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A Collection of Summer Vegan Favorites

I love trying new things. Hence why I have a recipe blog. But there are certain dishes I make continually that will never be replaced by even the best of the latest and greatest creations. Especially when it comes to seasonal classics. A simmered down tomato sauce is key to any successful summer, and as much as I like experimenting with other sauces (i.e., look for a roasted pepper one tomorrow), I wouldn’t let August go by without a taste of fresh marinara from my kitchen.

Below, I’ve compiled a few of my favorites of the season. (They’re all vegan, too!) From drinks to desserts, these are summertime standbys I make sure to enjoy every year around this time. In fact, a batch of roasted eggplant is currently waiting for me in my lunch. If only blueberry buckle were waiting in the oven, too…

Sweet Pea and Garlic Soup: A pleasantly sweet, summery soup, and possibly my favorite way to eat peas.

Asian Cabbage Slaw: A vibrant and refreshing take on cole slaw, infused with Asian flavor and topped with a salty crunch of peanuts. A picnic pleaser and mayo-free!

Garlic Roasted Potatoes with Dill: A classic side dish that’s best during the first weeks of harvest.

Roasted Eggplant: My favorite cooking method for eggplant.

Vegan Eggplant Stuffed Peppers: Stuff garden peppers with other items from your garden. Win-win. (Though certainly worth a trip to the market if you’re currently gardenless.)

Sauteed Mustard Greens with Creamy Mustard Sauce: This would not have made my list as a kid, but my new formed proclivity for all things bitter has me wanting to pair this alongside a grilled veggie dog and a cold beer. Mustard greens make a great topping because of their heavy bite. Tone them down with a honey mustard sauce and add to your favorite dog off the grill.

Roasted Veggie Sandwich: Put all the garden’s veggies to use at once. Roasting is by far my favorite method for extracting flavor in the summer, and this simple marinade makes this a regular item on my menu.

Vegetable Summer Rolls: This isn’t a classic, but a new addition I hope to continue to make over and over again. A light snack that’s heavy on flavor. These are incredibly refreshing during hot days where nothing sounds better than the crunch of a cucumber.

Slow-Cook Tomato Basil Marinara: Nothing beats home-cooked tomato sauce from garden fresh tomatoes. Especially in the winter when you can pull out a taste of summer from your freezer.

Vegan Pesto:  Warning РThis is addicting. From pasta to toast-topping, pesto brightens up the day.

Blueberry Buckle: With every bite packed with sweet blueberry goodness, you’d never guess this summer treat was vegan and whole wheat.

Mint Tea: My beverage of choice on sweltering days. A 2-ingredient recipe that’s irresistibly refreshing.

Classic Deviled Eggs

Yeah, I know. Easter’s over. So why am I still blogging about deviled eggs? Well, we all have to do something with that leftover carton of hard-boiled eggs we helped the little ones in our life color. Turning them into deviled eggs will guarantee they won’t go to waste. Who’s going to pass up a rich, creamy deviled egg? Even if deviled eggs were on this past weekend’s Easter menu, with a quality recipe, you bet people will be reaching for more than one half. More than two won’t really fit with the whole weight loss/health watch plan, but no worries. I’m sure your friends would be happy to drop one or two off in their mouths.

Besides, who says deviled eggs have to be reserved solely for the holidays. (If you’re not an Easter celebrator, then heck, they definitely shouldn’t be saved just this time of year.) ¬†They’re an easy-to-make treat, and for my non-vegan fellows out there, they make a not too shabby protein snack, as long as you can limit yourself to just one or two bites.

I’ve posted this recipe before…Last Easter…and sadly, it’s probably been since that day that I’ve eaten them. But after enjoying them this year, even after tasting them on Easter might I add, I think I’m going to have to change my ways. It’s a standard recipe that my grandma and mom have tweaked to the point that I seldom can say I really love anyone else’s deviled eggs. That’s how family recipes work, right? Feel free to adapt ours as your own, or let me in on any of your family’s deviled egg secrets.

Click here for recipe…

Classic Hummus

Smoked paprika adds the perfect vibrant red, finishing touch!

I ate a lot of hummus growing up. PB&J may have been my grade school staple, but hummus was definitely my high school jam. I’d eat a hummus sandwich for lunch nearly everyday, seemingly never growing tired of the creamy spread slathered between wheat. At the beginning of each week, I’d break out the food processor and whip up a huge batch, of course snacking on tons of carrots and hummus along the way.

I continue to love hummus, although up until just recently, it had been awhile since I had made it myself. I’ve been guilty of buying tubs of my favorite Sabra at the grocery store for exorbitant prices. But, after gratefully opening up a spankin’ new food processor for Christmas, I knew it was time to start making hummus again myself. So this past week, that is what I happily did.

I like to make my hummus a little more on the stiff side because I most often use it for filling sandwiches. But if you’re looking for a creamier-styled dip, simply add an extra tablespoon or two of tahini and a little more chick pea water.

Classic Hummus

-1 large clove garlic, or 2 small ones
-3 1/2 Tbsp. lemon juice
-1-14.5 oz. can chick peas, drained and rinsed, reserving liquid
-1/4 cup sesame tahini
-1/2 tsp. cumin
-1/4 tsp. paprika
-1/4 tsp. salt
-1/4 cup parsley

Chop garlic in food processor. Add chick peas, tahini, lemon juice, and spices. Process until smooth. Add parsley and pulse until combined. Serve with mixed crudites, pita, crackers, and/or bread, and top with a sprinkle of paprika and minced parsley, if desired.