Vegan corn + potato salad with edamame

Definitely a satisfying salad, and who knows, you might still be able to get lovely farm-fresh tomatoes, corn, and sweet peppers where you are.

Ingredients
  • corn kernels, fresh or frozen
  • potatoes, cut into bite-size pieces
  • garlic, minced
  • mixed fresh herbs (such as tarragon, basil, dill, oregano, and/or parsley) or dried herbs of choice
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • Dijon mustard or prepared mustard of choice
  • black pepper
  • shelled edamame, thawed if frozen
  • firm or super-firm tofu, cubed
  • sweet pepper, diced
  • green onions, sliced
  • cilantro, chopped
  • cherry tomatoes, halved, or regular tomato, diced, plus any juices
  • vinegar of choice
Method
  1. Steam or microwave the corn kernels and potatoes until cooked through.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the garlic, herbs, olive oil, mustard, and a few grinds of black pepper. Add the corn, potatoes, edamame, tofu, sweet pepper, green onions, cilantro, and tomatoes. Toss gently.
  3. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed or with vinegar. Toss again and serve at room temperature or chilled.

Vegan summer bread salad with peaches, cherry tomatoes + fresh herbs

This amazing combination of chewy bread, sweet peaches, tangy tomatoes, other summer salad vegetables, tofu, and fresh herbs is a perfect warm-season meal. Inspired by a post on wellvegan.com.

Ingredients
  • olive oil
  • garlic, minced
  • white balsamic vinegar or vinegar of choice
  • dark balsamic vinegar
  • Dijon mustard
  • sriracha
  • nutritional yeast
  • ripe but firm yellow peaches, cut into bite-size pieces
  • cherry tomatoes, halved
  • red onion, thinly sliced
  • cucumber, cut into quarter-moons
  • sweet pepper, cut into short strips
  • bread of choice, toasted and cut into cubes
  • super-firm or seasoned tofu, cut into cubes
  • fresh herbs (such as tarragon, basil, and/or mint), torn or chopped
  • freshly ground pepper
Method
  1. In a small bowl, prepare the dressing by whisking together the olive oil, garlic, white balsamic vinegar, dark balsamic vinegar, mustard, sriracha, and nutritional yeast. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
  2. In a large bowl, add the peaches, tomatoes, onion, cucumber, sweet pepper, bread, and tofu. Pour half of the dressing over the salad and toss to combine.
  3. Chill the salad for at least 1 hour to give the gread time to soak up the dressing.
  4. Right before serving, add the fresh herbs and a few grinds of pepper. Drizzle with dressing, toss until combined, and serve.

Vegan roasted ratatouille

An easy way to enjoy summer’s bounty of eggplant, squash, and peppers. Serve on toast as an appetizer (bruschetta), as a vegetable side, mixed with rice or pasta as a main, or as a topping for bowls of creamy corn chowder or other soups or stews. You can make this recipe ahead of time to allow the flavors to meld and serve it at room temperature (no need to reheat). Inspired by a post by Vegan Richa.

Ingredients
  • eggplants, cubed
  • summer squash, cubed
  • zucchini, cubed
  • sweet peppers, cut into strips
  • jalapeño chile, sliced
  • red onion, sliced
  • mushrooms, thickly sliced or quartered
  • olive oil
  • Italian seasoning or dried oregano, basil, and thyme
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • tomatoes, cut into chunks
  • dry sherry or white wine
  • dark balsamic vinegar
Method
  1. Preheat the oven to 400º. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, add the eggplants, summer squash, zucchini, sweet peppers, chile, onion, and mushrooms. Toss with olive oil. Sprinkle with Italian seasoning, a pinch or two of salt, and a few grinds of pepper and toss again. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet in a single layer.
  3. Bake until the eggplants are almost done, about 30 minutes. Scatter the tomato chunks over the mixture and bake to soften the tomatoes, about 15 minutes longer. Drizzle with sherry and dark balsamic vinegar and stir. Continue baking until all the vegetables are fully softened with some char spots. If desired, broil to char the vegetables a bit more.
  4. Serve immediately or at room temperature.

