A Summer picnic you can feel good about

–and still have energy to swim after!

It’s high BBQ season.  We smell it everywhere we go!  For a lot of people BBQ season is serious business!

In the early days of being plant-based, it can be hard to know what to eat during this season.  Everyone around us is eating burgers, hot dogs and ice cream.

So what do we eat?

plant based tacos

Naturally, the easiest thing to eat is a veggie burger from Costco, pre-made in the freezer section.  But if our entire Summer diet consisted of these burgers we’d feel pretty lousy and be sure to gain a few pounds – as they’re full of oil.  So save them for a once-in-a-while, quick and easy option. Perfect for when you bring them to someone else’s house to throw on the grill.

The Homemade Veggie Burger

The better option is to make your own veggie burgers.  We found a few we love, see below for our favorite recipe.  They’re delicious and by the time you add all the fixings you almost feel like you’re eating a real burger!  Tomato, carmelized onion, dijon mustard, ketchup, avocado, lettuce…I’m getting hungry just thinking about it.

Make a big batch, bake them and then freeze them to pull out as  you need them. *Bonus, you can even bring them to the beach. Because they don’t have to be hot, they’re a great option to bring to the beach for dinner or lunch.

plant based bbq veggie burger

Take Tacos Anywhere

Another picnic option is tacos.  I mean really, tacos are perfect anytime, anywhere!

This past weekend we had these beautiful pineapple tacos by the pool.  We prepped everything ahead of time and after a dip we were ready to eat.  The best thing about these is that everyone can add what they want to them.  When the kids can customize their taco, they feel a bit more in control and we feel good about them eating plant-based.

Along with the tacos we had a simple kale salad, massaged with avocado, lemon juice and a pinch of salt.  Plus some homemade salsa with tortilla chips.  (Next time I don’t think we’ll tell the kids about that!)  It was too good to share.

Don’t Forget the Potato Wedges

Having a batch of potato wedges with any of the above-mentioned meals is the perfect accompaniment.  Cut the potatoes in half and then in 4ths, season with salt, pepper, cumin, paprika (or whatever your favorite is), bake at 450 on parchment paper until desired crispness…about 30 minutes.

It’s not a perfect science, these foods don’t replace the taste of a real burger or hotdog, but they certainly taste delicious and you’ll feel great after you eat them.  Now you can enjoy a hike, a football toss, a walk on the beach or just a chat with your loved ones after your plant-based BBQ!

Keep reaching, keep trying, keep evolving — your body, your health and your family will thank you!

The Recipes

Favorite Veggie Burgers

  • 2 c sweet potato,  baked or microwaved and mashed
  • 1 – 1 1/2  c brown rice, cooked according to package instructions
  • 1 c black beans, cooked, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 c corn meal, (or walnut meal, pecan meal, etc)
  • 1 t paprika
  • S+P
  • 1 T cumin
  • 1/4 t chipotle, or chili powder

Preheat oven to 400º F.  Line baking sheet with parchment paper.

Put half the black beans in a bowl and mash, add sweet potato, brown rice, cornmeal and spices and mix thoroughly.  Adjust add more rice and/or cornmeal if it’s too wet.

Line a 1/3 measuring cup with plastic wrap and scoop mixture onto parchment paper.  Flatten or shape as needed.  Bake for 30-45 min, flipping half way.

Pineapple Tacos

  • 1 pineapple, cored and chopped
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • red onion, diced
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 14-oz can pinto beans
  • cumin
  • S+P
  • 1 14-oz can vegetarian, fat free refried beans
  • cilantro, chopped
  • avocado, sliced or diced
  • corn tortillas

Toss together pineapple, cherry tomatoes, red onion, pinch of salt and juice of lime, set aside.  You can add cilantro to this mixture or leave it separate for people who don’t like it.

To pinto beans, add cumin, S+P to taste; set aside.

Arrange tacos by spreading a scoop of refried beans to the corn tortilla, top with avocado, pinto beans, pineapple mixture and cilantro. Wrap, fold or do what it take to get to your mouth and ENJOY!

Homemade Salsa

  • 1 14oz can diced tomatoes
  • jalepeno, to taste
  • 1 bunch cilantro, rinsed
  • 1/4 cup vidallia onion, chopped
  • Salt
  • 1 clove garlic
  • juice of 1 lime

Put all ingredients in a blender and pulse until desired consistency.  Adjust seasonings to your liking.

One thought on “A Summer picnic you can feel good about

  1. Jenna says:

    Loved all this! Tried them last week. Thanks for sharing. The leftovers were over the moon. Kids gobbled them up.

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