It is the 3 day weekend in a long time many of us may not be traveling, so I am here to share some fun summer plant-based recipes to help ensure a great weekend! You may have been celebrating Meatless May all month with me and now we are on day number 19!
I hope that you have had fun learning more about the plant-based diet and that you love these recipe ideas as much as my family and I do! For many people, it has been challenging to cook healthy meals at home but I hope that you find great ideas to make some easy summer meals in 20 minutes or less!
Favorite Plant-based Summer Ideas
- May 19: Mediterranean Diet Vegetarian Recipes
- May 20: Easy Vegetarian Lunch Ideas
- May 21: Healthy Summer Fruit Dessert Ideas
- May 22: Summer Drinks Non-alcoholic
- May 23: Best Hiking Snacks, plant-based of course
- May 24: Best Fruits and Vegetables Available in Spring
- May 25: Vegetarian Recipes for a Summer Party
Mediterranean Diet Vegetarian Recipes
When talking with some of my clients about the Mediterranean diet, they are surprised to know that it can be adapted to be a vegetarian diet. A healthy plant-based diet for some people may also include some fish and occasional meat.
This month, I have been inspired to put together some plant-based Mediterranean recipes for you to add to your summer rotation. I also wanted to share one of my previous posts called The Mediterranean Diet Appalachian style. It includes tasty recipe ideas and helpful eating guidance on the Mediterranean Diet from my perspective https://vineripenutrition.com/the-mediterranean-diet-appalachian-style/
First of all, let me share some Mediterranean foods to stock in your pantry first easy to throw together meals.
Plant-based Mediterranean Staples
- Beans and Lentils
- Nuts and Seeds
- Whole grains
- Olives and olive oil
- Red wine and balsamic vinegar
- Dried fruit (including sun dried tomatoes
- Fresh fruit and vegetables
- Herbs and spices like basil, thyme, marjoram, oregano, sumac, ect.
- Tofu, tempeh & fish if you eat it.
- Dairy like a little cheese or yogurt if desired. Check out this new plant-based yogurt from Siggi https://siggis.com/categories/plant-based
Here are some Mediterranean inspired recipes that I have created that I hope that you will give a try!
This salad is simple to make but big on flavor, you can also add smoked salad or even smoked trout along with boiled egg.
Low Fodmap Moroccan Millet ‘Couscous” Salad
I love the grain millet which is both gluten-free and low fodmap and is a little milder and nuttier tasty than quinoa. Many people don’t realize that Morocco is part of the Mediterranean region and provides a whole new world of exotic flavor to explore!
Easy Vegetarian Lunch Ideas
What do you like to eat for lunch? For my husband and I, our lunch often includes:
- Sandwiches, Wraps or Quesadillas
- Leftover Soup, Casserole, Pizza, Veggie Burgers, Pasta or Stir Fry
- Whatever we have in the fridge.
Here are a few easy summer ideas:
Tuscan Bean Salad
I love a bean salad because it tastes good, is rich in protein and is very versatile so I can use it as a side, top over greens, make into a sandwich or wrap or even serve with crackers and crostini and turn it into an appetizer dip. It is almost magical.
For my recipe, I used cannellini beans which don’t always work well for some people with IBS but feel free to substitute lentils or garbanzo beans for this recipe. It will be equally scrumptious! See my recipe below at “Take the Party Outside”!
Grilled Eggplant Shawarma Wrap
This grilled sandwich is made in a Sharwarma traditional sandwich which is a Middle Eastern sandwich served warm. Traditional spices used include cumin, cardamon, cinnamon, turmeric and paprika. It is served in a flatbread which can easily be gluten-free/low fodmap friendly. It is often topped with a lemon tahini dressing.
Instead of leeks, you can use the green parts of green onion which would make this sandwich also lower in fodmaps. This recipe is from Sunnyside Hanne https://www.sunnysidehanne.com/healthy-vegan-shawarma-wrap-recipe/
Healthy Summer Fruit Dessert Ideas
I like something nice and cool to make ahead that is often creamy or frozen to beat the summer. I also love fruity desserts that taste like summer because they are made with the fruit found in season like blueberries, raspberries, peaches and for a little bit longer strawberries from my garden.
Another criteria is “make-ahead” so I can plan when to eat it and I am not in the house making it when I am enjoying the great outdoors!
Here are a few summer ideas to keep you nice and chill!
Mini Peach and Pecan Cheesecake
See my picture above for a make ahead inspiration, if you want to make it vegan, try a plant cream cheese and yogurt for equally delicious results!
