Vegetarian Recipes for Picnics

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Posted by mendoza | Posted in Vegetarian Food Ideas | Posted on 23-05-2010

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Have you tried all-vegetarian dishes for your picnic food ideas? Contrary to most beliefs, vegetarian recipes are not just all about ‘greens’ or the so-called ‘rabbit foods’. Vegetarian cooking is not limited to salads and vegetables. It can also be as varied and as imaginative as any other types of cooking.

There are three kinds of vegetarian diets: lacto-ovo (includes dairy and eggs), lacto (includes only eggs), and vegan (all vegetables). Even if you go all the way of non-meat diet, you will not miss on anything ‘meaty’. There are substitutions that cleverly imitate the taste and the texture of meats such as tempeh (cultured soybeans), tofu (freeze-and-thaw to give meaty texture), and gluten (made from wheat). Milk, margarine, yogurts, and other dairy products can be made from soy.

Becoming a vegetarian does not mean you have to live on beans, nuts, and leafy veggies alone. Visit a nearby health food or Oriental stores to find a wide variety of ingredients for your vegetarian dishes.

Picnic Fresh Vegetable Salad

The recipe used for this picnic veggie salad is a good appetizer for a sumptuous Greek meal. You may serve it with a delicious spanakopita. It is a baked dish that includes lots of feta and ricotta cheeses, which means it can be enjoyed by the lacto-ovo vegetarians. With this salad recipe, vegans can still enjoy by using vegetarian feta cheese instead of the real feta.

Ingredients:
2 cups lettuce, washed and shredded
4 pieces cherry tomatoes, halved or whole
4 pieces Kalamata olives, halved or whole
¼ cup cucumber, peeled and sliced
1 piece yellow bell pepper, seeded and sliced into rings
1 big white onion, peeled and sliced into rings
1 cup feta cheese, or vegetarian feta cheese

Ingredients for Dressing:
¼ cup olive oil
1 tsp oregano, dried or fresh and chopped
2 Tbsp cup parsley, chopped
Salt and ground pepper, to taste
½ lemon, squeezed to get fresh juice

How To: In a large salad bowl, arrange shredded lettuce to cover most surface of the bowl. Add tomato, cucumber, bell pepper, onions, olives, and cheese.
In a small bowl, combine all ingredients for dressing. Use a whisk to blend. Drizzle over the salad. Garnish with lemon wedges. Serve at once.

How to Make Vegetarian Feta Cheese

Ingredients for Marinade:
¼ cup olive oil
½ cup red wine vinegar
2 tsp salt, fine
½ tsp ground pepper, fine
1 Tbsp basil, dried or fresh and minced
½ tsp oregano, dried or fresh and minced
¼ cup water, room temperature

How To: Blend all marinade ingredients well. Add 1-2 cups of firm tofu, crumbled or cut into small cubes. Let sit for 1 hour or more. Store in a glass jar with an air-tight lid.

Picnic Vegetarian Sandwich

This veggie sandwich calls for a slice of cheese, which is also optional. Replace cheese with slivers of mock tuna or mock bacon. And while you’re in the health food store, buy a small pack of sprouts and vegetarian mayonnaise, too. Other ingredients are available in the supermarket. The picnic veggie sandwich recipe below can be simplified by decreasing amount of some ingredients like tomato, onion, lettuce, and cucumber.

Ingredients:

6 thick slices whole wheat bread, toasted or grilled
1 whole avocado, ripe but firm and cut into slices
1 piece big white onion, peeled and cut into rings
1 piece big tomato, seeded and cut into rings
½ cup cucumber, peeled and sliced thinly
1 piece small carrot, peeled and sliced then blanched
¼ cup shredded lettuce, washed and drained
1 cup sprouts, washed and drained
3 slices cheese (optional)
½ cup mock tuna, flaked
½ cup mock bacon, fried and drained well

How To: Place each slice of bread on a separate plate. Arrange all ingredients on top of one another: avocado slices, mock tuna or mock bacon, carrot, tomato, lettuce, onion, cucumber, sprouts, and avocado. Serve hot with coffee, iced tea, or fruit shake.

Healthy Teriyaki Tofu for Picnics

Tofu tastes better when marinated for at least an hour or overnight. Bring marinated tofu in a tightly covered container to your picnic and grill each piece along with other veggies and bread slices. For easy handling, skewer cubed tofu in between chunks of vegetables.

Ingredients:

1 pound extra-firm tofu, drained and cut into 1-inch cubes
Ingredients for Marinade:
½ cup low-sodium soy sauce
2 Tbsp wine vinegar
1 Tbsp ginger juice, freshly squeezed
1 Tbsp garlic, minced
2 Tbsp honey
3 tsp sesame oil
Salt and ground pepper, to taste

How To: In a wide bowl, combine all ingredients for marinade. Whisk to blend well. Make sure each tofu piece will be coated all over. Cover with plastic and chill in the refrigerator. Turn tofu occasionally when marinating overnight. While grilling, baste tofu with marinade. Serve with lemon wedge and soy sauce. Or serve over sauteed vegetables.

How to Keep Vegetables Crisp and Fresh for Picnics

Wrap vegetables in clean kitchen towels and pack inside plastic bags. Place these bags on top of everything in the ice chest. Cut vegetables right before grilling or serving. When not needed, keep vegetables away from direct sunlight. This tip also works for fresh fruits.

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