Vegetarian Labor Day Recipes

Shiitake Veggie Burgers with buns on a board

It’s just about Labor Day weekend, and my thoughts are: oh noooooo(!!), how did we get here already! Warm nights grilling out on our back deck… sunny farmers market strolls… available fresh produce… I’m not quite ready for this season to end but I will try my best to embrace fall as it comes. Until then, here’s a wrap-up of ALL of my favorite recipes that I made this summer. I’m hoping they provide a little inspiration for your weekend festivities!

You can click directly on the images to go to each recipe.

To drink:

Spicy Watermelon Margaritas!

These are easy to make and naturally sweetened by the watermelon, which makes them borderline healthy :). The jalapeño gives them a fun, spicy kick.

Spicy Watermelon Margaritas in glasses with lime slices

To start:

Chipotle Cauliflower Nachos with Pineapple Salsa

I think this was the biggest fan favorite recipe of the summer – I’ve been tagged on SO many photos of these cauliflower nachos since I posted them. The “cheese” sauce, with cauliflower blended in, is completely vegan. Loaded with black beans, tomatoes, and pineapple salsa, these nachos are a meal by themselves.

Vegan Cauliflower Nachos

Main Dishes:

Mini Stuffed Peppers with Pineapple Salsa

If you have extra pineapple salsa from the nachos above, use it to make these cute little stuffed peppers! They’re stuffed with herb-y cilantro lime rice and served with adobo-spiced pinto beans. Just add margaritas (also above).

Mini Stuffed Peppers with beans and pineapple salsa on plates

BBQ Jackfruit Sandwiches

These are a great party option because you can prep everything in advance. Jackfruit is simmered in an easy homemade chipotle BBQ sauce, then the saucy sandwiches are piled high with a tangy slaw. Pass the napkins.

Spicy Mango Black Bean Avocado Tacos 

I’d make these not only for Labor Day, but for pretty much any day. These fresh tacos are so fast and easy to put together. I love how the mango adds a pop of sweetness.

On the side:

Sunny Creamy Tahini Pasta Salad

Every cookout needs a pasta salad, and I love this one because it’s loaded with fresh vegetables. The sauce is tangy, made with tahini sauce instead of a typical mayo base.

Spicy Ginger Miso Slaw with Peaches

Make this one before peach season is over!

Roasted Cherry Tomato Herbed Couscous Salad

Another fan favorite! I’ve seen so many insta-tomato salads since I posted this one. This recipe has great texture – half of the tomatoes are slow roasted until shriveled and jammy and half are left fresh and juicy. They’re combined with cucumbers, couscous, crispy chickpeas, and a bunch of fresh herbs. Make this one while tomatoes are still at their peak!

Spicy Tomato Watermelon Salad

My personal favorite. I love the balance of sweet/savory/spicy flavors. You can’t quite see the dressing, but it’s a light tamari-lime dressing that goes perfectly with the sweet watermelon, spicy peppers, and creamy avocado.

Grilled Potato Salad with Grilled Scallion Vinaigrette

Not your ordinary potato salad – this grilled scallion vinaigrette is SO flavorful over the grilled potatoes. If you’re grilling this weekend, give this one a go!

Something Sweet:

Strawberry Coconut Cream Tart

I love this simple dessert from the Sweet Laurel Cookbook. It’s made with an easy gluten-free almond flour crust, a lemon coconut cream filling, and it’s topped with fresh berries. Delish.

Soft Baked Vegan Sugar Cookies with Cashew Icing

These lemony cookies are lightly sweet and have a wonderful nutty flavor from the almond flour. They’re fun to make and fun to decorate with the cashew icing and these cute, naturally colored Supernatural sprinkles 🙂

Happy long weekend!

My Favorite Easy Summer Recipes

Blackberry Basil Pizza

This is how I feel about summer cooking: I don’t want to spend tons of time in the kitchen, but I DO want to make meals at home using all of the seasonal produce that is so stunning at this time of year. The nice thing about summer cooking is that since the ingredients are so wonderful, you don’t have to do much to them in order to make a great dish.

Click on the pictures to go to the full recipes:

Blackberry Basil Pizza

This is the easiest recipe in this post! Because blackberries and basil are such flavorful ingredients and make an A+ combination, the ingredient list is super minimal. This one gets rave reviews by my family.

