Memorial Day weekend kicks off Summer. For the next three glorious months, we can enjoy warm weather, beach trips and laxy evenings catching up with friends and family under the stars. It’s time to celebrate with a picnic. We’ve spent all winter inside, let’s get outdoors and enjoy a vegetarian cookout this weekend. Here are a few recipes to get you started on your start of summer celebration.
Vegetarian Hotdog Chili
Vegetarians don’t have to deprive themselves of delicious chili on their veg dogs.
1 cup ground veggie burger
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. onion, chopped fine
1 1/2 tbsp. chili powder
1 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
Salt & pepper
1) Heat olive oil in skillet on medium-high heat. Add chopped onions and sauté about 5 minutes, maybe a little longer, until translucent.
2) Add ground veggie burger and spices. Stir together and cook in the pan about another 5 minutes.
3) Add to your veggie dog.
Makes plenty of chili for two hot dogs. A nice topping of chili for four dogs.
Sara’s Veggie Kebabs
Perfect for Summer grilling.
Choose 3 or 4 of the following:
1 pepper, your choice of color
8 button mushrooms
½ package extra firm tofu
1 Quorn “naked” vegetarian chicken
1 Yellow squash
1 Zucchini squash
3 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup olive oil
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. parsley
1 tsp. basil
Salt & pepper
2) Mix together marinade ingredients and pour into large ziplock bag.
3) Add vegetables to bag and shake. Let sit in refrigerator 30 minutes or up to a couple of hours.
4) Place on skewers alternating vegetables
Makes 4 kebabs
Susie’s Baked Beans
Essential side dish for your Summer cookout.
2 cans (15 oz.) vegetarian baked beans
l can fat-free navy or great northern beans (drained)
1 can fat-free pinto beans (drained)
1 small onion, chopped
1 small green pepper, chopped
2/3 cup catsup
1 tsp. prepared mustard
1/3 cup brown sugar (more if you like it sweeter)
1/4 cup molasses
1/2 tsp. Worstershire sauce
2 tbsp. barbecue sauce (Such as Sauers or Jack Daniel’s)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
1) Mix first five ingredients together in large oven-safe pot.
2) Add sauce ingredients and stir together.
3) Bake in 350 degree oven for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, reduce heat in oven to 250 degrees. Bake uncovered for an additional one hour. Cover dish with foil and bake another 30 minutes.
Easy Pasta Salad
When you need to bring a dish to your Summer party, this pasta salad is a good choice. You probably already have the ingredients on hand and it pulls together in minutes. Also, it’s great for tailgate parties and picnics because it’s mayo free.
2 ½ cups uncooked tri-colored Rotini pasta
¼ red bell pepper, chopped
¼ green bell pepper, chopped
¼ broccoli crown (just the florets), chopped
8 radishes, chopped
1 cup of your favorite Italian dressing
¼ cup Parmesan cheese (optional)
Cook the pasta according to package directions. Don’t overcook. Drain.
2) Wash and prepare vegetables.
3) Combine drained pasta, chopped vegetables and dressing in a medium-large bowl. Stir everything together.
4) Stir in Parmesan cheese, if desired.
5) Serve right away or refrigerate for about an hour before serving. Keeps for up to a week in the refrigerator. Okay to serve at room temperature.
Note: These are the veggies I used, but feel free to substitute your favorite veggies or whatever you have on hand.
Strawberry Pretzel Salad
This salad may sound unusual but it is a hit at our family gatherings. It combines sweet and salty and everyone loves it.
2 cups pretzels, crushed
½ cup sugar
¾ cup butter or butter substitute, melted
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
¾ cup sugar
10 ounces whipped topping
6 ounces vegetarian gelatin* substitute, preferably strawberry flavored
2 cups boiling water
20 ounces frozen strawberries, sliced, with juice
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
1) Mix pretzels, ½ cup sugar and butter and spread in a 9 X 13 inch pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Let cool.
2) Mix cream cheese, ¾ cup sugar and whipped topping together. Spread on top of cooled pretzel layer.
3) Dissolve vegetarian gelatin in boiling water and add strawberries. Let it partially set. When gelatin mixture is partially firm, spread it on top of the cream cheese layer.
4) Chill thoroughly.
5) Cut into slices and serve.
*Jello is not vegetarian.
Berry Peach Crisp
Healthy, light, delicious way to enjoy fresh peaches and berries
4 cups fresh or frozen blueberries, blackberries, sliced peaches or a mixture of these
1¼ cup oatmeal- quick cooking works well, don’t use instant
3 tbsp. Smart Balance, softened
2 tbsp. Canola oil
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp. sugar (omit or reduce if limiting sugar)
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. nutmeg
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
1) Add berries with white sugar and stir. Let sit for about 10 minutes.
2) Mix together Smart Balance, Canola oil, brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add oatmeal and stir together.
3) Pour berries, peaches or berry and peach mixture into a medium casserole dish that you have greased with Canola oil. Top evenly with oatmeal mixture.
4) Bake for about 25 minutes at 350 degrees.
5) Serve hot with vanilla soy ice cream.
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