Vegan creamy corn chowder with mushrooms, potatoes + herbs

What’s summer without a naturally sweet and rich corn chowder like this one? To easily shuck ears of corn, microwave in the husk for 3 minutes to slightly steam them and let cool before handling. A serving suggestion: Top each bowl with a sauté of summer squash, cherry tomatoes, and sweet peppers.

Ingredients
  • ears of corn, shucked (see head note)
  • olive oil
  • onion, diced
  • mushrooms, chopped
  • homemade broth, store-bought broth, or water
  • dried thyme
  • raw cashews (about ½ cup), soaked in 1 cup hot water
  • unsweetened plant milk, such as soy milk
  • potatoes, cubed
  • nutritional yeast
  • salty option: miso, capers, olives or olive tapenade, tamari, coconut aminos
  • fresh herbs (such as dill, tarragon, and/or basil; optional)
  • freshly ground pepper
Method
  1. Break or cut each husked ear of corn in half. Place the cut side down on a work surface and use a knife to cut the kernels from the cobs. Reserve the cobs to simmer them in water to make homemade corn broth or compost them.
  2. In a large frying pan, warm some oil over medium heat. Add the onion and mushrooms and cook until the mushrooms start to brown. Stir in the corn kernels, a splash of broth, and some dried thyme and cook a few minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, using a blender (or immersion blender in a large deep bowl), blend the raw cashews with their soaking water and a splash of plant milk until frothy and smooth. Pour over the corn mixture in the pan.
  4. Add the potatoes to the corn mixture. Add broth to cover everything in the pan. Cook until the potatoes are cooked through. Stir in nutritional yeast and a salty option, fresh herbs, and pepper. Cook a minute or two.
  5. Taste, adjust the seasoning, and serve.

Vegan tofu tacos with seasoned roasted cauliflower + avocado slices

Super-firm tofu broiled until crispy, roasty cauliflower, and creamy fresh avocado slices make these tacos a star. Although it looks like a lot of ingredients, most are for the cauliflower’s seasoning rub. Serve the tacos with a side of beans, rice, and/or quick cabbage salad. Inspired by a post on connoisseurusveg.com.

Ingredients
  • crispy broiled tofu (super-firm tofu not in a tub: Wildwood, Nasoya, or Trader Joe’s brands)
  • olive oil
  • flour (such as corn flour, whole-wheat flour, or flour of choice)
  • ground cumin
  • chile powder (such as cayenne or New Mexican) or red pepper flakes
  • smoked paprika
  • onion powder
  • garlic powder
  • pinch of kosher salt
  • dried oregano
  • homemade vegetable broth, store-bought broth, or water
  • cauliflower, cut into small florets
  • corn tortillas or tortillas of choice
  • red or green cabbage, shredded (optional)
  • tomato, sliced
  • avocado, sliced
  • cilantro, chopped
Method
  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Follow the crispy broiled tofu link for instructions for broiling in a toaster oven or regular oven. Transfer to a plate.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the oil, flour, cumin, chile powder, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and enough broth to make a thick marinade. Add the cauliflower and stir to evenly coat. Transfer the cauliflower in one layer to the same baking sheet used for broiling the tofu.
  3. Set the toaster oven or regular oven to 400º convection or 425º traditional. Roast the cauliflower until tender, about 20 minutes. Then broil about 5 minutes to crisp up a bit.
  4. Toast or warm the tortillas until soft. Stuff with cauliflower, shredded cabbage, broiled tofu, tomato, avocado slices (or avocado sauce; see headnote above), and cilantro and enjoy.

Instant Pot: Vegan polenta with roasted summer vegetables + fresh tomatoes

Polenta is a breeze to make in an Instant Pot (or other pressure cooker). And this recipe is a tasty way to showcase summer’s veggies. For the proportion of polenta to liquid, follow the package directions or use use 1 part polenta to about 3 parts liquid.

