As the warm weather approaches, it is time to put away your slow cooker and enjoy some tasty and cruelty-free summer fare. Besides the standard veggie burgers and veggie dogs, you can experiment with the various in-season fruits and vegetables in your area and also treat yourself to some delicious snacks and desserts.

Main Dishes

Kebobs are a great grilling alternative and you can be creative and also use whatever is on-hand in your kitchen at the time. Try soy strips and seasonal veggies with spices and dipping sauces from various regions of the world. Use curry powder and cumin for a Middle Eastern flavor, hot sauce and pepper seasoning for a Mexican taste, or soy sauce and peanut sauce for an Asian flair.

Another way to take advantage of local produce is to make your own veggie burgers.

Veggie Burgers:

Using your food processor, chop up enough of your favorite veggies to make 2 cups.

  • Add 1 block of firm tofu
  • ½ cup vegan breadcrumbs of your choice
  • salt and pepper to taste.

Process until all items are blended but still a bit chunky. Form into patties and place the patties on a plate in the refrigerator for an hour or longer. Then grill indoors or out.

Side Dishes

For sides, make potato salad with vegan mayo or a combination of yellow and Dijon mustard. Coleslaw and pasta salad can be prepared to substitute mayo with either vegan mayo or Italian dressing.

Quick and Delicious Chick Pea Salad

  • 1 can of drained chickpeas
  • 1 tsp. yellow mustard
  • ¼ c. diced celery
  • ½ cup vegan mayo
  • ¼ tsp. pepper
  • ¼ tsp. celery salt
  • a dash of hot pepper sauce.

Mash with a potato masher and serve as is or on bread or tortillas.

Dessert

To end your summertime feast, you can prepare a boxed cake mix using ¼ c. water mixed with 2-3 Tbs. cornstarch in place of each egg. Top with pre-made frosting or homemade icing consisting of powdered sugar thinned with either lemon juice or soy milk and a touch of vanilla extract. There are a few brands of cake mix and tub frosting that do not contain animal products. Just check the ingredient listing. Another dessert option is s’mores made with vegan marshmallows and vegan chocolate chips or bars. Any vegan chocolate bars or chips may be re-melted and mixed with crisped rice cereal, crushed pretzels, vegan cookie bits and/or chopped nuts and then cooled in the refrigerator to create homemade chocolates. These are also great as a gift to bring to any summer event such as a barbeque or picnic.