Summer is the season of abundance when it comes to fresh produce, making it the perfect time to start eating a more plant-focused diet, which centers around whole plant foods, such as fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds. It excludes all meat, dairy and eggs. Here are some reasons why eating more plant-based in the summer is easy:
• Fresh produce is abundant. During the summer months, various fruits and vegetables are in season.
• Lighter meals are more appealing during the hot Arizona summer. Plant-based meals tend to be lighter and easier to digest, making them a great choice for summertime dining. Salads, smoothie bowls, and grilled veggies are a few examples.
• Plant-based meals have endless options for creating delicious, satisfying meals.
• Plant-based meals are budget-friendly. You immediately reduce costs when reducing your intake of meats, dairy and eggs.
Join my monthly membership for recipes, health videos and live Zoom cooking classes for only $10 per month.
In honor of Mother’s Day, I’m sharing my three daughters’ favorite plant-based meals!
— Miriam Hahn is owner of YouCare-SelfCare, a private wellness practice specializing in plant-based lifestyle and disease prevention. youcare-selfcare.com
Maddie’s favorite: Asian sheet pan dinner serves: 3
- 1 bunch asparagus
- 1 carton mushrooms, rough sliced
- 1 red pepper, sliced
- ½ red onion, sliced
- 3 cups broccoli, chopped
- 1 yellow pepper, chopped
- 1 zucchini chopped
- 1 block super firm tofu
- 1 tbsp. soy sauce
- 2 tbsp. sesame seeds
- 1/3 cup soy sauce
- ¼ cup broth
- 1 tbsb. each: sesame oil, maple syrup, rice vinegar
- 2 tsp. arrowroot powder
1. Preheat oven to 400 F. 2. Lay out the veggies on a sheet pan. Spray with avocado oil and shake on some garlic granules or garlic powder. 3. Chop the tofu and put it in a container or Ziploc. Add the soy sauce and sesame seeds and shake. Put this on a separate sheet pan. 4. Put both sheet pans in the oven for 30 minutes. 5. Add all sauce ingredients except arrowroot to a small pot. Heat to medium, and when warm, add in arrowroot. Lower to low heat and stir until it thickens. 6. Toss veggies and tofu with sauce and serve.
Kenzie’s favorite: Taco salad serves: 6
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 jalapeno, diced
- 1 can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 cups cooked lentils
- 1 15-ounce can fire roasted tomatoes
- 1-2 chipotle peppers, diced (from a can)
- 2 tsp. sauce from chipotle pepper can
- 1 tsp. each: oregano, cumin, pink salt
- ½ cup vegan mayonnaise
- 2 tbsp. ketchup
- 1 ½ tsp. prepared horseradish
- 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
- ¼ tsp. each: paprika, onion granules
- ½ tsp. salt
- 6 cups romaine, chopped
- 2 cups fire-roasted corn
- 1 large tomato, diced
- ½ cup black olives, sliced
- 2 cups cooked rice
1. Saute the garlic and jalapeno for a few minutes. Add kidney beans, fire-roasted tomatoes, chipotle peppers and sauce, oregano, cumin, pink salt, and lentils. Cook for about 10 minutes on low. If the pan gets dry, add some broth or water. 2. Mix up the Russian dressing. 3. In a large bowl add the romaine, taco meat, rice, tomatoes, olives, corn, and guacamole. Toss with Russian dressing.
Kristen’s favorite: Sundried tomato pasta serves: 6
- 12-16 oz. bow tie pasta
- 1 container grape tomatoes, halved (2 cups)
- 1 cup fresh basil, slivered
- 10 Kalamata olives (optional)
- ½ cup sun-dried tomatoes (jar type)
- 3 tbsp. olive oil
- 2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 1 tsp. pink salt
- ½ tsp. pepper
- 3 tbsp. water (or more if you want it thinner)
1. Cook pasta and save ½ cup of the pasta water. 2. Add sauce ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. 3. Drain pasta, add reserved pasta water, sauce and other ingredients. Toss to combine.