Make the most of the sunny weather with ten of our favourite vegan summer recipes. Best enjoyed al fresco, with or without a glass of chilled rosé!December 16, 2021 4:40 pm August 26, 2021 12:13 pm
It must be some deeply rooted part of the human psyche that when the sun finally peeks beyond the clouds and the temperature heats up, we are inspired to cook all our food over an open fire.
Summer is barbecue season. We love enormous family gatherings in back gardens, the designated chief barbecuer carefully tending the grill while others chat, kids play and glasses are clinked together. It’s the spirit of summer.
However, barbecues are traditionally the realm of meat. That presents a bit of a problem for those of us who don’t eat animal products.
The following vegan summer recipes all make delicious dishes which you can take along to an omnivorous barbecue. They will likely be snaffled by the non-vegans too, so be sure to take plenty!
Or, they can simply be enjoyed at home as an easy dinner on a hot day.
They’ve all been chosen because they’re light, refreshing and intensely moreish. Just the ticket in the hot summer months!
Vegan summer rolls
If any dish personifies the word ‘refreshing’ better than our crunchy vegan summer rolls, we’ve yet to find it.
Inspired by a classic Vietnamese recipe, our summer rolls are made with crunchy raw vegetables and silky rice noodles. Almonds add protein and a lovely textural contrast.
To finish, wrap the whole lot up in a rice paper wrapper. While the first go might seem a bit intimidating, after a couple of tries you’ll be rolling like a pro!
But the real secret to our vegan summer rolls is the zingy bergamot dressing, Keep it apart from your rolls until you’re ready to eat, then dip your way to crunchy, zesty bliss.
Cauliflower steaks with parsley chimichurri
These cauli steaks are brushed with a flavoursome mixture of tamari, paprika and olive oil before being roasted. Any cauliflower steak sceptics will be making a beeline for these as soon as they smell the deep, savoury flavours coming from the oven.
However, if you’re on your way to a barbecue, these also make an excellent vegan option. We recommend cutting the cauliflower and brushing each steak with the marinade before you go, to leave the flavours to infuse.
Then simply pop on the barbecue and grill until the steaks are tender and slightly charred.
For extra gourmet points, take along a Tupperware of our irresistible chimichurri sauce.
This South American condiment made with lashings of fresh parsley, olive oil, hemp seed oil and garlic is a traditional accompaniment to the famous Argentinian parilla. It’s designed to go with the flavours of grilled food, including meat, so it’s a great item to take along that everyone can share.
Vegan poke bowl
If the sunshine is making you long for tropical island vibes, treat yourself to an exotic dinner with our vegan poke bowl recipe.
Originally a traditional Hawaiian dish consisting of freshly-caught fish, seaweed and kukui nuts, poke has taken the world by storm. There are many different versions out there, featuring myriad types of rice, fish, fruit and veggies. There are Japanese-influenced pokes, spicy pokes, and even pokes that are entirely fish-free.
Our recipe falls into the latter category and is completely vegan. Tofu provides protein and substance while mango adds tropical flavour. Add an addictive dressing made with soy, lime and umeboshi plum vinegar, and you have the dinner of your dreams.
Top tip: if you’re an ex-pescatarian and miss the flavours of the sea, break a sheet of nori and sprinkle over the top of your poke bowl. Divine flavour, and it contains vitamin B12!
If we could eat peanut butter with every meal, we probably would. Thus, we highly recommend our recipe for sweet potato tortilla rolls with a peanut butter, chia and maple sauce.
These rolls are perfect when you fancy a minimum-effort dinner that delivers on nutrition. Simply slice up a sweet potato into fries and bake in the oven. While they’re cooking, you can get on with the remaining prep for the salad and sauce.
The secret ingredient here is our Organic Chia Seed Powder. Not only does it provide extra protein and fibre, but it thickens the peanut sauce into a dreamy, spoonable consistency.
If you leave your gym trips til after work, this an ideal protein-packed dinner to fill you up afterwards!
When we think of light meals, we think of sushi. There is something so elegant about these tiny rolls of rice and seaweed, and they pack in a wealth of flavour.
As with the poke bowls above, sushi is – of course – a dish which usually features raw fish. However there are plenty of delicious vegetarian options available too. For example, avocado and shiitake mushroom are popular fillings.
Here, we’ve gone for marinated tofu, dressed in maple syrup, tamari and hemp seed oil, plus crunchy radishes, red peppers and cucumbers.
Wrap it all up in a sheet of nori for a light but filling meal.
Asparagus and sea buckthorn salad
Salads are any vegan or vegetarian’s summer staple, but you may be getting a bit too used to your go-to recipes by now. Mix it up with our fresh and fruity asparagus and sea buckthorn salad.
