While the weather is still beautiful, take advantage of summer and have a picnic outside. One thing that makes picnics easier to plan for is to make several different salads (the classic chicken salad, tuna salad and egg salad) that can be shared among the group. Pair these with some bread, crackers, hummus, salsa and chopped veggies and fruit, and you’re almost set. Though these three salads have a non-vegetarian product in the title, they’re easy to make vegan. Here are ways to make vegan picnic salads:
1. Egg Salad
To replace the eggs in egg salad, you can make a mock egg yolk out of dehydrated potato flakes, margarine, nutritional yeast, turmeric, black salt, egg replacer, margarine and sunflower oil. To make a mock egg white, use silken tofu and mayonnaise. See this Vegan “Egg Mayonnaise” (Eggless Egg Salad) Sandwich recipe. For a simpler approach, try this “Egg” Salad Sandwich recipe. The only ingredients you need are tofu, kale, peas, turmeric, nutritional yeast, garlic powder and four slices of your favorite bread.
2. Chicken Salad
Common ingredients in chicken salad include chicken, of course, as well as mayonnaise, egg, and some fruits and veggies. To veganize, first start with the chicken. You can go to the store and purchase a mock chicken product, then easily throw that in the salad. Or, you could use tempeh or tofu as the “meat” of the salad. As another option, you can make your own vegan chicken. This Gluten-Free Vegan Chicken recipe calls for a “chicken” flavored bouillon cube, rolled oats, soy flour, amaranth flour, pea protein, arrowroot powder, xanthan or guar gum, vegetable oil, flaxseed, kosher salt, thyme, sage and carrot. Once you decide on your protein source to replace the chicken, the rest is easy. Use a vegan mayonnaise instead of mayonnaise. Try this Mock Chicken Salad recipe and these Potato Chip-Encrusted Baked “Chicken” Salad Sandwiches.
3. Potato Salad
Potato salad is often made with mayo, and that can make a vegan pretty sad if invited to a cookout and everything is covered in mayo, including the one dish that contains no meat. Please everyone by omitting the mayo for this salad or finding an appropriate substitution. In this Vegan Potato Salad with Cilantro, Dill, Tomatoes and Raw Mayo, you’ll need cashews, Dijon mustard, chili powder, garlic, lemon and water to make the raw mayo. Use a jar of vegan mayo for this Moroccan Potato Salad with Corn and Kale. This Bagel Spice Potato Salad doesn’t even need a faux mayo; use lemon juice and olive oil instead.
4. Tuna Salad
Tuna is not so straightforward of a replacement as chicken can be. I see far more mock chicken products in grocery store than products which imitate tuna. To get the consistency, blend sunflower seeds, almonds, lemon juice and water in a food processor or blender until it gets to a paste consistency. Then follow the rest of the steps in this Vegan Mock Tuna Salad recipe. You can also replace the tuna with tempeh in this Tempeh “Tuna” Salad recipe, or use chickpeas as in this Chickpea “Tuna” Salad Sandwich and this Vegan Chickpea Tuna Melt Sandwich.
5. Lentil Salad
Since you aren’t using any meat in you picnic salads, grab some protein from lentils and make a tasty lentil salad to balance out your table. One cup of these legumes contain 18 grams of protein. Try this Spicy Lentil Salad and this Sprouted Green (Moong) Lentils and Peanut Salad.
Lead image source: Tempeh “Tuna” Salad