Beyond potato chips and hummus
August 7, 2020 8:33 AM   Subscribe

I’ve recently made a couple of friends who are vegan (I am not). Due to COVID we’ve mainly been hanging out in parks. Potato chips and hummus are great but I can’t bring those every time, so I’d like to expand my repertoire of easy vegan snacks to bring to our hangouts. What are your favorites?

Store-bought is ideal but I’m open to doing a small amount of home prep. Preferably things that can be easily dumped/divided into separate bowls to minimize COVID risk. No other dietary restrictions besides vegan.
posted by mekily to Food & Drink (20 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
Roasted chickpeas. There are storebought versions but they are simple to make. Same with kale chips.
posted by veery at 8:40 AM on August 7, 2020 [4 favorites]

Expand out from hummus into tzatziki or baba ganouj! Both can be store-bought, and tzatziki is also very easy to make (grate a cucumber, crush some garlic, mix into plain vegan yogurt, add fresh herbs and salt). Serve with raw vegetables cut into sticks.
posted by showbiz_liz at 8:40 AM on August 7, 2020 [2 favorites]

I've had this vegan cookie dough dip with fruit or graham crackers and it is tasty. Vegan chocolate chips might be a bit difficult to find but they're out there. Link
posted by nakedmolerats at 8:47 AM on August 7, 2020

Tzaziki by it's very nature is not vegan, so don't bring store bought. Guac is vegan if you bring the real stuff and not "guacamole dip". Same for salsa without queso. If you're on the west coast of the US there are some chilipeño flavor chips available that are nominally vegan (they have sugar but no animal products) that are super good.
posted by fiercekitten at 8:55 AM on August 7, 2020 [3 favorites]

I like nuts, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds. I also love cut-up fruit and vegetables. I believe all Larabars are vegan. Some Kind bars are vegan. Most Fig Newtons and Fruit Newtons are vegan. Oreos are vegan. So are Ritz crackers. Most graham crackers have honey (at least those I can find), so they aren't vegan. Vegan marshmallows exist, but they can be hard to find.

If you Google "accidentally vegan," you'll get lists of vegan processed foods. Here's a list from PETA.
posted by FencingGal at 9:07 AM on August 7, 2020 [3 favorites]

Re vegan chocolate chips, in my opinion Pascha is by far the best-tasting brand. You can get them online at Vitacost.
posted by FencingGal at 9:12 AM on August 7, 2020

I really like pickled carrots, they're flavorful and travel reasonably well. They do require prep at home, but it's pretty minimal and can be done well in advance and left in the fridge until it's time to go. I don't ever bother with the blanching step.

As a bonus, the leftover pickle juice makes a brilliant brine for chicken.
posted by VeritableSaintOfBrevity at 9:15 AM on August 7, 2020 [2 favorites]

Watermelon slices or cubes are my favourite summer picnic snack. You can buy them pre-cut but it's a lot cheaper to cut them up yourself (of course wash hands well before handling and use tongs or something to distribute safely).
posted by randomnity at 9:32 AM on August 7, 2020 [3 favorites]

its August so you are morally obligated to be eating as much pan con tomate as humanly possible while the tomatoes are good. cut a really excellent tomato in half equatorially, grate it on the large side of a box grater until its just the skin left in your hand, mix in some salt and olive oil and spoon liberally over some toasted or just lightly staled bread. if you pick your bread right there is a sort of magic to it akin to how the experience of eating a hot fudge sunday (or frito pie) changes over time, depending on how long its been since you put it all together.
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 9:34 AM on August 7, 2020 [7 favorites]

Popcorn is great, you just have to pop your own or make sure there's no butter or cheese in the flavorings. You can flavor your own plain popcorn in tons of different ways by blooming your spices of choice +salt in a little hot oil and tossing to coat - nutritional yeast is sort of cheesy, cinnamon and sugar is comforting, sumac should be a classic, my personal favorite is smoked paprika and garlic powder.

If it's summer where you are, fresh fruit is in season and you should indulge. Do it Mexican style though and bring lime wedges, chili and salt to sprinkle over everything.

Tabbouleh salad is a bit arduous to make but transcendent with good summer tomatoes, and it's better the next day. Great in a pita pocket.
posted by Mizu at 9:34 AM on August 7, 2020 [3 favorites]

Granola, grapes, apricots, walnuts/ almonds/ any nuts, carrots & hummus, apples & peanut butter.
posted by theora55 at 9:36 AM on August 7, 2020 [1 favorite]

Many but not all flavors of Oreos are vegan.

It's a little spendy, but Miyoko's vegan cheese wheels are fantastic, and pretty strong so a little goes a long way. It could go on crackers, pear/apple slices, celery or other crudite, slices of baguette or flatbread or tortilla (you should be able to check the label on deli bread, most baguette-type loaves will be vegan but check for butter or egg wash).

If you've got a falafel place, they usually have lots of vegan sides and a good salad. Two falafels per person, stack of pita, a couple of sides, split out into little plates.
posted by Lyn Never at 10:05 AM on August 7, 2020 [4 favorites]

I've had black bean dips and white bean dips from the market that were tasty.

Trader Joe's had some pretty good multiseed with tamari soy sauce crackers which are fun.

Roasted seaweed.
Trail mix.
Spiced nuts.
posted by Goblin Barbarian at 11:32 AM on August 7, 2020

All sorts of nuts
Guacamole, tortilla chips, salsa
Fruit of all kinds, fresh or dried
Baby carrots or cherry tomatoes raw
All sorts of veggies roasted: sweet potatoes, asparagus, squashed, mushrooms, bell pepper strips
Celery and peanut butter
Olives, artichoke hearts, pickled veggies

Take out: veggie tacos, tamales, or empanadas; almost any Thai food, veggie sushi and seaweed salad and miso soup.

More work: Pasta salad, actual salads
posted by amaire at 12:01 PM on August 7, 2020 [1 favorite]

Re: vegan chocolate chips, you'll have to do the work of breaking up the chocolate into chips yourself, but dark chocolate can be "accidentally" vegan if it's dark enough that it doesn't have any milk. It would likely be much easier to find as it's pretty standard in supermarket baking aisles ime.
posted by ToddBurson at 12:48 PM on August 7, 2020

Potato salad, yummmm. Also, gazpacho, a cold tomato soup with grated cucumber, onion, peppers, garlic, vinegar, olive oil, usually served with bread, and which I now crave. It's a lot of grating if you don't have a good processor, but is so delicious and certainly vegan and healthy. Worcestershire might be a listed ingredient that you can leave out because it has anchovies. I am lazy and use canned crushed tomatoes.
posted by theora55 at 12:50 PM on August 7, 2020 [1 favorite]

garlic paste
posted by brujita at 1:41 PM on August 7, 2020

If you're into cooking, then Muhamarra (roasted red pepper dip)is soooooo yummy. Or some tapenade. Bring a baguette and you're set!
posted by brookeb at 1:52 PM on August 7, 2020 [2 favorites]

When I was a vegetarian I was wary of tapenade, because it often contains anchovy, and the recipe brookeb linked does, in fact, contain that ingredient.

If you're into eggplant, caponata is nice. I have a great pressure cooker recipe if you'd like it.
posted by zorseshoes at 2:47 PM on August 7, 2020

Stuffed grape leaves (dolmas) are usually vegan.

Trader Joe's just last week began carrying individual-sized vegan cheesecakes that are pretty damn awesome! They come two to a box for $4. They say to thaw for 2-2.5 hours, but really can be eaten straight from the freezer.
posted by QuakerMel at 4:43 PM on August 7, 2020

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