Picnics. A perfect opportunity to enjoy some good food and spend some quality time with friends and family, playing games and having fun. Or just to chill out with homemade cocktails and have some deep conversations. But as we all know, food gets the most attention.
It is not an unusual situation at picnics that vegans are asked about what ‘’boring food’’ will they be eating, or it simply comes to a conclusion that it will be only SALAD.
But you know what? Those same people happen to be surprised over the vegan picnic food, the way it looks, the variety of foods included, and of course the taste. At the end, they mostly admit that it is actually really, really tasty! And also great looking!
So what I learned from picnics is to prepare some extra quantities of vegan food because it quickly attracts non-vegans too! And I actually love that, because I am happy to show that vegan food is everything but boring!
That is why I have decided to write this in hope that it might help you with some simple ideas for your picnic. We can go really fancy and start complicating, but the idea here is to stay simple, with simple ingredients and simple preparation.
I prepared a menu in 4 sections: salad, main meal, snacks, and dessert, and put 3 ideas in each of them. I hope you’ll enjoy!
Let’s start with salad
I always prepare some salad, because I love salads! They are easy to combine with the main meal and are a great nutritional add to it.
- You can make a great pasta bean salad with some spring onions that go perfectly with beans. Choose whole grain or gluten-free pasta if you want, choose your favorite beans (I like red kidney beans in this salad) and chop some spring (green) onions in it. Add the dressing you like and enjoy!
- Easy vegetable salad full of vitamins. Combine kale, red cabbage, carrot, lettuce, spring onions, some sprouts, top it with roasted sesame and some lemon and olive oil dressing (or some other dressing).
- Potato salad with vegan yogurt for creaminess. You can also check out this amazing creamy potato salad recipe.
- Grilled tofu and veggie sticks: Marinate tofu the way you want and start playing with vegetables you love (and fruits if you are for some playful flavors). Cut them in squares and start adding them on the sticks. Add some cherry tomatoes, some zucchini, pineapple, onions, peppers … Good marinated tofu can be really tasty and each of the veggies will give more flavors when put on the grill. Just be sure you press your tofu to get it ready for the marinade. Check out this video for instructions.
These tofu and veggie sticks are full of flavors and colors and I am sure you will feel happy to have them!
- BBQ mushroom sandwich: Here is an amazing recipe for an extraordinary BBQ sandwich. You might think that sandwiches are nothing special and are a boring decision for picnic, but take a look at this recipe first and then make your decision.
- Tortillas or wraps: There a lot of options here to experiment and be creative. If you also went for salad you can make it easier for yourself and include ingredients you already used for the salad. For example, if you chose to make the pasta bean salad with chickpeas, use the leftover chickpeas for falafel burgers to go with the tortillas. Use some vegetable spread you have in your fridge or simply mix one (they take little time to be made), add those falafel burgers and some chopped vegetables. If you want to be fancier you can also make a vegan mayo, like this one, to add it on top of the veggies. Yummy! Oh my, I feel hungry!
Having some snacks with you is a smart move, because as you know, at picnics, there always comes a snack time.
- Homemade seed crackers are always great options and almost everybody loves them! They take little time to be made and are a delicious crispy snack. If you don’t want to make them, you can always buy them. If you have some vegan cream cheese like this one in your fridge, you can have it with the crackers.
- Homemade guacamole is also an easy option. Have some good crackers with it and you will surely enjoy.
- Or you can make some roasted chickpeas seasoned the way you want. Here is a how-to roast chickpeas video.
- Raw oatmeal bars are a yummy option! Just chop some dates and process in food processor until they make a nice paste. Chop some oats and your favorite nuts and add them into the date paste. Mix well and form the bars. That’s it.
- Or maybe some energy bites? Here is a recipe for delicious energy bites that take nothing more then 15 minutes to be made.
- Vegan cheesecake is another great option. If you are in the mood for some cake, then you might want to check out this vegan strawberry cheesecake.
I hope you find these ideas useful! Don’t forget the most important thing, your good will! Cook with love and everything will be even tastier!
Now go prepare some delicious food and enjoy your vegan picnic!
P.S.: Be really fancy and make yourself strawberry lemonade or watermelon-rose lemonade. I’m sure everybody who is not on the vegan picnic menu list will change his/her mind for the next picnic!