A vegan beach picnic means you’re free to enjoy a delicious spread without stressing over the sun and heat spoiling your food.
Just the Food: A Vegan Beach Picnic
A picnic on the shores of Lake Erie is a summer tradition. This vegan beach picnic menu featured fresh cherries, a roasted corn and peach salad with mint, and open-faced sandwiches with a creamy lemon and dill chickpea salad.
The Personal: Self-Destruction & Awakening
As I worked my way through The Artist’s Way this year, the author, Julia Cameron posed a question that really dismantled me. “Are you self-destructive?” No, of course not, I thought, but then she reversed the word order in such a simple yet profound way. Self-destructive = destruction of self. Have you destroyed yourself? Have you depleted yourself?
Yes, I thought. Looking back, I saw how I had sought validation through work, through pleasing others, through constant distraction, and in doing so, I had lost so much of my personal spark and curiosity. I had lost touch with connections that mattered so much to me. From a state of depletion, I had hurt the one I loved, and I hadn’t been able to articulate why I had felt so inadequate in a relationship.
But after breaking my life as it was, I began to rebuild, to regenerate, to discover myself anew. That reintroduction was a beautiful opening. I found myself feeling music and songs again, craving them, and dancing freely. I found myself spending more time with people who fed me with positive energy.
I gave to friendships in a way that made me feel proud of my role. Even my relationship with my beloved Julep improved. It was as if I returned, and she recognized me at long last. Additionally, I sought more pleasure. I said yes to more walks, hikes, deck dinners, and beach days. I’m so grateful I had the chance to spend a beach day with this lovely, my longtime friend, my “Ninabee.”
On the shores of Presque Isle State Park, we picnicked, we had witchy moments with smoke offerings, flower essences, and tarot cards. We swam, we laughed, we cried, and we laughed again at old jokes that have aged well.
What I’ll remember and cherish most though, is we opened up more than we ever have. The most beautiful gift a friend can give you is her vulnerability and trust. I’m ever grateful to be trusted by this rainbow-colored soul.
Nina, you’re love and light just for being you, and the world contains far more magick with you in it. Never, never ever forget it!
You Might Also Like: Summer Harvest Salad with Crunchy Buckwheat
If a peachy summer salad sounds good, try this recipe from my book, The Gluten-Free Grains Cookbook. Made with whole grain, al-dente buckwheat groats and a strawberry chia dressing, it’s a foolproof recipe for summer gatherings. The base recipe is vegetarian with a vegan option, but you can also make it a meal with grilled chicken or salmon.
Alas, Julep didn’t get to accompany us on this trip, but she is a girl who loves the beach. Hopefully she’ll get her chance to ride some waves this summer.
Lemon & Dill Chickpea Salad
- 15 oz (1 can) chickpeas, rinsed and strained
- 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
- 3 Tablespoons hummus
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dijon mustard
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- 2 Tablespoons fresh dill, minced
- 2 Tablespoons Italian flat-leaf parsley, minced
- 1 green onion, finely sliced
- 1/4-1/2 teaspoon salt, to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- Multigrain or Gluten-Free Bread
- Sliced cucumber
- Fresh dill
- Add strained chickpeas, lemon juice, hummus, olive oil, and Dijon mustard to a bowl. Use a potato masher or fork, mash the chickpeas until they come together into a creamy filling.
- Stir in celery, dill, parsley, green onion, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and black pepper. Taste and add more salt if desired.
- Top a slice of bread with spinach, then a dollop of the chickpea salad. Spread evenly, and garnish with a cucumber slice and fresh dill.