Black Bean Salad with Avocado-Lime Dressing opens in a new tab
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.
Take along a cold beverage such as Peach Berry Iced Tea opens in a new tab, Blueberry Herb Lemonade Punch opens in a new tab or Strawberry-Lemon Soda opens in a new tab.
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.
Red, White and Blue Fruit Salad opens in a new tab
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.
Sunny Hummus with Dippers opens in a new tab
Legumes provide quality plant protein and fiber:
Sonoma Tofu Salad opens in a new tab and Mango Miso Tofu Salad opens in a new tab are delightful on their own, scooped over leafy greens, or stuffed into whole grain pita bread.
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.
Carrot-Oat Cake opens in a new tab
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.