Tag Archives: summer recipes

3 Easy Vegan Summer Dips

This article was written 22.03.02, please excuse any reference/joke to COVID pre-cautions that’s no longer accurate.


Summer is the perfect time to have get-togethers and BBQ’s with friends and family. The one usual annoying thing about this, is you’re asked to bring ‘something’.

Now sure, it’s to lessen the burden on the hosts, and what kind of guest doesn’t feel a little guilty when they don’t bring at least something to a get together?

But, what if it’s too hot to turn the stove on? Are you expected to sweat your ass off before going to socialize? Or, what if you’re not a great – or even okay – cook? Should your friends and family suffer through whatever failed attempt at food you bring? How is that fair?

Well, not to worry! I’m here to show you 3 very simple, yet delicious dips you can bring. This will eliminate any sweating, as none of the below require cooking, and the only ‘cooking’ skills you need, is being able to throw everything together in a container.

  1. Ranch

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A classic dip, which is perfect for any occasion, but especially shines during the summer, this ranch is the perfect, easy dip to prepare.

This is a bastardized version of HotforFood’s Ranch dip from Vegan Comfort Classics, so if you’d rather make the original, you can go ahead and do so.

This version is kind of the ‘lazy’ version of Lauren’s – it’s less ingredients, but still has the taste you want when making a ranch dip.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp Vegan Mayo (I use Hellmann’s Carefully Crafted Dressing and Sandwich Spread, which is pretty much vegan Miracle Whip)
  • 1tsp of Dill
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp vinegar

 

Directions:

  1. Scoop everything into a suitable sized container. Stir to combine.

That’s it!

It’s super simple, yet has amazing flavour! And, the best part, is you can even reduce this recipe down to just the mayo and dill and it will still pretty much taste the same as the more complicated version.

It was in making Lauren’s recipe I discovered that dill is the seasoning that gives dishes that classic ‘summer’ taste, so that’s basically all you need to transform the mayo into a suitable summer dip.

You can also obviously increase the measurements if you’re going to be bringing this dip to a get together. The above recipe makes a very small amount of dip – I’d say… maybe around half a cups worth, or less.

I usually don’t make this dip in big quantities, because I’m not very good at meal planning, so I usually decide to make it after I finish making whatever else I was doing and then realize, ‘crap, I forgot to make a dip’.

 

2. French Onion Dip

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Excuse the messiness, I mixed it right in the container.

I’m gonna be honest, I actually have no idea what the difference between ‘onion dip’ and ‘French onion dip’ is, because from what I could tell, all the recipes I found online seemed the same. So technically, this could just be ‘onion dip’, but I think it sounds fancier this way. (Maybe that’s the difference?)

Regardless of what you choose to name it, one thing I’m sure you’ll call it, is ‘tasty’.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp Sour Cream
  • 2 tsp Onion Flakes
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1 tsp Salt

Directions:

1. Mix all ingredients together in whatever bowl/container you’d like. Whatever you choose, make sure it is safe to go in the fridge.

2. Once combine, place in fridge for minimum of 2 hours. (This will help enhance the flavour, and allow the sour cream to get re-firmed, if mixing turned it too runny)

Once it’s been cooled to perfection, you can go ahead and enjoy this bad boy using almost anything: veggies, chips, even just straight up bread would taste great dipped in this stuff!

Just be sure to brush your teeth after eating. Unless you want to use it as a deterrent for avoiding certain family members. In which case, dip away! 😉

 

3. Paprika Mayo

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This one, I’ve actually only used as a spread on various sandwiches (a TLT [tempeh, lettuce, tomato], avocado toast, salad wraps, etc.) but I think it would be good as a dip, as well. I’m also not sure if Paprika Mayo is a thing other people have heard of/made, or something my brother made up, but it’s definitely delicious, and, super simple to make!

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp Vegan Mayo
  • 1 tsp Paprika
  • 1 tsp Lemon Juice
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder (optional)

 

Directions:

  1. Add all ingredients to a container and stir until combined.

 

And that’s it!

Now you can impress at any summer get-togethers you may have, while keeping your house cool as a cucumber. Not to mention, because these are so fast to whip up, you’ll also have plenty of time to enjoy these few good weather months before winter returns. Get out of your kitchen and soak up that sun while you can!

Also, as you might have noticed, these recipes are for very minimal amounts of these dips. This is because contrary to the point of this post, I actually tend to make these dips when I want them, not for get togethers. (Also, since COVID broke the world, get-togethers have been back burned indefinitely) And since I try to vary what I eat on a daily basis, I tend to only make them in small batches, so I can finish them off within 1 to 2 days.

Don’t worry, though. The ratios are the same whether you’re making them for just you, or to feed a whole family. There are plenty of measurement converters you can find online to help you out making bigger batches.

I’m also not too sure how long exactly these dips would last in the fridge, since I tend to finish them within 2 days. If I had to guess though, I’d say to eat them within 1 week, just to be on the safe side.

Do you have any favourite simple homemade dips? Let me know in the comments below!


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8 Simple Summer Recipes

Who doesn’t love summer? The long, cold winter is finally over, plants are in full bloom, and you generally just feel better all around now that you can actually go outside and see the sun.

