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Vegan picnic ideas

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Picnic books abound with recipes that contain meat, eggs and creamy sauces. For the vegan, this can be fairly daunting and definitely inedible. Fortunately, there are plenty of tasty vegan options for that fabulous vegan picnic.

Planning the vegan picnic[edit]

Consider whether the picnic is wholly vegan or just for you or a few vegans along with others eating meat and eggs. This will determine how much vegan food is required and whether or not the vegan food will also appeal enough to the meat-eaters that they'll eat your share before you've even reached it (it does happen, so much for not liking vegan pickings, they're usually the tastiest morsels everyone zooms in on).

Keep everything as simple as possible; a picnic deserves to be fun, and too much preparation and toting things can make it seem like a chore, especially for the persons preparing it all.

Here is a basic checklist of the things you'll need, as well as the food:

  • Food - recipes and ingredients; if meat is required, who is preparing that; don't forget to include seasonings and condiments
  • Drinks and drink glasses (reusable); drinks can be kept in a leakproof container with ice, in a thermal bag or in a thermos, depending on need and transportation
  • Picnic basket or carrying case, you may also need a wine/drink carrying container
  • Picnic dishes and cutlery (reusable) or biodegradable recycled ones that can be composted (made from bamboo, potato, etc.). Reduce the waste added to the planet. Think about what foods can be eaten without a plate, such as sandwiches and fruit kabobs.
  • Napkins/serviettes (cloth is good, or recycled paper ones which can be composted)
  • Picnic rug(s), foldable chairs/stools (in some cases, a portable table might be required but really, the less items, the better)
  • Portable music player (if you like music on a picnic, otherwise no need to worry as nature will supply its own sounds); leave this at home if it's likely to disturb neighbouring picnickers, the wildlife or the serenity
  • Portable compost bin to take home the uneaten veggie portions for the garden
  • Fun gear, such as a Frisbee, ball, book to read, card game, etc. Keep it minimal.
  • Bowl for Fido's water if coming along
  • Weather forecast - picnics during a storm aren't much fun.

Food suggestions[edit]

Vegan fare for a picnic is easy once you have an idea of the sorts of things that work well. Here is a list of suggestions:

Salads:

  • Vegan coleslaw
  • Creamy potato salad with a vegan cashew nut dressing (or similar dressing)
  • Vegan pasta salad
  • Chickpea with veggies salad
  • Couscous and bean salad
  • White bean salad
  • Noodle salad

Condiments:

  • Hummus (any flavour)
  • Tomato sauce (ketchup), preferably homemade
  • Salt and pepper (to taste)
  • Vegan dips

Sandwiches:

  • Vegan sausage sandwiches
  • Salad baguette sandwiches
  • Falafel rolls
  • Veggie burger roll
  • Vegan cheese and vegan pâté sandwiches
  • Veggie wrap
  • Vegan burrito (cooked but cold)

Other savouries:

  • Vegan savory tart
  • Vegan loaf
  • Vegan samosas (cooked but cold)
  • Hash browns (cooked but cold)

Desserts:

  • Berry salad or fresh berries
  • Fruit salad
  • Fruit kabobs
  • Vegan cheesecake
  • Vegan cake or cupcakes (chocolate, banana, carrot, etc.)
  • Vegan slices
  • Melon balls

Drinks:

  • Hot drinks - tea and coffee in a thermos
  • Sparkling or still water
  • Juice (use sparkling water and add lemon or orange juice to make it healthier)
  • Alcohol of choice (if relevant)
  • Sodas - the best are boutique brews with little to no sugar and lots of fruit flavouring
  • Cordials