What could be more fun than a gorgeous picnic on a glorious day? Yet, all too often the typical, heavy picnic fare of hamburgers, hotdogs, white flour buns, mayo-laden salads and sugary sweets can leave you feeling stuffed, bloated and generally zapped of energy.
So, what’s the fix? A vegan picnic! With a few simple steps, you can plan a delicious meal with a variety of healthy, plant-based foods that will leave you feeling refreshed and well nourished. Simply follow these four steps:
Decide on fresh and simple recipes so you don’t have to spend a lot of time in the kitchen.
Plan to serve fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grains and legumes, or easy-to-pack sandwiches and a healthy, sweet treat.
Round out the menu with Sunny Hummus with Dippers opens in a new tab or organic corn chips with either Superfast Guac opens in a new tab or Simply Delicious Homemade Hummus opens in a new tab for dipping.
Fruits & Veggies
A summer picnic isn’t a picnic without fresh fruit! Bring along berries, sliced stone fruit, melons or a fruit salad tossed with a little lemon or lime juice to reduce browning from oxidation. Ideas for dishes with fruit include:
Red, White and Blue Fruit Salad opens in a new tab with strawberries, blueberries and mint
Melon Ambrosia opens in a new tab, a wonderful vegan spin on the classic version typically made with cream or sour cream and marshmallows
Minty Melon Salad opens in a new tab seasoned with lime and chili powder
Add a platter of baby carrots, cucumbers and bell peppers or a leafy green salad with light vinaigrette. Both Strawberry Balsamic Dressing opens in a new tab and No-Oil Balsamic Dressing opens in a new tab are wonderful on salads or used as a dip for fresh-cut or lightly steamed veggies.
Legumes provide quality plant protein and fiber:
Cherry Lentil Salad opens in a new tab blends sweet cherries with lentils, green onions and basil.
Black Bean Salad with Avocado Lime Dressing opens in a new tab delivers a burst of tangy lime.
Pinto Bean Salad opens in a new tab is another delicious vegan salad made with tomatoes, cucumbers and red peppers.
Mediterranean Crunch Salad opens in a new tab features garbanzo beans, kale and fresh herbs.
Whole grains, including pasta and corn, are good on their own, or blended with legumes. Easy ideas include:
Curried Couscous Salad with Tofu and Vegetables opens in a new tab is a hearty and healthful salad which combines whole wheat couscous with carrots, peas, tofu, cilantro and coconut.
A favorite light pasta salad or Asparagus Pasta with Sundried Tomato Pesto opens in a new tab or Black Bean and Roasted Corn Pasta Salad opens in a new tab are easy, portable choices.
Bring a favorite vegan potato salad or make our Vegan Potato Salad with Arugula and Celery opens in a new tab.
Sweet Corn and Black Bean Salad opens in a new tab is dressed with rice vinegar, lime juice and extra virgin olive oil.
Healthier cookies and cakes are easy to pack and can offer nutritious ingredients. How about Vegan Oatmeal Raisin Cookies opens in a new tab, Thumbprint Cookies opens in a new tab and No-Bake Thumbprint Cookies opens in a new tab, Maple Oat Cookies opens in a new tab or Carrot Oat Cake opens in a new tab?
Time-saving shortcuts: Canned lentils and beans, quick-cooking couscous and frozen, thawed corn, brown rice and quinoa are perfect for portable salads. Find recipe inspiration opens in a new tab online.
Have you planned a vegan picnic? What do you like to bring along? Let me know.