Cous cous provides a filling base for our salad, which features radishes and sautéd mushrooms alongside the asparagus.
However it’s the sea buckthorn that is the star of the show.
If you haven’t come across it before, sea buckthorn is a tangy berry which is positively bursting with healthful nutrients.
These include beta-carotene, important for our eyes and skin, vitamin C and omega-7. This latter is hard to find in the world of plants, but sea buckthorn has a high concentration of it.
While you can enjoy tangy sea buckthorn juice to kickstart your day, or silky sea buckthorn oil to nourish your skin, here we’ve chosen to use the dried berries. They have a lovely crunch and provide just the right amount of sharp-sweet flavour to set off the other ingredients.
"We've chosen these vegan summer recipes because they’re light, refreshing and intensely moreish. Just the ticket in the hot summer months!"
Beetroot salad with aronia dressing
Vibrantly pink, our beetroot and aronia salad is one to take to a friend’s when you’re aiming to impress.
Start off with a range of crunchy veg, including beetroot, cabbage and carrot, and top with a mixture of cashew nuts, sunflower and sesame seeds.
Then mix up a unique salad dressing made with aronia berry juice.
Aronia berries are full of antioxidants called anthocyanins. These are responsible for the purple hue of fruits and vegetables such as aubergines and grapes. But they also help your body to neutralise free radicals, which would otherwise go on to cause cell damage and ageing.
Classic dressing ingredients such as lemon juice and mustard ensure that this recipe will be a crowd pleaser, while cashew cream adds body and a smooth texture.
Mediterranean tomato salad
When you’re dreaming of the Italian riviera but can’t get hold of a plane ticket, our Mediterranean tomato salad will hit the spot.
This is a really simple salad, but make sure to source very good quality ingredients for it as this will make or break the flavour.
Ripe, flavoursome cherry tomatoes are key. If you can, source from an organic grocer, as they usually have the best stock. Try to buy them on the vine, as this helps them to retain a fresh and almost vegetal flavour.
The dressing here is an incredibly simple mix of lemon juice, a bit of seasoning, and extra virgin olive oil. At the risk of becoming a broken record, it’s really worth sourcing good quality olive oil, especially when using it as a component of a dressing like this.
Once you’ve tasted a really good one, you’ll be able to tell the difference; a good olive oil is a riot of different flavours!
We source our Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil from a single estate in Apulia, Italy. While most commercial olive oils are blends of oils from different regions or countries, sourcing from a single estate really allows the distinctive regional flavour to shine.
Sticking with the Mediterranean, but moving towards the end of the ‘boot’ of Italy, we find our tasty Sicilian salad recipe.
Unlike the tomato salad above, which is all about warm, sun-ripened flavours, our Sicilian salad features crunchy and refreshing ingredients.
Mix crisp iceberg and peppery rocket for your base, then add a scattering of pistachios, capers and endives.
Peperoncino flakes add a hint of spice, while lemon and olive oil make a simple yet refreshing dressing.
We love to serve this salad with a pack of our Erbology crackers when we’re feeling extra hungry. Our Organic Greek Olive flavour is a perfect match.
Chilled courgette dip
On those days when only the most cooling flavours and textures will do, turn to our chilled courgette dip.
The recipe is inspired by Greek tzatziki (and if anyone knows what to eat in sweltering heat, it’s the Greeks). It retains the cooling yoghurt – soy in this case – but replaces the traditional cucumber with courgette. The resulting dish is thicker and more satisfying.
You can make this dish as part of a mezze spread, featuring baba ganoush or hummus alongside. Or, surrender to the heat and serve it simply with some fluffy pittas and a selection of crunchy crudités to dip.
Our Organic Sweet Potato and Rosemary crackers also make a fine pairing, providing fibre, protein, iron and B vitamins.
Need something to go alongside?
To help you cool off in hot weather, a chilled drink is invaluable. If rosé is not your tipple of choice, we have a few other non-alcoholic options to serve alongside our top vegan summer recipes.
Our favourite summer drink is an incredibly simple blend of sparkling water, ice, and a few tablespoons of bergamot juice. Those of you who love lime and soda will fall instantly in love with this simple and refreshing drink.
For something more involved, make up a pitcher of our passion fruit and rose water cocktail. The passion fruit tastes like a walk on a tropical beach, while rose soothes and calms.
Alternatively, try our sage, orange and aronia cocktail. This is a perfect, grown-up drink for designated drivers, or anyone who would prefer to stay alcohol-free. It’s also a great way to use up any aronia juice left over from our beetroot salad!
For more wholesome, plant-based recipes, head over to our Erbology Editorial section. There, you can find a range of recipes for different occasions, along with lifestyle stories, interviews and articles on health and wellness.
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