About the American Picnic Menu

A good picnic is easy to tote, eat, and clean up after and can happen at nearly any time or place. The beach, the roadside while traveling, or a city park all offer opportunities for a quick party. Your own backyard can be the setting for an elegant dinner or breakfast picnic that may feature scones, tea, coffee, and fresh fruit and juice, or thinly sliced bread spread with scented rose or parsley butter.

Many people wouldn’t think of letting a patriotic holiday pass without an outdoor party with family and friends. The general fare always includes several salads, fruit, and for vegetarians ersatz burgers or franks. The Tofu Nut Burgers on our picnic menu are thoroughly nourishing, acting as a tonic on the body’s tissues, and are a lot easier to digest and assimilate than meat burgers. When eaten with the usual selection of condiments—pickles, olives, mustard, catsup, and so forth —they are more digestible. Choose from condiments according to your taste. This body-building food decreases Vata, has a neutral effect on Pitta, and increases Kapha.

This menu could easily include more kinds of fruit and vegetable salads and casseroles of macaroni and cheese, or a baked vegetable loaf. It’s the cook’s choice.

Big, juicy red watermelons always show up at a picnic. In summer when the body needs to replenish liquids rapidly, watermelon is the fruit of choice for all constitutions. Although they are juicy, other melons such as cantaloupe, crenshaw, honeydew, and so forth are colder and heavier for Kapha and Vata to digest. Watermelon is good for balancing all doshas in summer.

This colorful, summertime party salad with light and cold qualities and sweet, bitter, pungent, and sour tastes is especially good for Vata and Pitta to eat. By adjusting the amount and kinds of fresh herbs you use, you can make this salad better for each of the different types. Both Kapha and Pitta appreciate such bitter- and astringent-tasting herbs as fennel, dill, summer or winter savory, celery, and coriander leaves. At the picnic Kapha would eat a small to moderate amount of this rice dish with a lot of green leafy salad or separately later on as a light meal. Just saute leftover rice salad in hot oil with mixed vegetables.

super chocolate brownies

The particular combination of ingredients in this rich chocolate brownie is good for anyone who loves chocolate and makes a deli-

cious, popular picnic dessert. They have just the right balance of dry and heavy qualities, bitter, astringent, slightly salty, and sweet tastes. Other brownies, like most Kapha-increasing desserts, are primarily heavy and sweet. What’s noticeably different about these brownies is that they are also dry and astringent, making them more suitable for Kapha to eat. Making these brownies (and other baked goods) without eggs adds to their overall suitability for Pitta. Egg yolks increase Pitta. The only thing wrong with these brownies is that you have to wait until they are completely cool to cut them. For the best consistency, they are best made by hand, not with a food processor or electric mixer.

 

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