Perfect Picnic Recipes That Make Carnivores Go, ‘Wait, This is Vegan?’

Chocolate included. Obviously.

So you’re vegan. Ninety-nine percent of the time you’re cool about veganism and your friends love you. You also know how annoyed they were when you got drunk and threw all their hot wings on the ground in a fit of rage from the last summer picnic. Oops!

It’s that time of year again, and you’ve been invited to another outdoor picnic. This is the year, you tell yourself. This is the year you “play it cool,” wear your cutest booty shorts, and contribute some of the best picnic-friendly vegan dishes to the table.

Here are some recipes to delight your friend group as the awesome vegan top chef that you are.


Crispy Buffalo Cauliflower Bites by Forks Over Knives

“What is this satisfying, familiar flavor with a healthy crunch?” Steve calls out into the group.

“It’s called cauliflower, Steve, it’s been popular for like two years now.” Your friends laugh, and you are dubbed the queen or king in the picnic royalty.

Ingredients:

Check out the original recipe for the ingredient list.


Instructions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. While preheating, use this as an opportunity to clean off the cutting board that you have stuck in your sink and cut 2-inch florets out of your cauliflower. Florets look like little trees!
  2. Combine brown rice flour, tomato paste, almond flour, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, parsley, and 2/3rds cup of water in a blender. Puree until a thick and smooth texture emerges. Don’t have a blender? Try really, really hard to stir it yourself (results will absolutely vary).
  3. In a bowl, add the cauliflower and toss repeatedly until they are deeply coated in the goo you’ve created.
  4. On a baking sheet, line parchment paper, or prepare for a crazy amount of clean up. Arrange the covered cauli’s in a single layer, and make sure they don’t touch each other. Bake for 20-25 minutes until a little crisp on some of the edges. You’re not looking for overall crispiness!
  5. Take it out and let these lil’ puppies (not actual puppies) cool for approximately three minutes. During this time, they will naturally crisp a little more. These satisfying cauliflower bites are both tangy and light and don’t need extra salt or oil while preparing. Transfer to serving bowl and drizzle with Frank’s RedHot or barbecue.
  6. Enjoy thoroughly with messy abandon.

Mini Vegan Tacos by Midwest Foodie

Are you in charge of the main course? If there’s one thing people love, it’s tacos. Especially the teeny-tiny ones. This one may require a lot of small Tupperware, but your picnic guests will be thriving once they see what kind of options you’re offering to their otherwise uninspired picnic fare. Move over potato salad, there’s a new muy caliente sheriff in town.

Ingredients for one serving of vegan tacos (which serves approx. 2-3 people which is absolutely not enough so you better double it):

Check out the original recipe for the ingredient list.

Toppings Galore

Guacamole
Sliced cabbage
Fresh cilantro
Pico de gallo
Lime wedges

Instructions:

  1. Add quinoa or “meat” of your choosing into a small pot and bring to a boil. Cook quinoa as stated on the package, because all quinoa is NOT the same. Stir with a fork and move pot to the side. Get a large pan and drizzle olive oil in it.
  2. Here is where you’re going to add literally the rest of the meat ingredients: diced garlic, walnuts, cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, paprika, soy sauce, and 2 tablespoons water. Stir and cook only for a minute and add back in the quinoa. Salt and pepper to taste.
  3. The best part is, if you squint fairly hard, it will look like ground beef! The carnivores might be fooled!

Best Ever Vegan Brownie by Nora Cooks

If you’ve been a human for more than five minutes, you know we only eat meals so we can get to the dessert. With this scrumptious brownie recipe, it’s the perfect touch to an Instagram-filtered day. Considered the Best Ever Vegan Brownie, with thousands of amazing reviews and that-oh-so-perfect peel apart with the chocolate ooze. Stop! NSFW!

Ingredients:

Check out the original recipe for the ingredient list.

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. To make flax eggs, stir around ground flax and water and then set aside to thicken slowly. (To be clear, this will not look anything like eggs.)
  2. Melt the vegan butter into ½ cup. In a bowl, whisk butter and sugars together while adding in the flax eggs and vanilla. This is gonna get messy, but the batter will be delectable so don’t worry. Over the bowl, sift cocoa powder and flour, add salt and baking powder. Stir until combined completely (But not overly so. You get it.). Pour in half of the chocolate chips. Pour the batter into a 7×11 pan with parchment paper and sprinkle the rest of the chips on top.
  3. Bake for 35-40 minutes tops. In this particular recipe, the brownie is going to bubble a little, but it could still be done.
  4. Cool for 15-30 minutes, chop up these delectable delights and serve with radiant confidence.

Written by: Sarah E. Miller