Now that summer is here and we are all basking in the sunshine (and over 30 degree heat!?), it is time for BBQing, picnics, grilling, salads and veggies to enjoy in the warm weather. This blog post will give you some ideas and recipes for the perfect vegan summer!
My favourite thing about summer, unsurprisingly is the food! I love big generous salads, light meals, tapas/meze style eating, pasta salads and of course BBQs and alfresco dining. I absolutely love walking past my local market fruit and veg stall and seeing a rainbow of colour and beautiful fresh produce enticingly radiant in the sun. I have been using my Deliciously Ella app a lot more the last month or two- which is just perfect for summer meal inspiration. I have found a lot of great meal ideas in the app recently, and also ideas with which to spring off to create my own summer meals.
Deliciously Ella Feel Better App
The Feel Better app is designed and provided by Deliciously Ella. Ella Mills is a leading name in the plant based world. She has written a number of plant based cookbooks, has a healthy social media following, a London based restaurant called Plants, a popular podcast (Wellness Unpacked. Delicious Ways to Feel Better) and this wonderful all encompassing health and wellness app. There are over 700 plant-based recipes for you to choose from which are regularly updated and added to, often bookmarked into handy categories, like weekend meals, salads, 15 minute meals etc .
There are also around 250 movement classes, each class is aimed at improving a different aspect of fitness, yoga, pilates, barre, stretch, and cardio classes. Together with wellness and sleep sections which offer amazing guided mediations, gratitude exercises and soundscapes. This app really has a lot to offer.
Summer Recipes & Ideas
This North African Chermoula dip is perfection- and a really versatile herby dip which could be used in so many meals. It is one of the simplest to make too. Simply throw everything in a blender and blend until smooth.
Coriander, parsley, garlic, cumin, paprika, salt, chilli flakes, olive oil and water.
Chilli Tofu & Mexican Slaw
You should know I am a big fan of tofu ! I use tofu a lot in my cooking and this recipe really caught my eye. I used the new Extra-Firm Tofu Wicked range at Tesco- gently pressed it and it was ready to work with. I cut into cubes and coated in some chilli flakes, paprika and olive oil before frying and tossing in a handful of sunflower seeds for the last 30 seconds or so.
To make the slaw I shredded white cabbage, grated carrot and finely sliced red onion, added sweetcorn and then mixed together. The slaw dressing was simply the chermoula dip (from above) combined with vegan plain yogurt and gently stirred through the slaw mix. Served with pitta bread and chilli tofu, it was a great quick meal – perfect for hot weather.
Plant Based Kiev & Potato Salad
This potato salad was epic, and so perfect for a summer side dish. We paired it with Tesco’s plant based garlic kievs and rocket. There was plenty leftover too!
Simply – new potatoes with chives, sun-dried tomatoes, green olives, capers and a delicious dressing. The dressing was made my combining wholegrain mustard with apple cider vinegar, olive oil and a pinch of salt.
The Plantation Gardens. Summer Picnic
A couple of weeks ago my sister and I went to The Plantation Gardens in the city centre of Norwich and had a beautiful picnic in the stunning secret garden.
One of Norwich’s great treasures, a 3 acre Grade II English Heritage registered garden established over 100 years ago in an abandoned chalk quarry, 600 yards from the city centre. Huge gothic fountain, flower beds, lawns, Italianate terrace, ‘Medieval’ terrace wall, woodland walkways, 10 metre long Victorian-style greenhouse and rustic bridge.
The garden is heavily wooded and provides a habitat for wildlife, making it a haven of peace and tranquillity and a glimpse into a bygone age.
Also called the Secret Garden, it’s easy to find, beside the Roman Catholic Cathedral on Earlham Road. It was the perfect place to go for a summer picnic.
We visited Marks and Spencer’s to stock up on a yummy selection of picnic friendly food- super green and super nutty salads, fresh fruit, lentil and pea crisps, vegan cheese straws and vegan sausage rolls. It was the perfect afternoon in the sun.
Happy Summer everyone! I hope you all enjoy the sun (safely! Remember sunscreen and stay hydrated!) and I hope you get to enjoy lots of summery plant based food goodness!