Watermelon Poke Bowls

Watermelon Poke Bowls

I love how the bright pink watermelon in these bowls mimics the look of sushi-grade fish, but you end up feasting on refreshing summer produce! Tangy sesame-tamari-lime sauce and poke toppings like pickled ginger fill these bowls with flavor.

Tart Cherry Tabbouleh

Tart Cherry Tabbouleh

This riff on tabbouleh is perfect for summer picnics – it’s super easy, and it packs up well if you make it in advance! I love the chewy texture of the tart cherries alongside the freshness of parsley and mint.

Heirloom Caprese w/ Mint Pesto

Heirloom Caprese with Mint Pesto

This is the recipe to make if you have show-stopping local tomatoes. Elevate them just slightly with creamy mozzarella and bright mint pesto, and you have my ideal summer meal.

Corn & Green Bean Tomatillo Tacos

Corn & Green Bean Tomatillo Tacos

This recipe stars one of my favorite parts of summer: sweet corn! Simply grill the corn with green beans, and toss them both with cherry tomatoes, cilantro, and a zesty tomatillo salsa! Stuff the veggie filling into tortillas, and enjoy!

Watermelon Gazpacho

Watermelon Gazpacho

With its cool, refreshing tang, gazpacho is one of my all-time favorite summer dishes. Don’t worry, the watermelon in this soup doesn’t make it taste too fruity, but it adds a subtle sweetness to balance and accent the flavors of the other fresh ingredients.

Tomato, Peach & Corn Panzanella

Tomato, Peach & Corn Panzanella

With peaches, corn, fresh tomatoes, and herbs, this dish is packed with summer flavor. Plus, it’s an easy one-bowl recipe and super flexible. If you don’t like one of the ingredients, swap in something else or leave it out altogether!

Sweet Corn Gazpacho

Sweet Corn Gazpacho

Since corn and gazpacho are two of my favorite things, why not corn gazpacho? This soup couldn’t be easier – all the ingredients are blended together – and it gets more flavorful as it sits in the fridge!

Vegetarian Orzo Stuffed Peppers

Vegetarian Orzo Stuffed Peppers

These stuffed peppers are a great vegetarian main. Serve them with an herby yogurt sauce or top them with cheese for a heartier meal. Again, the filling here is flexible, so customize it with your favorite veggies and grains!

Zucchini Lasagna with Zucchini “Ricotta”

Zucchini Lasagna with Zucchini Ricotta

This recipe is from our cookbook, and I love that it lightens up traditional lasagna without sacrificing flavor. Planks of zucchini sub in for half the noodles, and a zucchini-basil-lemon vegan ricotta takes the place of the traditional cheese filling.

Peach Tostadas with Creamy Green Chili Sauce

Peach Tostadas with Creamy Green Chili Sauce

I love the sweet and spicy combo that comes from layering fresh peaches with the creamy green chile sauce in this recipe. Refried beans, cotija cheese, cherry tomatoes, and pepitas finish these tostadas off, making them a light and flavorful option for when you have peak-season peaches.

Avocado Strawberry Caprese Salad

Avocado Strawberry Caprese Salad

This version of caprese salad adds strawberries for extra sweetness, avocado for creamy texture, and pecans for a little crunch. With these add-ins, this simple salad is a crowd pleaser even without perfect tomatoes!

Spicy Mango Black Bean & Avocado Tacos

Spicy Mango Black Bean & Avocado Tacos

Another taco recipe! I love how tacos let summer produce shine without a lot of cooking. Crispy cabbage and sweet mango are the stars here… add a little spicy sriracha mayo, and you have a 10/10 dinner.

One Pot Vegetable Penne Pasta

One Pot Vegetable Penne Pasta

This is the simplest pasta recipe of them all: add the veggies, pasta, and water to a pot, bring to a boil, and in less than 15 minutes you have a full meal! The starches from the pasta create a sort of creamy sauce in this recipe that’s amped up with lemon juice and zest.

Heirloom Tomato Bean-LT Sandwiches

Heirloom Tomato Bean-LT Sandwiches

When tomatoes are in top form, it’s BLT time! The “B” in this recipe is a simple white bean spread full of delicious tang from lemon and capers. Top this sandwich with smoked paprika for a hint of bacon-like flavor!

Almond Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread

Almond Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread

This is one of my family’s favorite recipes on the blog, and it’s a good way to polish off your excess zucchini in the summer. The chocolate chips on this bread make for a heavenly combination with the cinnamon and zucchini. With my family around, I didn’t have many leftovers, but if you do, this bread freezes well!

Meal Plan Recap + Grocery List (June)

Meal Plan Recap + Grocery List (June)

Happy Sunday! As promised, here’s a recap of this week’s 3-day meal plan! If you’re tuning in for the first time this week, here’s what’s happening: A few months ago I did a 5-day plan where I started with one set of ingredients that worked into 5 consecutive meals. A lot of you wrote me to say that it was helpful, so using that same inspiration – meals that share similar ingredients but do not all taste the same – I came up with this week’s plan:

Here are the main ingredients:

Mangoes: because they’re so juicy and refreshing for summer.

Cucumber: again – refreshing.

Green Cabbage: because I always need multiple uses for a head of cabbage

Black Beans: because I don’t often finish a whole can at once.

Avocados: because everyone loves avocado!

Rice: Since we got back from our trip to Japan, I’ve been on a rice kick. And when I make a big batch, I have extra.

Other: Limes, tamari, pickled ginger, sriracha, avocado mayo – for overall flavor boosting. I generally have these things on hand at all times.

And here are the recipes! (click here for the Grocery List).

Meal Plan Recap + Grocery List (June)

1. Mango & Black Bean Ginger Rice Bowls

I’ve been on this sweet-savory-crispy bowl kick lately – it’s packed with SO many refreshing veggies, making this a perfect meal for summer. The sauce – a tamari-lime vinaigrette is light but full of punchy flavor. Also – these bowls are quite large and some readers have commented that it made enough for lunch the next day.

Meal Plan Recap + Grocery List (June)

2. Mango Cucumber Nori Wraps

This is veggie sushi for people like me who don’t want to spend time rolling maki. I’ve been a fan of this avocado-cucumber-mango combination ever since I made it for this sushi recipe. I love the juicy texture of the mango next to the crisp cucumber. It’s delicious wrapped with seasoned rice and yummy spicy mayo. For this recipe, I used up the rest of my rice and the 1/2 leftover cucumber from recipe #1. If you’ve never used nori at home – now’s your chance! Sea vegetables are so good for you and it’s an easy pantry staple to keep on hand. (Tip: if you can’t find nori, make lettuce wraps).

Meal Plan Recap + Grocery List (June)

3. Spicy Mango, Black Bean & Avocado Tacos

If you’re like me, your meal cravings rotate in this circular pattern: 1. salad/bowl-type-meal 2.  sushi 3. tacos… and repeat. So naturally, recipe #3 here is to take everything leftover – that chunk of leftover green cabbage from recipe #1, leftover black beans, the last mango, the remaining 1/2 avocado, and the yummy spicy mayo that was leftover from recipe #2. This recipe was the quickest to put together but – yum yum yum.

So that’s it! CLICK HERE for the Printable PDF Grocery List.

Let me know if you find this kind of post useful and if you’d like to see more of these!

Sweet Corn Recipes

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The other day, I professed my love of midwest sweet corn and as a result, I got a ton requests for more ways to use corn while it’s in peak season. To be honest, when corn is at its best like it is right now, not much has to be done to it… I usually just grill it with a little olive oil and a few pinches of salt or toss the raw kernels into salads. But here are some of my favorite corn recipes that go a bit further and are so perfect if you’re up to your ears in corn this summer!

You can click on the photos themselves to take you to the full recipe:

Grilled Corn, Cucumber, Peach & Avocado Salad

Grilled Corn, Cucumber, Peach & Avocado Salad
This is one of my all-time favorite recipes – it’s basically an explosion of everything that’s in season right now (peaches, peppers, cucumber, basil, etc), and drizzled with creamy cilantro dressing. If you make one recipe before summer is over – make it this one 🙂

Creamy Vegan Corn Chowder

Creamy Vegan Corn Chowder
Another reader favorite – this chowder is thick, satisfying, and perfect for cooler summer nights. It contains 4 ears of sweet corn, potato for thickness, smoked paprika for, well, smokiness. It’s finished with a bit of coconut milk in lieu of cream.

Tostadas with Smoky Sweet Corn Hummus

Tostadas with Smoky Sweet Corn Hummus
This recipe uses a trifecta of corn – there’s creamy corn hummus, slathered on crispy corn tortillas, with more corn (and other things – avocado, jalapeno) piled on top.

Vegan Cobb Salad with Coconut "Bacon"

Vegan Cobb Salad with Coconut Bacon
This star of this recipe is the crispy, smoky coconut “bacon,” but corn, tofu, avocado, zucchini, tomatoes, etc), make it a satisfying full-meal salad.

Chili Lime Grilled Corn on the Cob

Chili Lime Grilled Corn on the Cob
THIS SAUCE on corn, omg, it’s so so good. The leftover sauce here is used on the Corn Cucumber & Peach salad at the top of this post.

Taco Bowls with Cucumber Jalapeño Ranch

Taco Bowls with Cucumber Jalapeño Ranch
One of my favorite recent recipes – spiced quinoa, corn, crispy tortillas, and a “ranch” dressing that’s made with almonds – a wonderful light, yet filling, summer dinner.

Summer Squash Vegetable Pizza

Summer Squash Vegetable Pizza
Another example of how I love to throw corn on everything! This summer squash vegetable pizza is loaded with, well, a garden full of corn and other vegetables.

Mexican Street Corn Salad

Mexican Street Corn Salad
This is an off-the-cob version of Elotes – this salad is creamy, smoky, and spicy. It’s an older recipe, but one I go back to often.

Tell me – what do you love to make with corn?

Cool Summer Recipes for Hot Days

Watermelon Gazpacho

Last week, we spent a few short days in NYC during that hot hot heat wave. We did a bunch of walking, a bunch of sweating, and whenever we’d sit down to a meal I’d find myself ordering anything on the menu that was cold and refreshing. I had a wonderful watermelon gazpacho at ABC Kitchen… some pretty salads, and more salads. I came back craving some cool favorites that I thought I’d share here. Click directly on the photos to go to each recipe!

First up – this Watermelon Gazpacho, blended with tomatoes, cucumbers, basil and a pop of red wine vinegar. This is probably the most refreshing recipe on the blog – be sure to put it on your list before summer is over!

Watermelon Gazpacho Corn, Cucumber, Peach & Avocado Salad

This Corn, Cucumber, Peach, and Avocado Salad is one of my all-time favorites. It has a great crunch from the grilled corn and a nice pop of sweetness from the peaches and the basil. A creamy chile-lime dressing takes it to the next level.

Watermelon Poke Bowls

When I think of foods that are hydrating, watermelon and cucumbers are at the top of the list. This faux Watermelon “Poke” Bowl was inspired by a bowl from Poke Poke, one of our favorite lunch spots in Austin. The watermelon is dressed with a tangy tamari-lime dressing, and topped with a sprinkle of furikake (a mix of nori, sesame seeds and sea salt). I know – this concoction sounds a little weird, but it really works 🙂

Watermelon St. Germain Cocktails

I’m obviously on a watermelon kick and I just love these St. Germain Watermelon Cocktails. They’re made of pureed watermelon (but you can also buy cold pressed watermelon juice), lemon juice, vodka, and St. Germain. A simple combo that’s so refreshing.

Tomato Basil Artichoke Picnic Sandwich

Before the summer is over, go on a picnic and bring these Tomato Basil Artichoke Picnic Sandwiches. They’re slathered with a delicious basil edamame spread and they travel well!

Peach & Plum Caprese Salad

A quick no-cook appetizer – this Peach & Plum Caprese Salad is a sweet spin on a classic.

Chocolate Avocado Almond Pudding Pops

For a sweet afternoon snack – these vegan creamy Chocolate Avocado Almond Pudding Pops are a healthier version than the pudding pops I used to eat as a kid. I promise the avocado taste is undetectable (and Jack agrees!)

Summer Squash Vegetable Pizza

When you have every summer vegetable under the sun – throw it on a pizza!

Cucumber Mango Miso Noodle Bowls

More summer means more cucumbers! These Cucumber Mango Miso Noodle Bowls are great for a light dinner and perfect for lunch the next day.

Raspberry Lemon Chia "Cheesecake"

Last but not least – a no-bake freezer dessert. This Raspberry Lemon Chia “Cheesecake” is a cool dairy-free treat!