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Splendour in the Grass

Prep it, pack it, and go!


Splendour in the Grass

Use these delicious recipes and pack up a fresh, seasonally inspired vegan picnic.

No matter where you live in Canada, the window for making the most of glorious summer is shorter than we’d like. During these fleeting summer months we want to spend as much time as possible outdoors. And really, that means taking and doing whatever we usually do indoors, outdoors.

Reading, working (when possible!), cooking, and eating—it all feels better under an open sky. Plus, food just tastes better outside. And that’s where the picnic comes into play. Prep it, pack it, and go!

The beauty of a picnic is that it needs no occasion or ceremony. It can happen anywhere: on a grassy spot in the backyard, sitting on the deck, down the street at the park or the beach or car-side, as an edible reward after a long drive to a lush quiet spot. It just doesn’t matter. What does matter, though, is portability.

Picnic food should be good for you, quick to prep, travel easily, and above all else, create or leave no waste. This vegan-inspired menu is loaded with seasonal fresh veggies and summer-ripe berries, and can be packed up and eaten using eco-friendly packaging. Have food, will travel—and be green!


Tip for the road:

Go gluten free by making this recipe into mini sandwiches using your favourite gluten-free sliced bread.

It’s easy being green

Ditch the plastic, the foil, and especially anything disposable. Pack green: use recyclable kitchen linens and packing containers and look for everyday kitchen items you can turn into picnic containers.

Mason jars

These double as packing containers and cups. Use to store and portion salads, vegetable snacks, and even drinks. Buy in bulk, and reuse lids and screw caps. (Do not reuse lids when pickling!)

Kitchen linens

Use towels to wrap sandwiches. Pre-wrap in parchment if you’re worried about leakage or staining. Cut up older towels to use as napkins. Or invest in reusable cloth sandwich bags. These have a coating that helps prevent stains and are easy to clean. Choose ones that use BPA-, lead-, and phthalate-free fabric and inks.

Thermos and water bottles

If you need to stock up on portable water bottles, choose stainless steel. Look for environmentally friendly, BPA-free options.

Hard-sided containers

Choose stainless steel containers for packing and storing food. They’re lightweight and unbreakable. Stackable tiffin containers travel well, as do insulated containers.

Cutlery and plates

Invest in outdoor eating gear. Choose versatile vessels, such as the spork: half spoon, half fork! If you can’t avoid using disposable, choose biodegradable utensils and plates made from sustainable bamboo.

3 for the road

Portable snacks are a must when hitting the road in search of picnics and adventure outdoors. Know what’s in your food and save money by preparing snacks at home.

Japanese Popcorn

Toss warm popcorn with a drizzle of sesame oil. Slice a sheet of nori (edible seaweed often used to wrap sushi rolls) into thin slivers, then stir in. Choose spicy nori strips for kick.

Cucumbers and Hummus

Prepare hummus from Spicy Mediterranean Wraps (page 81). Pair with sliced cucumbers or crunchy carrot sticks.

Rosemary-Garlic Roasted Chickpeas

Drain, rinse, then pat dry 1 - 14 oz (398 mL) can chickpeas. Spread out on baking sheet and roast in preheated 400 F (200 C) oven until crispy and browned, about 30 minutes. Stir often to prevent burning. Toss with

1 Tbsp (15 mL) extra-virgin olive oil stirred with 1/2 tsp (2 mL) each chopped fresh rosemary and garlic powder. Cool, then portion.



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Brendan Rolfe, CPHR, BA, DipABrendan Rolfe, CPHR, BA, DipA