Blueberry Medjool Date Crunch Icebox Cake
I think this summer for me will consist of lots of yardwork and icebox cake! Love this one from Natalie.
Vegan Ice Cream Recipes
If you are looking for 100% plant-based ice cream recipes or maybe you have a dairy allergy, these mostly fresh fruit desserts are sure to bring you yummy warm days from Food and Wine Magazine https://www.foodandwine.com/desserts/frozen-desserts/homemade-vegan-ice-cream?
Summer Drinks Non-alcoholic
For me water is the ultimate refreshing summer beverage especially if I have been working outside or taking a long hike. However, something fun and fruity can hit the spot too.
Add a splash of something to kick it up a notch if you want.
Lemonade is the ultimate summer beverage. This one adds blueberries and lavender.
Asheville Tea Summer Ice Tea Collection
Besides lemonade, the other summer drink to cool you down is iced tea! And my friend Jessie Dean has some unique and delicious blends with summer in mind! Check out some of her options! https://www.ashevilleteacompany.com/purchase-here
Best Hiking Snacks, Plant-based
Since my travel will be minimized this summer I don’t really need many plant-based travel snacks, however, I hope to hit the trails that are sparsely traveled. That being said, am going to need some of the best vegetarian snacks for hiking that I can put together.
Some ideas include granola, popcorn, veggies and hummus, a cereal snack mix, homemade energy bars and balls. Maybe even a little easy to pack picnic meals for when I sit on top of the mountain overlooking the world with my stress lifted away!
Here are a couple of plant-based hiking snack recipes:
Solar Eclipse Breakfast Blueberry Bars
I created these breakfast blueberry bars for hiking in and backpacking to see the solar eclipse in 2017. The secluded spot that we thought was ours alas was not. But nothing like a big party to see the eclipse.
Apricot Balls with Dates, Cashews and Coconut
These delicious treats are a nutrient rich snack from my registered dietitian friend E.a. Stewart over at the Spicy RD. I hope you enjoy taking them on your next big adventure! https://www.eastewart.com/recipes-and-nutrition/healthy-energy-bites-with-dates-apricots-cashews/
Best Fruits and Vegetables Available in Spring
I think of late May as sort of in between spring and the kick off to summer. This time of year, many of our farmer’s markets are just getting into full swing and we are going to pick up our first community supported agriculture (CSA) box!
It has been a cool spring hear which I really have been thankful and we are just picking greens and lettuce from our garden. The cool crops we planted include kale, arugula, lettuce, radishes, radishes, beets and snow peas. We have also been picking strawberries. Other good things this time of year coming include mushrooms!
The week after Mother’s Day we got almost all our warm season plants and seeds planted. The things we planted include cucumber, green beans, okra, dry beans, hot peppers, sweet peppers, tomato, lots of herbs and peanuts. I have raspberry bushes. I have one blueberry bush and one died. I need to figure that one out.
Growing a little food even on your window sill or in a pot on your patio if you are in an apartment is a good way to grow a little of your own which I think is important in this day and time. And a good time to support a local farmer.
Vegetarian Recipes for a Summer Party
I have put together a Memorial Day Celebration includes some of my favorite plant-based summer recipes. Here are some easy summer backyard barbecues favorites of my family.
Here is the celebration menu:
- Blueberry Praline Cheese Bites
- Low Fodmap Veggie Burger
- Grilled Southwestern Potato Salad
- Purple Cabbage Behl Salad
- Grilled Fruit S’mores
Blueberry Praline Cheese Bites
These little bits are part appetizer and part dessert!
Low Fodmap Veggie Burger
I love this mixture of veggies and grains to make these!
Grilled Southwestern Potato Salad
If you haven’t had potato salad on the grill, you don’t know what you are missing!
Purple Cabbage Behl
Behl might be a new food to you but it is just another name for a yummy cabbage slaw!
Grilled Fruit S’mores
Last but not least, you will need an easy fruit dessert for a dinner party! For these s’mores, I switched it up! How about grilled some fruit instead of burning a marshmallow. And a chocolate nut dip! And a choice of toppings like pumpkin and chia seeds along with coconut. The sticks are the shish kabob sticks on the grill. Everyone can still make their own. Lucious!
It is time to change over some of your menu ideas to reflect this time of year with some summer plant-based recipes with the new options of seasonal food coming. It is also time to bring meal preparation outside with the grill and for us especially without an air conditioner, we will be doing cool sandwiches, salads and some of those cool desserts!
I hope this kick off to summer will be a good one even though it is sure to be different. Focus on all the things that you can do, not on what you can’t and most of all stay safe and keep other’s safe too!