Ingredients
  • long Asian eggplants, halved or cut into large pieces depending on size
  • whole okra
  • sweet peppers, halved or quartered depending on size
  • summer squash, halved or quartered depending on size
  • olive oil
  • onion, chopped
  • mushrooms, quartered or thickly sliced
  • homemade vegetable broth, store-bought broth, or water
  • bay leaf
  • dried oregano
  • fresh or dried rosemary
  • garlic, sliced or minced
  • polenta or coarse corn grits
  • tomatoes, cut into chunks, or cherry tomatoes, halved
  • nutritional yeast
  • turmeric
  • black pepper
  • pitted Kalamata olives or olives of choice
  • parsley, chopped
  • sriracha or other hot sauce
Method
  1. Preheat a toaster oven or oven to 400º. Line a baking sheet with parchment.
  2. In a large bowl, toss the eggplant, okra, peppers, and squash with olive oil. Roast until soft and charred a bit on all sides. Transfer to a cutting board and cut into bite-size pieces. Set aside.
  3. In the Instant Pot using the Sauté function, warm some olive oil. Add the onion and mushrooms and cook until browned bits form in the pot bottom. Stir in the liquid, bay leaf, oregano, rosemary, and some of the garlic. Sprinkle the polenta over the liquid. Do not stir. Choose Pressure Cooker, lock the lid, and set for 5 minutes high pressure. Allow a natural pressure release for 10 minutes, then release the remaining pressure. Press Cancel and uncover.
  4. Set the Sauté function on teh lowest heat setting. Remove the bay leaf. Stir in the tomatoes, nutritional yeast, turmeric, some black pepper, olives, parsley, and sriracha.
  5. Taste and adjust the seasoning and serve.

Vegan pasta with red sauce + tofu-cauliflower-walnut crumbles

A winning formula: yummy meal = pasta + sauce + chewy crumbles + seasonings

Inspired by a post on connoisseurusveg.com.

Ingredients
  • miso
  • store-bought pasta sauce
  • olive oil
  • smoked paprika
  • red pepper flakes or chile powder (optional)
  • garlic, minced
  • onion, minced
  • walnuts, coarsely chopped
  • super-firm tofu, crumbled
  • homemade vegetable broth or store-bought broth
  • spaghetti, linguine, or capellini pasta or pasta of choice
  • cauliflower, chopped
  • greens (such as kale, chard, collards, or beet greens), slivered
Method
  1. Preheat oven to 375º. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together some miso, a few tablespoons of pasta sauce, some olive oil, smoked paprika, red pepper flakes, garlic, and onion. Add the walnuts, tofu, and a splash of broth (if you need more liquid) and stir until well-combined. Spread on the prepared baking sheet in an even layer. Bake until golden in spots, checking often and stirring if the edges start to burn, about 25 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, cook the pasta until al dente according to package directions. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the pasta cooking water.
  4. In a large microwave-safe bowl, microwave the cauliflower 1 minute. Add the remaining pasta sauce and the greens. Cover and microwave again, checking often, until the cauliflower is soft and the greens are wilted. Stir in the walnut-tofu mixture, the warm pasta, and the amount of pasta cooking water or broth as needed for your desired consistency. Serve and enjoy.

Vegan green salad with quinoa, roasted vegetables, almonds + avocado

Here’s a rich, tasty, and textured main-course green salad — perfect for summer dinners. Inspired by a post on lazycatkitchen.com.

Ingredients
  • quinoa, rinsed well
  • homemade vegetable broth, store-bought broth, or water
  • cauliflower, cut into small florets
  • green beans, trimmed
  • zucchini, cut into ¼-inch slices
  • lemon zest and juice
  • fresh mint or fresh basil, slivered
  • garlic, minced
  • olive oil
  • vegan mayonnaise
  • salty option: prepared mustard, miso, capers, olive tapenade
  • freshly ground pepper
  • lettuce, torn into pieces
  • green onions, thinly sliced
  • crispy broiled tofu, seasoned tofu, or tofu of choice
  • sliced or slivered toasted almonds
  • avocado, sliced or cut into chunks
Method
  1. In a small saucepan, add 1/2 cup quinoa and 3/4 cup broth, cover, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer until the quinoa sprouts and the liquid is absorbed. Remove from the heat and let sit covered for 10 minutes to finish. Let cool.
  2. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425º. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. In a large bowl, toss cauliflower, green beans, and zucchini with olive oil. Arrange in one layer on the prepared baking sheet. Roast until the green beans are browned in spots and done the way you like, about 8 minutes, and transfer to a bowl. Continue roasting the cauliflower and zucchini until cooked through with browned spots, checking after 5 minutes longer. Let cool.
  4. In a blender, add lemon zest and juice, mint or basil, garlic, olive oil, and mayonnaise and blend until smooth. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed with a salty option and pepper.
  5. In the large bowl, add the quinoa, roasted vegetables, lettuce, green onions, and tofu. Pour in the dressing and toss to combine. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Top with almonds and avocado and serve.

