The best picnics are easy to prepare, taste delicious, and leave you with plenty of energy to enjoy the great outdoors. Salads, dips, and banana bread are all great options that can be made the day before. Here are some ideas from The Nutritional Chef, all of which are Vegetarian, Vegan, and Gluten-Free. 

Lentil Salad with Feta or Vegan Cheese 

Serves 2 Takes: 20 minutes 

Ingredients 140g puy lentils, 1 avocado, 2 tbsp chopped parsley, 1 tomato, 1 red pepper, 100g feta cheese or vegan cheese, 2 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp lemon juice 

Method 1. Combine the lentils with double the volume of water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes until they are soft. Drain and rinse in cold water. 2. Dice the tomato and pepper. Cut the cheese and the avocado into cubes. 3. In a bowl mix everything together; add the lentils, parsley, oil, and lemon. Season to taste. 

Carrot and Ginger Dip 

Serves 6 Takes: 25 minutes

Ingredients 300g carrots peeled and cut in to 4cm slices, 2 tbsp olive oil, 3 cm peeled and grated ginger, 2 tsp ground cumin, 1 tsp paprika, 3 tbsp pumpkin seeds, 2 tbsp lemon juice 

Method 1. Preheat the oven to 180C 2. Lay the carrots on a baking tray and coat with olive oil and cumin. 3. Roast in the oven for about 20 minutes or until slightly browned and cooked. 4. Blend together with all the other ingredients. Add a little water or more olive oil if too thick.