Recipes for Canada Day & other Summertime Gatherings!

June 30, 2022

By Anna Varriano

The Canada Day weekend officially kicks off summer for many of us, and that often includes enjoying gatherings with family and friends.

In this blog, I’m sharing 5 appetizer/starter recipes, 5 salad/side dish recipes, and 5 sweet treat recipes that make great additions to Canada Day and other Summertime gatherings.

Just click on the recipe name/title to see the full recipe.



1 – Veggies with cilantro-lime-jalapeno-garlic dip

I first tried this dressing at a family celebration in Nova Scotia. It was served on the side, to be drizzled over a roasted vegetable salad. I love roasted veggie salads and I LOVE cilantro, so this sounded like a winning combination to me … and it certainly was!

2 – Veggie Rice Paper Wraps

These veggie rice paper wraps are a hit among veggie lovers and carnivores. They are fun to make, and easy enough to get many hands (even little ones!) involved. They make a great starter to a meal, or they can be a meal on their own.

3 – Hummus

This recipe is healthy, quick and delicious! Once you have the ingredients assembled, just throw them into a food processor or blender and you’re done!

4 – Guacamole

Guacamole is a delicious way to enjoy all the health benefits of avocados. This recipe is quick and easy…and includes a tip for preventing your left over guacamole from turning brown!

5 – Cheezy Crisps

Like crackers and cheese? You’ll love these crispy and delicious bites!

Salads & Side Dishes

1 – Roasted Cauliflower & Butternut Squash Salad with Tahini Dressing

This salad is one of my go-to’s for summer BBQs, pot lucks, and big family gatherings. It’s a delicious and healthy alternative to traditional potato salad. This recipe makes about 12 cups of finished salad, so adjust the ingredient amounts as needed. Leftovers keep well in the fridge for several days.

2 – Grilled Veggies on Quinoa Tabouleh

This is a great side-dish at any time of year, but especially when farmers markets are bursting with fresh, local veggies. You can serve it warm or cold, and leftovers keep well for a few days.

3 – Kale & Sweet Potato Casserole

This recipe incorporates two of the most nutrient-packed veggies into one delicious casserole! It serves 6-8 as a side dish and can be prepared a day or two in advance.

4 – Chickpea & Artichoke Heart Salad

I’ve been making this salad for years. It is so easy and really delicious. It’s a great side dish to poultry or fish mains (especially if they have a Mediterranean theme), and a perfect dish to bring to a picnic, potluck, or BBQ. You can make it more substantial by adding a cup or so of cooked quinoa.

5 – Broccoli Salad

This broccoli salad is packed with nutrient-dense foods and makes a great side at any time of year. Use pomegranate seeds, diced red bell pepper, or dried cranberries instead of (or in addition to) the raisins for a festive Canada Day vibe!

Sweet Treats

1 – Power-Packed Cookies

These grain-less cookies are loaded with nutrient-dense ingredients. They are easy to make and freeze beautifully.  This recipe makes about 3 dozen cookies. 

2 – No-Bake Yummy Snack Bars

Not only are they easy to make, they are also soooo delicious and loaded with healthy, nutrient-rich ingredients. They are a GREAT alternative to store-bought granola bars and freeze well.

3 – No-Bake Date/Nut/Chocolate/Coconut Balls


I first made these delicious grain-free, egg-free, and dairy-free treats for Christmas; but they are so delicious and quick to make that I whip them together whenever we want a sweet treat.

4 – Chocolate & Banana Frozen Treats

These dairy-free, egg-free, gluten-free, and sugar-free (other than the natural sugars in the bananas) frozen treats are super easy to make and a perfect way to use up very ripe bananas! You can make them up in popsicle molds for a classic casual fudgesicle-like summer treat, or in muffin tins or other fancier molds to serve them up as a more formal dessert.

5 – Flourless Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

These delicious cookies are so easy to make – and they are wheat-free, dairy-free, and egg-free! This recipe makes about 18 cookies, so you may want to double it as they go fast! They also freeze well.


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