Summer Snackin’

With the unpredictability of Scottish weather meaning we can go from sunbathing to full downpour in the space of an hour, I like to have quick picnic recipes I can have ready to go the moment the sun peaks from behind the clouds. Being vegan myself, I know the frustration of not being able to pull together a quick sandwich and a cheeseboard and go, so I’ve compiled a couple of quick, easy, and most importantly cheap, vegan-friendly picnic recipes that work at the drop of a hat.

Kale, Mushroom and Tomato Quinoa (good hot and cold)

  • 180g mushrooms
  • 1 1/2 tbsp oil
  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 can of green lentils (drained and rinsed)
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 60g sundried tomatoes
  • 80g quinoa
  • large handful of kale


  1. Combine the stock cube with boiling water and set aside.
  2. Chop up the mushrooms, tomatoes, and garlic.
  3.  Add the quinoa to a saucepan, with half the stock mixture and fill up with water to just cover the quinoa.
  4. Heat a medium-sized pan with a little  oil on a medium heat and add the garlic, mushrooms and sundried tomatoes and fry lightly for 3 mins. Add the chopped tomatoes, the rest of the vegetable stock, lentils and kale and leave to simmer for 5-10 mins until the sauce has thickened. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Serve and enjoy either hot or cold.

Vegan Cupcakes

  • 1 and 3/4 cups plain flour
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup non-dairy milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 1 Tbsp vinegar (I use white vinegar or white wine vinegar)


  1. Preheat the oven to 180˚C and like a baking tray with 12 cupcake liners.
  2. Mix together all the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  3. Add the non-dairy milk, vanilla extract, oil and vinegar and mix well with a spatula or whisk.
  4. Pour the batter into the cupcake liners and bake for 20-25 or until you can put a toothpick in the middle and it comes out clean.
  5. Remove from baking tray and cool completely if you are icing them. If not, tuck in!

Chocolate Buttercream (great on the cupcakes or any other baking!)         Ingredients:

  • 1½ cups of vegan butter
  • 2 cups powder sugar
  • 1 cup Cadbury hot chocolate powder


  1. Whisk up the butter until it is soft and slightly lighter in colour.
  2. Add the powdered sugar and hot chocolate powder and mix by hand at first to avoid powder sugar clouds.
  3. Once they are somewhat combined, whisk until smooth. You may need to add more butter or powder sugar to obtain the desired texture.

[Carrie Macneill – she/her – @carriemac97]

[Image Credit: flickr/Jeremy Noble]

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