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Two women are sitting outdoors on a white picnic blanket in some grass. In their laps they are each holding a child. On the picnic blanket is a pitcher of True Lemon Lemonade and other picnic items.

The Perfect Vegan Picnic

What is it about eating outdoors that makes it so exciting? If you love to sit outside at your favorite restaurant or enjoy a patio on nice afternoons, a picnic may be a great option for you.

Are your kids getting bored indoors? A picnic is also just a great way to shake things up and take boredom out of the equation. Take the party – and meal – outside! Find a good green space and enjoy the late summer or early fall days with a fun and festive meal in the open air. (Before the winter weather drives you indoors!)

After you find the perfect location, gather your favorite recipes. And maybe your friends would enjoy a picnic, too! Try a potluck picnic, where you each bring something. It may be fun to spend a few hours prepping your dishes together then head outside for fun in the sun.

No matter how you choose to do it, make it simple, smooth and stress-free. Whether it’s a nice cool breeze or a warm sunny afternoon, you can never go wrong with a lazy day outside. Soak up vitamin D and spend quality time with friends and family (or just on your own!) But, of course, don’t forget about the delicious food!

Start by making your list of vegan picnic food and then gather all the essentials. Here are a few things you may need to bring with you that will be perfect for a picnic.

Packing a Picnic

If you want to eat outdoors, you’re going to need a few things to make it happen.

  • Blanket and/or folding chairs
  • Picnic basket or tote
  • Pillows (Hey, it’s OK to be fancy!)
  • Plates and napkins
  • Silverware and serving utensils
  • Cups and drinks
  • Ice and ice packs
  • Water bottles and your favorite True Lemon Hydration Helpers
  • Games
  • Hats and sunscreen

Make It A Green Picnic

If you like opting for healthy recipes, chances are you like to be more sustainable and less wasteful, too. Here are a few tips to make your picnic a little more environmentally friendly.

  • Use Mason jars (or other recycled jars you have at home) for food and drinks. Jars are great for storing everything from snacks to sauces, salads and more. Plus, it provides an easy glass for your favorite refreshing beverage!
  • Wrap food in waxed paper or pack in reusable silicon food bags.
  • Make all the friendly finger foods you love and leave the extra dishes at home! Bring hand sanitizer or biodegradable hand wipes to help clean up.
  • If you need to bring disposable plates or other items, choose the ones made from recycled paper that can be composted.
  • Clean your picnic area thoroughly and recycle whatever you can afterward!

And for the main event… we’ve got a little inspiration to help you plan your picnic foods! Aim to make it simple but with a good variety of sweet and savory. Here are a few of our favorites to get your vegan picnic ideas flowing.

Our Top Plant Based Picnic Starter Recipes

A bowl of triangle tortilla chips.

Chili Lime Tortilla Chips

Ingredients:

  • 12 (6-inch) corn tortillas
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 2 packets True Lime
  • 2 tsp fine sea salt
  • Cooking spray

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
  2. Stack the tortillas and cut into eights. Transfer the slices to a baking sheet.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the chili powder, True Lime, and salt. Mist the chips lightly with cooking spray and toss with the seasonings. Spread the chips evenly on the baking sheet.
  4. Bake 30 to 35 minutes, or until light golden and crisp, rotating the baking sheet once about halfway through. The chips will get crispier as they cool.

A wooden bowl with salsa, it is on top of a plate with tortilla chips on it.

True Orange Garden Salsa

Ingredients:

  • 4 large tomatoes, diced
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 large green pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 large yellow pepper, seeded and diced
  • ½ cup celery, finely chopped (optional)
  • ½ cup fresh basil, chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley
  • 1 tbsp oregano
  • 1 tsp hot sauce
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 10 packets True Orange

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.
  2. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours to allow the flavors to meld together.
  3. Serve with chili lime tortilla chips!

An image of white bean salad in a brown ceramic bowl on a wooden table.

White Bean & Mint Salad with True Lemon Vinaigrette

Ingredients:

  • 3 (15-ounce) cans of cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 3 tbsp finely chopped shallots or red onions
  • 1 large rib celery, finely diced
  • 1 small red pepper, minced
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 8 packets True Lemon, dissolved in ¼ cup water
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • ¾ tsp sugar
  • ½ tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ cup fresh mint, chopped
  • Fresh parsley, as garnish

Directions:

  • Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and mix well.
  • Serve at room temperature or chill and serve cold.

An image of cooked quinoa in a brown ceramic bowl. In the background is a bag of uncooked quinoa.

True Lemon Basil Quinoa Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese or vegan cheese
  • 2 packets True Lemon
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 (15-ounce) can kalamata olives, drained (sub kidney beans if desired)
  • 1 cup cucumber, chopped
  • ½ cup chopped, seeded tomato
  • ½ cup green onion, sliced
  • 2 cups bibb or butter lettuce, torn
  • ½ cup additional chopped vegetable of choice (optional)

Directions:

  • Place basil in food processor with parmesan, True Lemon, olive oil, garlic, and a dash of salt and pepper. Process until smooth and set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, stir together cooked quinoa, olives, cucumber, tomato, and green onion. Mix in additional vegetables, if desired.
  • Add basil dressing and stir to coat.
  • Mix in lettuce and serve!

An image of a pink plate of watermelon popsicles on a pink backdrop.

Watermelon Wedges with True Lime

Ingredients:

  • 8 packets True Lime dissolved in ½ cup water (True Lime juice)
  • 3 tbsp clover honey
  • 3 one-inch slices of watermelon, cut into wedges
  • Popsicle sticks

Directions:

  • Whisk together True Lime juice and honey in a bowl until honey is fully dissolved.
  • Arrange the watermelon wedges on a large platter and pierce the ends with a popsicle stick.
  • Drizzle the watermelon wedges with True Lime honey dressing and serve immediately.

An image of a glass of dirty soda with a slice of lime on the rim.

Dirty Soda with True Lime

Ingredients:

  • 12-ounce Coca Cola or soda of choice
  • 1 packet True Lime
  • 2 tbsp half and half or creamer of choice
  • Ice as needed
  • 1 tbsp coconut syrup
  • 1.5 oz Malibu rum (optional)

Directions:

  • Fill a large glass with ice.
  • Layer on the coconut syrup, True Lime, soda and half and half.
  • Stir well and enjoy!

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