While it may seem like a lot of extra work at first, there are plenty of quick and simple ways to enjoy an amazing vegan picnic outdoors. Picnics are cheaper and more special than eating out, and are a great way to experiment with creative vegan recipes that you can enjoy with your friends and family. If you want a wonderful way to make your summer days extra memorable (and oh so Insta-worthy), here are our favorite recipes for the picture-perfect vegan picnic.
Dips are a fantastic choice for a vegan picnic! They are portable, easy to share, and can be eaten with a variety of snacks like fresh vegetables, crackers, and chips. This basil pesto white bean dip is a tasty alternative to basic hummus, with an aromatic flavor and nutty texture that everyone will love.
For a hearty side dish that’s also fresh and easy to take on the go, tabouleh is a delicious choice. It’s fast and simple to make ahead of time, and can be enjoyed later if you have any leftovers. The fresh herbs, crisp vegetables, and citrusy acidity are ideal for warm weather, and the sturdy barley base keeps the salad from getting limp. You can sub couscous or quinoa if you want to experiment with different versions of this healthy salad.
Every good vegan picnic needs a delicious fruit salad, and watermelon is a classic summer staple. Mint and watermelon are a match made in heaven, resulting in a dish that’s the epitome of refreshing. The bed of arugula adds nutritious, energizing greens that are cooling as well as anti-inflammatory. To keep the salad fresh, pack the watermelon at the bottom, throw on the mint over that, and top with arugula to keep it from getting soggy. And as far as that aphrodisiac quality goes…we’ll leave the summer lovin’ up to you.
If you’re looking for something that’s light, fresh, and easy to eat with your hands, spring rolls are an ideal choice for a vegan picnic. There’s no risk of them getting soggy or falling apart, and it’s easy to pack a dipping sauce in a small container to enjoy with them. These vegetable rolls are quick, delicious, and filling, with plenty of room for variation, based on what veggies you have at home.
Sandwiches are perfect for a filling entree that you can easily eat out in the sunshine. This vegan version of a chicken salad sandwich uses chickpeas, adding heaps of protein and fiber that’s completely plant-based. The use of almond yogurt as a sub for mayonnaise is absolutely genius, and the lighter alternative will fill you up without weighing you down. Pro tip: to keep your sandwich from getting soggy, toast your bread or use a sturdier loaf. You can also place your greens between the chickpea mixture and the bread as a protective barrier to prevent unwanted moisture. Wrap your sandwich in parchment paper to keep it fresh and in tact, just like they do at the deli counter!
No vegan picnic is complete without a sweet treat to finish your meal. Cookies are a great options because they are portable and easy to eat without creating any extra mess. While new evidence suggests that coconut oil isn’t exactly a health food, neither are cookies, and this vegan version of classic chocolate chip is less processed and more ethical than traditional recipes. We promise these taste exactly like the ones you ate growing up (and maybe even better!)
– Pack some essential oils to keep bugs at bay!
– Stash cloth napkins instead of paper towels. If you use paper towels, don’t forget that they’re compostable!
– Along those lines, bring back all your non-greasy food leftovers and paper plates for composting. ;D
– Wines and beers taste better if they’re sustainable and vegan! We love Val Di Toro (sustainable and organic wine from Tuscany); check out our wine list and beer list.
– It always seems like food runs out, right? Steam some corn on the cobb and sweet potatoes for some easy grazing food that hardly takes any work. But just as delicious!
– Pack a sunscreen, book, and a game if you so desire. You’re all set!
Photo: Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash; Olivia Parr; Jennifer Kurdyla; Lauren Sacerdote; Mary Hood Luttrell; Lauren Kirschmaier; Daily Rebecca