Earth-friendly summer celebrations are all about enjoying the beautiful outdoors with family and friends. To keep your party green, offer a delicious and festive vegan menu prepared and served in an eco-friendly way. Start your fête by serving “no-cook” appetizers, to keep it extra breezy. Offer organic mixed-nuts, healthy hummus served with organic veggies for dipping or sassy salsa served with whole grain tortilla chips on the side. For a tantalizing appetizer, whip up some quick avocado dip by combining mashed avocados with a clove or two of minced garlic and a bit of lemon juice. Season your jiffy guacamole with chili powder, sea salt and pepper. Serve it with a variety of veggie sticks such as: crunchy jicama, sweet carrots, tender zucchini, or crisp celery. Offer iced herbal tea, organic lemonade, sparkling water on ice, chilled organic white vegan wine, or even a cold vegan beer, to greet your guests in a most welcoming manner. Avoid the use of disposable bottles by serving beverages, such as water, in reusable cups or containers. Go green by hosting your party outdoors to minimize indoor energy use. If you are traveling for your eco-picnic, consider packing tableware in a wicker basket or re-usable tote bag, making sure to include washable cloth napkins, tablecloth and blankets; along with eco-friendly utensils and dishware. Pack your cold food and beverages in chilled coolers housed with plenty of ice packs or ice, keeping them away from direct sunlight and insects. Concentrate on overall food safety by keeping cold foods well chilled at all times. Set your green party table by focusing on vibrant summertime colors. Create an eco-chic centerpiece with floras from your yard, local summer fruit, or aromatic fresh herbs picked from your garden or purchased at your local farm market. Use re-purposed linens (such as an old sheet or well-worn tablecloth) and re-usable dishware that can be washed, rather than depending upon the disposable variety. One of the greenest choices for serving outdoors is to use your everyday dishes or other re-usable options. If you find the need to use disposable tableware, use more earth-friendly options like dishware made from bamboo, 100% recycled resources, and/or biodegradable materials. Make certain to recycle any disposable items used as part of your summer party. Build the bill of fare for a healthy and happy July 4th eco-picnic around foods found at your local farm market or from your own garden. A green picnic menu includes choosing recipes that do not require oven preparation, in order to avoid heating up your home and overtaxing fans and cooling systems. Center your vegan menu on foods that travel well, taste delicious, and add a nutritious touch for an outdoor feast such as; satisfying sandwiches, wraps (see recipe below), crisp green salads, multi-colored fruit plates, and refreshing chilled soups. Traditional main dish salads include: pasta, quinoa, rice, orzo or potato salad. If firing up the BBQ is part of your holiday agenda, a new method to consider is using a solar grill, which employs the sun as a zero emission fuel. Or, rather than burning with wood or petroleum based charcoal, consider grilling with propane, natural gas, or non-toxic natural charcoal. Following these simple tips will make for a fun and festive “green summer celebration” to be enjoyed by all and treasured for years to come! Happy, healthy Eco-4th!
Hummus and Greens Wraps [Vegan]
- 4 whole-grain sandwich wraps
- 8 tablespoons pre-made hummus (or more, to taste)
- 2 avocados, sliced
- 8 ounces organic mixed baby greens
- 16 Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
- 4 teaspoons sunflower seeds
- Spread 2 tablespoons of the hummus evenly over each sandwich wrap.
- On each wrap, arrange 1/2 of a sliced avocado, 2 ounces baby greens, 1 teaspoon sunflower seeds, and 1/4 of the chopped olives.
- Spread a bit of hummus on the far side of the wrap, to act as the “glue” to hold the wrap together after rolling it up.
- Roll the wrap up very tightly, ending with the seam side down. Leave whole or slice diagonally into 5 pieces. Wrap and go!