Some days it’s just too hot to cook! And when it’s 90 degrees outside, warm foods don’t sound appetizing anyway. All you can think about are icy drinks, juicy fruit, cool desserts or ice creams and crisp, cool vegetables. The five ideas below will help keep you (and your house!) cool on those sweltering summer days, while showcasing summer’s best seasonal offerings — make sure you follow our seasonal produce guide (based on your region) for June, July and August.
So get chopping, blending, or wrapping, but leave the cooking for cooler days!
1. Taco Salad – Taco salad is a quick, easy, and satisfying meal you can put together in just a few minutes. Simply prepare and set out the ingredients, and let everyone make their own bowl! Customize to your liking, but recommended ingredients include mixed greens (or lettuce), chopped tomatoes, black beans, mashed avocado (or guacamole), shredded vegan cheese, salsa, and tortilla chips. Yum!
2. Raw Soups – Raw soups make a great appetizer or light summer meal, and are an excellent way to use a variety of seasonal produce. From avocados to mushrooms to zucchini, there’s something for every palate in this lineup of fresh, tasty raw soups: Raw Green Pea Soup; Raw Marinated Mushroom Soup; Raw Asparagus Soup; Raw Carrot Avocado Soup; Raw Cream of Broccoli Mushroom Soup; Raw Harvest Soup.
3. Pitas and Wraps – Stuff a pita, tortilla, or lettuce wrap with a “mock” version of a traditional chicken, tuna, or egg salad (this summer tofu scramble is off the charts!).. This tempeh-based Mock Chicken Salad is a super-satisfying, protein-packed, and delicious choice! (Can be made ahead of time and refrigerated). Vegan Chicken Salad can also be made with packaged “chik’n” style strips. Or use sprouted lentils for a filling, soy-free option, as in this Spicy Lentil Salad.
4. Smoothies – Smoothies are the ultimate warm weather meal or snack idea! Cool, refreshing, light, and fruity, who can resist a frosty smoothie on a hot summer day? If you’re using it as a meal, don’t forget to add some protein and healthy fat to help keep you satisfied. Try the Pink Powerhouse, Strawberry Mango Protein, Garden Bliss, Coconut Ginger, Beginner Green, Cranberry Coconut, Strawberry Rhubarb smoothies, or make your own Amazing Green Smoothie Combo!
5. Green Salads – Salads should not be considered a wimpy, unsatisfying meal option or a last resort! There are TONS of amazing ways to jazz up the basic green salad. Shelled edamame, marinated tofu or tempeh cubes, and beans are great protein sources, while nuts, seeds, and avocado are tasty ways to add some healthy fat. See our 5 Step Guide to Making Vegan Super Salads and favorite vegan salad dressings for more inspiration!
- Got another great “keep cool” meal idea? Share it with us!