But, there is one downside to summer: it gets hot.

I know, I know, when you’re coming out of a winter that got down to -40, hot weather is something of a salvation. But! When it’s hot out, you won’t want to turn on the oven and make your place even hotter. And, let’s be honest, there’s only so many days in a row you can BBQ before you get sick of it. (Especially the clean up)

So, in a bid to save your electric bill and your BBQ, here is a list of 8 simple, no-cook summer recipes to get you through the days when you just cannot eat a burger.

 

1 Nice-Cream

While technically nice-cream isn’t a ‘meal’, it is no-cook, also, who’s gonna complain about a new way to make ice cream?

This nice-cream is super simple to make. All you really need is some frozen bananas, some Silk (or other non-dairy milk), and a blender. If you don’t want it to taste like bananas, you can throw other stuff in the blender as well. (I’ve tried frozen cherries, and cocoa powder with chocolate Silk, but really pretty much any frozen berry you’d want would probably work)

Once you have all your ingredients, toss them all into the blender at the same time, and blend until its maybe Slushy consistency. Don’t worry if you over-blend it. If it gets too runny, then just call it a smoothies.

And boom! That’s it.

Told you these were simple!

 

2 Chickpea Salad Sandwich

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I know I might be late to the game with this, but I recently discovered that chickpea salad sandwiches are actually pretty good – and this is coming from someone who doesn’t really like chickpeas! (Unless they’re in roasted red pepper hummus form)

I also learned that chickpeas in a can don’t have to be cooked before eating (but you should still rinse them), which is great in the summer because then you won’t even have to turn the stove on!

Another nice thing with not only this recipe, but with a lot of summer recipes, is that since they’re all meant to be eaten cold, you can make a lot on one day, and then just eat them directly out of the fridge for a few days after. No-cook weeks are awesome not only because they won’t heat your house when it’s already hot, but they also save you a lot of time!

Most meal prep takes about an hour, but if you don’t have to cook every single day, that’s an extra hour you’re gaining back to do one of the other millions of things I’m sure you’re ‘getting around to’.

Okay, so to make chickpea salad, you can actually do pretty much whatever you like (again, it’s food, which means it’s based on your tastes), but this is the way I like it:

  • 1 can of chickpeas
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • ½ tsp of Paprika (about)
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1 tsp Dill
  • 1 Tbsp vegan mayo (optional)

Once you have all the ingredients, then all you have to do is smash the chickpeas with whatever masher you’d like – you can use an actual potato masher, or a fork, or a hammer, whatever way you like smashing your chickpeas – and smash them up so there are a lot of bits and halves, but also be sure to leave in some whole ones. This gives it a better texture.

Once all the chickpeas are somewhat smashed, add all the other ingredients to the bowl and mix until it’s all pretty much evenly distributed. You can then either eat it right away, or (depending on how long it took you to smash the chickpeas), throw it in the fridge until it gets cold again, then you can put it on a sandwich.

You can also add other things like lettuce or spinach to the sandwich to make it a little more filling. Or you could over-fill the sandwich so there’s a lot of chickpeas in it. When I make them, I use about 2-3 Tbsp of the chickpea mix per sandwich.

Or, you could go even simpler and just eat the chickpea mix right out of a bowl and skip the sandwich making all together.

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  1. Cucumber Noodles

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I know cucumber noodles are pretty big in the raw vegan community, and they have all kinds of inventive dressings, sauces and ways you can dress up these bad boys, but I like mine kept simple, with just a little salt and pepper.

You could try one of the thousands of sauces that are out there, but sometimes you just need something simple to hit the spot. I mostly make cucumber noodles when I want to eat cucumber slices, but want to make them ‘fancy’.

You can achieve the ‘noodle’ like strands with the cucumbers by either running it through a Spiralizer, hand-cutting them thinly, or I believe a mandolin would work, as well.

The first time I tried cucumber noodles, I actually hand-cut them. They didn’t look nearly as appetizing as the above noodles, though they still tasted good! It was still just cucumber after all.

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See? Not the prettiest, but taste was on point! (Minus the pesto)

 

  1. Salad

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You know, for as bad of a wrap salads get (no pun intended), they are actually quite a handy meal. You can basically throw together anything in a bowl and call it a salad. Fruits, vegetables, beans, pasta – there are like a million different ‘salad’ recipes possible.

Which is great, because many of them only require you to chop up a few things and mix them in a bowl. You can’t get much simpler than that! And, what’s more, is once you have the salad done, you can use it in other meals, too. For example, instead of just eating a salad in a bowl, if you throw it in a tortilla, now you’ve got yourself a salad wrap!

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This will of course depend on what kind of salad you’re gonna make. While I’m not trying to limit your salad creations, I just don’t think a fruit salad wrap would work. But you do you.

For a lettuce salad, I always start with the same basics

  • Lettuce
  • Cucumber
  • Bell Pepper
  • Hemp Hearts
  • Nooch/Cheese Shreds

Then from here, you can dress it up however you want! Sometimes I’ll add black salt to give it an ‘egg-y’ taste, or you can add bacon bits (No Name Bacon Bits are vegan!), dill, vegan mayo, and lemon juice to make a ranch/Caesar style dressing.

