Hands up who knew it was International Picnic Day today?
What a gorgeous sunny day it was too! Perfect for a picnic, unless of course you've been stuck in meetings all day like I have!
Weather reports are forecasting a glorious weekend so why not make my picnic recipes and head out into the great outdoors? The picnic recipes were supposed to be for two, but when I made them I was feeding four people. All you need to do is halve the recipes if you just want a picnic for two and of course double them if you're feeding 8!
My favourite item in the picnic hamper without a doubt was the porcini and sweetcorn tofu quiche which my sister couldn't get enough of. As you can see from below the filling can either be used in a quiche or as a filling for a pasty, both taste so good.
With all that pastry I had to balance it out with some spinach rolls which were equally as delicious and make a great change to sandwiches.
Picnic for Four
Porcini & Sweetcorn Quiche/Pasty
110g Jus Roll Puff Pastry or make your own
80g drained & pressed tofu
50ml Unsweetened almond milk
1 Tsp Porcini powder
1 Tsp Garlic granules
Pink Himalayan Salt
Roll out the pastry if you haven't already bought pre-rolled to fit the size of a small pastry dish. Press the pastry into the dish and blind cook for 10 minutes in a moderate oven. The pastry will shrink a little, but don't worry about this.
While the pastry is baking blend the tofu and milk in a food processor until smooth and transfer to a bowl. Add the porcini powder, garlic granules, salt & pepper and mix to combine thoroughly. Add the sweetcorn and give the mixture another stir.
Remove the pastry case from the oven and pour in the tofu mixture, bake in a moderate oven for 20-30 minutes or until the pastry is fully cooked and the tofu mixture has 'set'.
Broccoli & Tofu Tart
210g Jus Roll Puff Pastry or make your own
2 Tsp Vegan Pesto
½ Yellow pepper, diced
100g Basil Tofu, diced
50g Broccoli, cut in to small florets
5g Nutritional yeast
5g Ground almonds
Roll out the pastry if you haven't already bought pre-rolled and score a border about 2cm in from the edge all the way round.
Spread the pesto over the pastry up to the border you have just scored. Top the pesto with the yellow pepper, broccoli and basil tofu.
Put the nutritional yeast into a pestle and mortar and grind to a fine powder. Add the ground almonds and mix to combine. Sprinkle this over the top of the vegetables as you would Parmesan cheese. Back for 20 minutes in a moderate oven.
½ Orange pepper, finely diced
1 Celery stick, finely diced
½ Onion, finely diced
100g Basil Tofu, grated
1½ Tbsp Vegan mayonnaise
Salt & Black pepper
8 Large spinach leaves
Transfer all ingredients except the spinach leaves to a large bowl and thoroughly mix, you are looking for the consistency of a 'sandwich type filling'.
Place a spoonful of the mixture onto each spinach leaf, fold in the sides and roll up like a tortilla.
Summer Pasta Salad
60g Small pasta shapes
½ Yellow pepper
2 Tsp Vegan pesto
1 Tbsp Vegan mayonnaise
Cook the pasta shapes as per the packet instructions, drain and rinse with cold water to cool and stop the cooking process and drain again.
While the pasta is cooking/draining, finely dice the yellow pepper.
Add the vegan mayonnaise and pesto to a bowl and mix. Add the yellow pepper and sweetcorn and mix again. Add the drained and cooled pasta shapes and give everything a good mix to combine. If the pasta salad is a too dry for your liking add more mayonnaise and pesto.
Vegetable Crudites & Harrisa Dip
½ Orange pepper
2 Stick celery
4 Tbsp vegan mayonnaise
2 Tsp harrissa paste
Cut the vegetables into crudites, you can use any vegetables you fancy really, why not try carrot sticks, babycorn or mange tout instead.
Mix the vegan mayonnaise with the Harrisa paste, add more Harrisa if you like a bit of heat and transfer to a dipping tray. Arrange the crudites around the dip and serve.
To finish off my picnic hamper I also made a green salad and sliced up ½ a watermelon for afters.
Pack up the food and venture outside, find a lovely spot and enjoy! Marco had his eyes firmly on the cucumber sticks AND the watermelon!