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It is officially summer! The season of extended daylight, warmth, and more time outdoors. One of my favorite things to do is gather outdoors with family and friends. I love to eat outside among nature, and it just feels like a very treasured time.
Recently, my family and friends threw me a surprise birthday, outdoor picnic style, in one of my favorite places. As the sun shone on us, there was a light breeze, trees for shade, and the sweet sounds of summer.
While we like to host, I can certainly learn a lot from my amazing friends that put together this picnic filled with fun, laughter, and delicious plant-based food on a beautiful day.
Tips for Hosting Outdoor Summer Gatherings
Here are a few tips I learned from my friends for your next summer party outdoors.
1. Plan in advance
Planning in advance avoided rushing, as my friends put together the list of foods (all vegan and gluten-free!) that we would share ahead of the party, and divided responsibilities between our group for the cooking and preparation.
2. Use sustainable products
They also came prepared with reusable dishes, which certainly makes for a lovely picnic and is also much more sustainable and environmentally-friendly than plastic ware.
3. Add fresh flowers
My friends included special decorative touches such as fresh flowers in small vases. It was truly lovely.
4. Enjoy the process!
Most of all, they put all of this together with a smile and generosity of their time.
As we think about our next summer party, my husband and I have been working on a new version of potato salad that I am happy to share with you! We have come to realize over the years that hosting others and preparing meals for them is a wonderful way to show love and gratitude.
Vegan Crispy Potato Salad
This crispy potato salad recipe was inspired from a brunch recipe that we enjoyed out recently. It’s an interesting and fresh new take on a tried-and-true potluck dish for summer gatherings.
- 5 Yukon gold potatoes, chopped in 1-inch cubes.
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 10 oz container of hummus
- 1 dill pickle, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons of mustard
- 1 oz freshly chopped dill
- 1 cup cooked tabouli
- 1 tablespoon arrowroot starch
- 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- First, cook the tabouli. Add 2 cups of water to a pot and bring to a boil. Add 2 cups of tabouli to a heatproof bowl. Pour water over the tabouli and let it sit for 45 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 450°F.
- Add potatoes to a pot and cover with water. Add baking powder and boil for 5 minutes. Once potatoes begin to get soft, remove them from the pot and drain. Let cool for 2 minutes.
- In a large mixing bowl, apply potatoes, garlic, arrowroot starch, and a pinch of salt and pepper.
- Place the potatoes on a baking sheet and bake in oven for 40 minutes, turning them over halfway through.
- Remove potatoes from the oven, and let them cool for 10 minutes.
- Place potatoes into the mixing bowl with hummus, dill pickle, mustard, and tabouli.
- Mix all ingredients together and refrigerate for 60 to 90 minutes.
I hope this delicious take on potato salad becomes an addition to your picnics and summer gatherings.