Recipe filter: Vegan picnic main dishes without soy?
July 5, 2019 7:04 AM   Subscribe

As it says up top, I’m looking for vegan main courses for a picnic. Challenges: is good at room temp, does not contain soy, and is not a salad/couscous or other grain salad/bean salad. I’m stumped but there must be some good ideas out there! Links to recipes especially appreciated. Thank you!
posted by stillmoving to Food & Drink (19 answers total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
I have made this Delia Smith oldie - her curried nut roast (PDF) over n over for close to 30 years. Hot or cold, it’s delish with a green salad. I leave the egg out for vegan eating and it holds together ok.
posted by honey-barbara at 7:18 AM on July 5, 2019 [2 favorites]

I don't have an exact recipe, but to point you in the right direction here is a list of soy free protiens to use as a main ingredient.
posted by AlexiaSky at 7:19 AM on July 5, 2019

Weirdly, I woke up this morning after dreaming of chickpeas in a spicy tomato sauce. In the dreaming, I put shredded cabbage in it, as an experiment. Otherwise, it was basically this recipe.
My usual choice for a vegan main that works well at room temperature is Imam Biyaldi. It's a little complicated but can be made a day ahead and it is so delicious.
Caponata may feel less like a main dish, but with some good bread and side dishes it is fine.
posted by mumimor at 7:19 AM on July 5, 2019 [1 favorite]

Using this recipe as a base, I've made it as a casserole, without the tortillas. I do add cilantro (cause I love it), and since I can't get salsa verde easily, I just use red salsa. So long as room temp (ie not freezing cold) it's amazing. It has beans, but I don't consider it a salad though.
posted by Ftsqg at 7:21 AM on July 5, 2019

Maybe tacos? Or some variation on socca (you could skip the cheese or swap it with a vegan friendly version) or farinata with whatever toppings you're feeling? Sometimes its easier to forgo the whole meal feel with just a selection of interesting apps and finger foods.
posted by zsh2v1 at 7:31 AM on July 5, 2019

Perhaps one of these would work?
Vegan potato and chickpea curry with roti
Vegan enchiladas
My first thought was jackfuit pulled pork sandwiches, but I'm not sure how they'd be at room temperature. Maybe they would be good though!
posted by to recite so charmingly at 7:31 AM on July 5, 2019 [1 favorite]

I think BBQ jackfruit would be fine, though it's hard to make/get in large quantities without being blindingly expensive.

Maybe an eggplant casserole? Many versions are intended to be served at room temperature, like Imam Bayildi or this eggplant-tomato-chickpea casserole. You could probably riff those to include more summer vegetables if you didn't want it too eggplanty - summer squash, sweet peppers, portobello mushrooms, green beans. A lot of these types of recipes, at least in Middle Eastern food, are meant to be eaten on/with flatbread but would also be good with slices of baguette or even slider buns for eating open-face.
posted by Lyn Never at 7:47 AM on July 5, 2019

A lot of the answers I got to a previous vegan barbecue question would fit your criteria.

This lentil potato salad recommended on that thread was especially good, and as a vegan, I’d count it as a main dish. The recipe says warm, but it’s fine at room temperature.
posted by FencingGal at 8:04 AM on July 5, 2019 [1 favorite]

Potato dishes are classic picnic faves. Gratin potatoes are remarkably easy, travel well, and people gobble them up. If you have a bit more time and are up for the effort, I took deviled potatoes to a meat-heavy Fourth barbecue and they were probably the most popular thing there.
posted by late afternoon dreaming hotel at 8:38 AM on July 5, 2019

Summer rice paper rolls with a dipping sauce! The linked recipe contains shrimp, but no problem to leave them out. Beautiful to look at, crisp and cool to eat, easy to transport and make ahead.
posted by apparently at 9:44 AM on July 5, 2019 [3 favorites]

I’ve really enjoyed some of Kenji Lopez-Alt's vegan recipes even though I'm not vegan. There's a list here that might give you some ideas. A number of them aren't salad and don't have soy.
posted by Hypocrite_Lecteur at 9:47 AM on July 5, 2019 [1 favorite]

Seitan kebabs, grilled on site or made ahead of time and served as gyros.
posted by SaltySalticid at 10:59 AM on July 5, 2019

You could probably put together a vegan charcuterie spread pretty easily: hummus, baba ghannouj, pickles, olives, nuts, and various fresh cut fruits and veggies. Serve with the bread or cracker of your choice, and maybe some vegan cheese.
posted by spinifex23 at 11:08 AM on July 5, 2019 [3 favorites]

steamed asparagus with vinaigrette or lemon
posted by amtho at 11:42 AM on July 5, 2019

Not sure if a noodle salad is an acceptable option for you. Here’s my recipe for “spring roll salad:”

Cold rice noodles (the thick round ones are best)
Bell pepper sliced into small ribbons
Grated carrots and cucumber
Chopped lettuce (optional)
Bean sprouts (optional)
Basil (be generous with the herbs)

Hoisen sauce
Peanut butter
Peanut oil
Rice vinegar
Sri racha
A bit of water
Combine thoroughly
All ingredients to taste, it is supposed to taste like dipping sauce for Vietnamese spring rolls, you want it to be thick but liquid.

I usually make it with friend tofu but you can omit that with no problem.
posted by mai at 3:20 PM on July 5, 2019

Seconding apparently's recommendation for rice paper rolls. If your picnic companions would be into it, the rolls can be done as a DIY buffet (note, that video includes shrimp, but omit them and there are so many vegan options for fillings).

My favorite combo is baked tofu with matchsticks of red bell pepper, cucumber, and mango, sprinkled with chopped peanuts before wrapping up, with a spicy peanut dipping sauce. Mmm.
posted by Lexica at 4:00 PM on July 5, 2019

Great ideas, thank you!
posted by stillmoving at 8:44 AM on July 7, 2019

I just saw that you wanted recipes.

Here's a page with vegan charcuterie tips and tricks, complete with recipes.
posted by spinifex23 at 1:32 PM on July 7, 2019

I'm glad you have found inspiration. Yesterday, I had a dinner party, and needed a vegetarian option. Normally I would just make a vegetarian dinner, but one guest really wanted roast chicken, so what I wanted was a recipe that would be a good main for a vegetarian and a good side for a chicken-eater. I found this on the internet. It's the last of the recipes. I used canned beans, and everyone loved it. We all agreed that it was delicious, could very well work at room temperature, and didn't really need the feta. I did add the juice of half a lemon at the last minute.
I only made half a portion for 5, and we had leftovers, but obviously that depends on what else you are serving.
posted by mumimor at 7:47 AM on July 9, 2019

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