Vegan Mexican red chile vegetable stew with soy curls

Dried Mexican chiles, broth, and pasta sauce are blended together, like chile colorado but with soy curls instead of pork. What are soy curls? Made by Butler Foods and available online, soy curls are dried soybeans that take on the flavor of the liquid they’re cooked in — like this yummy sauce — and end up with a welcome chewy texture. It’s worth the effort to find dried Mexican chiles at well-stocked grocery stores or Latino markets. Serve the stew over your favorite rice or grain.

Ingredients
  • mixed dried Mexican chiles (such as guajillo, New Mexico, chiles de arbol, aleppo, puya, and/or chipotle; see headnote), broken into pieces with stems and seeds removed
  • homemade vegetable broth or store-bought vegetable broth
  • jarred pasta sauce, canned tomatoes, or fresh chopped tomatoes
  • olive oil
  • onion, diced
  • mushrooms, thickly sliced or quartered
  • sweet pepper, diced
  • garlic, minced
  • ground cumin
  • dried oregano
  • potatoes, cubed
  • soy curls (see headnote)
  • cooked beans of choice
  • cauliflower, cut into florets
  • broccoli, cut into florets
  • flour of choice or finely ground cornmeal (optional)
  • salty option: liquid aminos, miso, tamari, or salt (optional)
  • vinegar of choice
  • hot sauce
  • chopped cilantro
Method
  1. In a dry skillet over medium heat, toast the chiles until just softened. Add to a microwave-safe bowl with broth to cover. Cover and microwave 2 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a blender, add the pasta sauce, and blend until smooth.
  2. In a large saucepan over medium heat, warm some oil. Add the onion and cook until softened. Add the mushrooms and sweet pepper and cook until starting to brown. Add the garlic, cumin, and oregano and cook about 1 minute. Add the blended sauce, potatoes, soy curls, beans, cauliflower, broccoli, and more broth, if needed, to cover. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until everything is cooked through and hot, starting to check at 25 minutes. For a thicker stew, whisk the flour into the stew’s liquid and cook a couple of minutes.
  3. Taste and adjust the seasoning with a salty option and vinegar. Continue cooking until warmed through and slightly thickened. Serve with hot sauce and chopped cilantro alongside.

Vegan Italian-inspired soup with beans + greens served over toasted bread

Here’s a one-bowl meal that ticks all the boxes: tasty, healthy, and satisfying! See for yourself.

Ingredients
  • olive oil
  • onion, diced
  • mushrooms, thickly sliced or quartered
  • carrot, cut into chunks
  • garlic, minced
  • tomato paste, chopped tomato, or pasta sauce
  • dry sherry
  • fresh or dried thyme leaves
  • fresh rosemary
  • super-firm tofu or seasoned tofu, cubed
  • cooked white beans or beans of choice
  • red pepper flakes
  • homemade vegetable broth, store-bought broth, or water
  • nutritional yeast
  • greens (such as kale, chard, collards, spinach, or beet greens), slivered
  • parsley, chopped
  • balsamic vinegar
  • salty options: olives, soy sauce, prepared mustard, liquid aminos, miso, sauerkraut, capers, kosher salt
  • bread of choice, toasted and cubed
Method
  1. In a large saucepan or pot over medium heat, warm some olive oil. Add the onion, mushrooms, and carrot and cook until they begin to soften. Add half of the garlic and cook until fragrant about 30 seconds. Stir in a little tomato paste and cook, stirring, 30 seconds longer. Stir in some sherry, thyme, rosemary, and tofu. Scrape the browned bits from the bottom of the pan and simmer about 5 minutes. Add beans, red pepper flakes, and  broth to cover and simmer about 20 minutes. Stir in some nutritional yeast, the greens, parsley, and remaining garlic and cook until the greens are cooked the way you like. Remove from the heat. Taste and adjust the seasoning with vinegar and/or a salty option.
  2. Put toasted bread cubes in each bowl, ladle some soup on top, and serve.