meals when away from home as opposed to dining out. It not only saves money but we know exactly what we are eating and it helps cut down on any digestion issues we may experience.  We find that being confined to a car is not a good time to have tummy troubles– if you know what I mean.

If you are planning a family vacation, camping trip or find yourself on the road often, you will want to check out my new eBook.  Real Food Hits the Road is over 100 pages of budget friendly tips, ideas and recipes for enjoying real food when away from home.  Whether you are planning a trip for just a few days or long term this book will be your guide to eating well.

When we are planning to be gone for only a few days we pack up our cooler with homemade, nourishing meals.   Cold Roasted Root Real Food Hits the RoadVeggie Salad is a family favorite.  Made in advance it is a perfect picnic salad. Much tastier than a typical potato salad! This is also a great salad to keep in mind when you need a potluck dish or make it on the weekend for a quick side dish for a busy weekday.  Cold Roasted Root Veggie Salad is one of over 40 recipes from Real Food Hits the Road.


Cold Roasted Root Veggie Salad

In researching road trip food, I stumbled upon a recipe for Mediterranean Roasted Vegetable Salad.  The idea of it sounded promising but the ingredients were not things we regularly eat.  I decided to use the concept of it but substitute vegetables I know we like. The beets give everything an interesting red hue!

3 beets, cleaned and peeled
3 carrots, peeled
3 medium sized potatoes
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
Sea Salt and pepper, divided
Butter (or other healthy fat) for buttering the baking dish
1 tablespoon mustard
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoon dried basil
¾ cup grated Parmesan

Cut beets, carrots and potatoes into bite sized pieces. You want to try to get all of the pieces close to the same size to help with proper cooking. Cover vegetables with olive oil and sprinkle on salt and pepper (I use about ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper).  Place in a well buttered 9×13 baking dish.  Bake at 350 degree for approximately one hour stirring every 15 to 20 minutes and testing for doneness.  You want the vegetables to be tender but not mushy.

Combine mustard, vinegar and basil in a bowl.  Stream in remaining olive oil and mix well.  Add dressing to cooked vegetables that have been allowed to cool slightly.  Mix well, cooling and adding additional salt and peppering to taste. Store salad in the refrigerator or cooler until ready to serve.

Store the grated cheese separate from the salad. Bring salad to room temperature and add cheese before serving.


What do you pack in your cooler for eating away from home?


Photo Credit: Beets

Shared at Simple Lives Thursday


Millie Copper
Millie Copper is a Wyoming wife and mama. After reading Nourishing Traditions in early 2009, her family began transforming their diet to whole, unprocessed, nutrient dense foods—a little at a time while stretching their food dollars. Millie is passionate to share how, with a little creativity, anyone can transition to a real foods diet without overwhelming their food budget. Millie began blogging in late 2009 and has amassed a collection of frugal recipes and methods. Her specialties include cooking with wild game and creating “Stretchy Beans”. Discovering a love of writing, she has penned four books focusing on healthy eating on a budget and is trying her hand at fiction writing. Learn more at MillieCopper.com.


  1. Denise

    Have you ever tried this with sweet potatoes instead of white potatoes? Curious because I have some sweet potatoes to use up and just got carrots and beets in my organic produce delivery this week. We do the same thing when we travel. I bring oatmeal jars, wraps, sandwich stuff and pre-made salads. Always plenty of carrots and celery. Usually a couple tuperwares of hummus too. Your new book is a great idea. Thanks.

    1. Post

      Hi Denise,

      I haven’t but I imagine it would be pretty good. What are oatmeal jars? Hummus is a favorite road trip food for us also.

  2. Denise

    I call the make ahead refrigerator oatmeal, “oatmeal jars”. Idea is all over pinterest. I use 1/3 cup almond milk, 1/4 cup yogurt, 1/4 cup oats, 1 tsp sweetner of choice (honey or maple syrup typically), chia seeds all in a jar and shake. Then you can add fruit (1/2 banana, dates, etc.), nuts, etc. and stir. Store in frig overnight and it’s good to go in the AM. I make a bunch of those for traveling and put them in the cooler. Also, we take quick cooking organic oats in ziplocs that already have a little sucunat, cinnamon, nuts, raisens, etc. in it and just add hot water in the morning. Great for camping or hotel traveling. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *