Nicola is a mother to two, a stepmother to three, and a wife to one. She prides herself at being able to "veganize" virtually any recipe.
Eating Vegan at Barbecues and Picnics
As I'm writing this article, spring has hung around well past its usual welcome in my neck of the woods, which is Eastern Ontario, Canada. By now, late June, our unheated pool should be warmer than an iced drink, and last year's ill-fitting bathing suit should have seen a few more outings. I should have a light tan by now, and our barbecue shouldn't have cobwebs.
But I know we'll eventually get there, and summer will be as hot and humid as it always is in this area. We'll host backyard parties, lounge in the pool, and complain about the heat. Seriously, we whine when it's cold and we whine when it's hot. It's the Canadian way!
The internet is a wondrous place, though, and I know that some of you are having better weather than we are. So I will share these five summertime recipe choices with you in hopes that your backyard barbecues and family get-togethers are as rocking as mine eventually will be.
I have tried each of these recipes myself and can vouch for their deliciousness. I can also vouch for the fact that they are easy to make and that you won't need a kitchen full of exotic ingredients to make them.
5 Vegan Dishes for Summertime
In this article, I will cover:
- Vegan Potato Salad
- Cucumber, Tomato, and Avocado Salad
- Smoky Vegan Carrot Dogs
- Beet and Bean Burgers
- Classic Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies
1. Vegan Potato Salad
First and foremost, I'm a big fan of potato salad. I was before I eliminated animals products from my diet, and my love of this fine food certainly hasn't diminished. The difference here, of course, is choosing non-dairy products—in this case, the mayonnaise. I found mine at Walmart, but I know that it's likely sold in nearly every other grocery store.
This recipe makes a large quantity of potato salad, and so it is ideal for feeding the entire family. It's also easy to make, fun, and delicious. I highly recommend!
Note: The recipe calls for 1/2 teaspoon of celery seeds, but I didn't have any. I left them out and was still very pleased with this recipe.
Recipe: Vegan Potato Salad
2. Cucumber, Tomato, and Avocado Salad
Let's talk salad for a minute. In my pre-vegan days, salad and I did not get along. I found him boring, while he found me picky and annoying. But then I realized that salad was boring because I never dressed him up!
Although this metaphor is a bit cheesy, it is still accurate. Growing up, salad was iceberg lettuce, tomato, and cucumber. My dad liked Thousand Island dressing, so that's what we had. And I never asked for anything different because I was not knowledgeable or motivated.
Salads don't need to be boring. Some salads even have strawberries in them! Have you heard of this? Or homemade dressings. Or beans. The possibilities are truly endless.
I'm highlighting this particular recipe because it's simple and it's bursting with flavour. It's summery and it's fresh. Show up to a family barbecue with this colourful work of art and you'll put the other salads to shame.
3. Smoky Vegan Carrot Dogs
This idea might make you back slowly out of the room. And I completely understand if you do. But just hear me out for a second.
What is a carrot dog? Well, it's a hot dog made entirely of carrot. And I mean entirely. The carrot is not shredded, added to other ingredients, and molded into a hot dog. It is actually a whole carrot, cut to fit into a bun, marinated to be smoky and flavourful, and then grilled to perfection.
The taste is sweeter than store-bought hot dogs, and not un-carrot-like, but with the right condiments and the right marinade, this a delicious treat. And this version of a hot dog is so much healthier! Go on, give it a try.
Recipe: Smoky Vegan Carrot Dogs
4. Beet and Bean Burgers
I have tried many vegan burger recipes, and this one has been the best so far. In the past, I've hesitated to use beets in my burgers because I don't like the look of a 'bloody' burger. I just didn't want it to look beef-like.
And while these Beet and Bean Burgers do turn out looking reddish, they don't look like meat. They taste great, with a little sweetness from the beets. They're packed with protein from the beans, loads of yummy mushrooms, and quinoa.
The recipe suggests dividing it into six burgers, but I found them too big and made 8 burgers instead. My estimated calorie count for each burgers is 159 (patty only). And they freeze very well. Reheat in the microwave for a minute or two.
Recipe: Beet and Bean Burgers
5. Classic Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies
At the end of any good meal, indoors or out, I like to have something sweet. By far, my favourite after-supper treat is the chocolate chip cookie. My ideal cookie is soft and chewy, not too chunky, and very, very chocolaty. And this recipe ticks all the right boxes.
Again, this recipe suggests a yield of 3 dozen cookies, but mine are a little smaller and I make 4 dozen. That's a lot of cookies, so you'll be pleased to know that they freeze well.
Also, I like to live fast and free with the suggested quantities of chocolate chips—add as much as you'd like!
Maintaining a vegan diet has never been easier. Not only are stores stocked with a vast array of ready-made options, but the internet is also bursting with tried-and-tested recipes. I hope the ideas listed above help you enjoy some amazing meals this summer—and every season thereafter.
When this rain stops, you'll find me sitting by the frigid pool in a bad bathing suit, eating a cookie!