Or if it’s not astronomically hot, and you don’t mind turning on a burner, you could cook up some chick’n nuggets/strips and add those to your salad to turn it into a chick’n salad.

Or, you could make pasta salad, instead. For pasta salad, I usually add peas, bell pepper and celery to the noodles (either macaroni or Scoobi-Doo shapes are the best for pasta salad), and then for the dressing, I add: white vinegar, yellow/French’s mustard (optional), salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion (either powder or very small cubes), nooch (optional), and vegan mayo (also optional). Then you mix it together and let it cool in the fridge, or you could be one of those freaks who eat it when it’s still a little bit warm.

I love making pasta salad in the summer, not only because it’s super easy, but because it takes just as much effort to make a little bit of it as it does to make a lot. So I can usually make a big ‘batch’ of it, and then throw it in the fridge and eat it all week!

Also, same as lettuce salad, you could get a little creative and make a pasta salad wrap, or use leftovers in a warm pasta dish (I’ve turned left over pasta salad into mac n cheese) if you make it at the tail-end of summer. And, assuming it would last long enough you need to turn it into something else.

 

  1. Avocado Toast

I’ll be honest, I haven’t actually made avocado toast all that much, since I’m not that big of a fan of how avocados taste. I don’t know what it is, but it’s just not really my bag.

That said, I have been trying to force myself to eat them more often (which isn’t hard when you’re starting at ‘never’), because I know they’re super good for you. So, with that in mind, I’ve only made avocado toast twice, but both times I didn’t feel the need to immediately vomit, so I’m taking that as a good sign.

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This is the first way I tried it. I made some VeganEgg scrambled eggs, and then put some avocado slices on top of toast with a little bit of salt and pepper on top.

This… it tasted good, but as my first time trying avocado toast, with the giant pile of egg, it was too much of a not-that-great-texture in my mouth at once. I didn’t spit it out, but it was waaay too mushy for my liking. I did however finish it.

Some time after this, I had discovered I could eat at this place called Chipotle, so I went on a bit of a Chipotle kick, and decided to always get guac ‘on the side’, so I could continue to test the avocado waters. I wouldn’t eat the whole container of the guac (partly because Chipotle is super filling, and partly because I still wasn’t too into the taste), but my friend was more than happy to help me out. (This was pre-COVID, when sharing was still a thing we were allowed to do)

After that week of basically eating Chipotle straight, I didn’t eat avocado again until this year (2021), when I tried my hand at avocado toast again.

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This time around, I figured since I liked chickpea salad, if I made it ‘taste like summer’, I’d probably enjoy it more. Which, I don’t know if that’s why I liked it, or if my body had just gotten more used to eating avocados, but this time when I ate it, it wasn’t that bad. (Which was good, because I had another avocado in the fridge)

For this avo toast, I put salt, pepper, black salt (for the ‘egg-y’ tasty), a slice of PC Vegan Swiss Slices (side note: PC has come out with a whole line of new vegan products in Canada, which is awesome!), and smushed half an avocado on top, to which I mixed in some lemon juice, garlic powder, a smidge of paprika and dill.

Again, I don’t know if I liked this one more because I’m more used to eating avocados, or if it’s because I used less of it, but the second one I definitely wouldn’t mind eating more often. (… Which I realize isn’t that great of a selling point on a recipe, but hey, you’re here for honest opinions anyway, right? If you want awesome vegan recipes, go check out HotforFood)

 

  1. Cheese and Tomato Sandwich

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This one is probably the easiest recipe in this post. You literally take a slice of cheese, and a slice of tomato (or two) and add them to bread. Boom, done.

If you’re feeling adventurous, you can add some vegan mayo, and/or salt and pepper.

 

  1. Snack Plates

Like salads, snack plates are awesome, because you can basically make them whatever you want to eat.

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In summer especially, snack plates are great, because you can cut up a bunch of fruit and/or veggies, and then just mix and match them onto 1 plate, whip up a quick dip, and boom lunch is done.

I eat snack plates all the time and love them. Mine usually consist of: cucumber, green pepper, broccoli (or cauliflower), carrots and dip. But you can add whatever you want to them, really. It all depends on what you like to eat, and what you have. Sometimes, I’ll swap out one of the veggies for crackers and cheese, or some frozen nuggets or something. Or you could do a fruit mix with watermelon, strawberries, grapes, golden berries, etc.

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Or, you could do little lunch meat + cheese sliders and cut up veggies. Or meatballs, mozzarella sticks, and crackers, or… pretty much you want to center your snack plate around whatever your dip is. As long as all the foods you choose pair well with the dip, they can go on the same plate.

The possibilities are literally endless!

And there you have it! Hopefully this small list of summer recipes has inspired you to create your own no-cook recipes. It’s really not that hard! Most veggies are great to eat cold, and all it takes is (usually) a little bit of creative thinking, and usually a tortilla to make a kick-ass, cold meal.

Do you have any favourite no-cook summer meals? Are you going to try any from this list? Let me know in the comments!


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