This is Sarah from SoyGo. With the weather turning beautiful and warm across the northern hemisphere, I can’t help but daydream about the upcoming picnics, outdoor concerts, and pool parties that will require picnic foods!
All of these favorite summer pastimes require a good picnic to sooth the hungry belly while creating an opportunity to eat al fresco. Another favorite pastime, as you may have gathered from my other blogs on SoyGo or Care2, is cooking and writing about vegetarian food. With that in mind, a picnic food blog is born.
I thought I would share with you a 3 course vegetarian/vegan picnic menu (with recipes) that you can whip up for your next picnic, pool party or watching the sunset after a long summer’s day. All of these ingredients are fresh, healthy, and perfect to eat as the temperatures rise.
I will admit, when I cook, it is usually called “fancy” by most. I am aiming this picnic menu for all cooking levels while offering a menu that will be sure to impress! Each recipe takes under 30 minutes so you can spend less time in the kitchen and more time outside enjoying your favorite summer activity..
Starter- Chilled Strawberry Soup with Mint and Lime
Main Course- Mediterranean Pressed Picnic Sandwich
Snack- Rosemary Popcorn
Chilled Strawberry Soup with Mint and Lime 1 quart of organic strawberries
Finely chopped organic mint (from the garden if possible)
Pinch of organic caster sugar
Juice of 2 limes
1 teaspoon of SoyGo
2-3 tablespoons of soy yoghurt (optional)
Reserve a handful of strawberries and whole mint leaves for garnish
Wash strawberries and cut the tops off.
1. Muddle mint in a mortar and pestle with a pinch of sugar.
2. In a food processor add the strawberries, muddled mint, SoyGo, and juice. Blend until it is a soup-like consistency.
3. Fold in 2-3 tablespoons of yoghurt.
This can be transported in a thermos to keep it cold, or in a cooler with ice.
Add a few mint leaves and a whole strawberry before serving.
Mediterranean Pressed Picnic Sandwich (inspired by www.vegetariantimes.com)
Pressing the sandwich lets the crusty bread soak up the roasted vegetable juices, and travel time gives flavors a chance to meld!
1 eggplant, zucchini, red onion, and portobello mushroom cut lengthwise into ¼-inch slices
3 Tbs. olive oil, divided
1 large loaf ciabatta bread, halved
⅓ cup prepared pesto
Handful of sun-dried tomatoes
2 jarred roasted red peppers, sliced
2 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
1. Heat grill pan or grill to medium-high heat. Brush vegetables with 2 Tbs. olive oil, and grill until charred and softened. Transfer to plate.
2. Hollow inside of bread to make room for vegetables. Spread pesto on one side of bread.
3. Layer vegetables on one side of bread. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and remaining 1 Tbs. olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Press top and bottom of sandwich together, and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Place on baking sheet, and weigh down with heavy skillet or two large cans. Sandwiches can also go at the bottom of the picnic basket.
4. Keep chilled until serving.
This snack can be an appetizer or a dessert. Whipped up in under 15 minutes you’ll impress your picnic friends without a doubt!
1 cup popcorn kernels
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons Rosemary Infused Oil, recipe follows
Nutritional yeast (optional)
Rosemary Infused Olive Oil
1. Combine the oil androsemary in a saucepan or skillet.
2. Warm over low heat for 5 minutes.
3. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature.
4. Strain the rosemary out of the oil.
1. Stir the popcorn kernels and 1/2 cup of the oil in a heavy large pot.
2. Cover and cook over medium heat until the kernels have popped, shaking the pot halfway through cooking, about 3 minutes.
3. Immediately transfer the popcorn to a large serving bowl.
4. Toss the popcorn with the remaining 2 tablespoons oil.
5. Sprinkle with salt and nutritional yeast (for a cheesy flavor) and enjoy!
I hope you enjoy these picnic recipes. As always, I look forward to hearing your comments. Thanks for reading and for choosing yummy, compassionate picnic options!