When I first tried to become vegetarian (many years ago), the concept was so new to me that I didn’t really know what to eat. My go-to easy “meals” were those tiny cardboard-flavored frozen veggie burgers. I’d eat them for dinner and I’d bring them to cookouts… they tasted terrible and everyone around me thought I was a little crazy. It wasn’t long until I quit frozen veggie burgers altogether.
A few weeks ago, we gave the Beyond Burger a whirl and wow(!), have plant-based burgers come a long way!
First off, you’ll actually find them in the meat case of the grocery store (which is a place I’m not usually accustomed to going). Second – they really do have a burger-like taste and texture even though they’re completely vegan, made with no soy, gluten, or GMO ingredients – the main protein is pea protein and the pink color comes from beet juice. They’re juicy and substantial, and a quick solution for late summer grilling because you literally just bring them home and put them on the grill. Easy as that.
To go with our burgers, I made a simple guacamole topping:
A tip for grilling the Beyond Burger – they’re easiest to handle if you keep them chilled in the fridge until the moment you’re ready to throw them on the grill.
Because every good burger meal needs some fries, we made some spicy grilled sweet potato wedges to go on the side. The trick is to parboil the sweet potatoes before slicing and grilling. This way, the wedges become fully cooked as the outside chars. After they come off the grill, I sprinkled them with chili powder, smoked paprika, and a little cayenne.
At 20 grams of plant protein per patty, this was really a substantial (and fun!) grilling meal. Click here to find The Beyond Burger at a grocery store near you.
This post is inspired by all of the fresh herbs that we have growing on our little deck. We have a ton of basil and some very fragrant Thai basil, among other plants like Thai chiles, tomatoes, peppers, and even figs. We’re very proud of our little plant escape, and when I say “we” I mean that I’m very proud that Jack has been lovingly watering everything up to twice a day to keep it all going. This might be the longest that we’ve actually kept plants alive.
Since I know many of you also have lots of basil at this time of year, I made these fresh summer rolls with a creamy coconut basil dipping sauce. It’s the kind of sauce that I would normally make with cilantro, but the sweet basil flavor is so fresh and unexpected.
For the filling, I gathered the usual suspects – avocado, cucumber, tofu, and noodles. I felt like it needed a little more, so I thought what I often think in the summer – “peaches!” Peaches and basil are a tasty pairing and, in my opinion, it’s the season to throw peach slices on everything.
Summer rolls can be difficult to wrap (for me, at least), but I have one tip: get these 12-inch wrappers, they’re so much easier to work with than the 8-inch wrappers that I usually get. I have a tendency of wanting to overstuff my rolls, and the larger wrappers are easier to handle.
My favorite category of food is definitely…. summer salads!
Colorful, juicy, crunchy, sweet, bitter, herby, spicy… there are so many flavors and textures to put together with all of the great fruits and vegetables that are in season right now. I love a good salad all year round, but the summer salad will always have my heart.
This one is a nice easygoing slaw – pack it up for lunch, take it to a picnic, bring it to a BBQ… it tastes just as great on the second day as it does the day it was made. So flexible.
Here’s what’s in it:
The sauce is a nutty/tangy ginger miso sauce that’s made with cashew butter, lime juice, and a little sesame oil. Use it to douse the crunchy vegetables, and toss!
It’s so delicious that you might want to make extra sauce to have on hand for salads and grain bowls throughout the week.
We have a TON of basil and mint growing on our patio, so I added a very liberal amount of herbs here, which makes this salad taste really fresh. We also have a flourishing little Thai chili plant, so I added those for spice. And for a pop of sweetness – peaches!
I hope you make this over the weekend! Let me know!
Tell me, what’s your favorite summer salad?
If you said panzanella, you’re at the right place. If you didn’t say panzanella, that’s ok too, because I think you’ll be converted after you try this one! 🙂 It’s the ultimate summer salad to make with a bounty of fresh tomatoes. Or in this case, if you have a few tomatoes and a bounty of fresh sweet corn.
Panzanella may be an Italian bread salad, but the special part about this panzanella is that it’s not entirely about the bread. I think bread salads can often get a bit too bread-y, which is where the corn comes in. It’s fresh, crisp, and it soaks up the tangy vinaigrette and tomato juices so well. (Yes, the corn is raw here – when you have in-season fresh sweet corn it’s delicious this way!)
Plus, corn is my favorite summer vegetable and it’s just now coming into season, so I’ll be eating it pretty much every day from now until the end of September.
I would usually choose a lighter bread like ciabatta bread for panzanella, but I like this particular salad with cubes of hearty & seedy whole grain bread like this one:
Did I mention that this salad comes together in just one bowl? It’s great to make ahead and it’s the perfect side dish to go with whatever you’re grilling. If you have a bit left over, it makes a great lunch the next day by adding some chickpeas and another handful of arugula.
Everyone loves a good burrito bowl, and here’s one that we’ve been really into lately!
We love mushrooms, but even if you don’t think you do, give this a try because the preparation is so so delicious! Smoky, charred portobello slices are topped onto bowls of sizzling fajita peppers, beans, rice, arugula, (the quickest) guacamole, and fresh pineapple salsa. It’s summer grilling at its finest and a great way to use pineapple salsa if you have any left over from making this recipe or this recipe.
The mushrooms are seasoned with a simple 1-step marinade. Brush them with adobo sauce (the sauce that comes in the can of chipotle peppers)… and that’s it! Set them aside to marinate while your grill pre-heats. The first time I made these, I was surprised by how juicy and flavorful the mushrooms turned out with so few ingredients and such little effort.
I cooked the peppers in cast iron skillet on the grill next to the mushrooms. If you also use a cast iron pan, make sure you have an oven mitt handy because this pan is HOT! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve burned my hand on hot cast iron skillets going to and from the oven or the grill.
If you don’t have a grill, you could make this recipe in a cast iron skillet on the stovetop.
Assemble the bowls with your desired fixings or the ones listed in the recipe below. Serve with extra salsa and enjoy!