Many people think it’s expensive to eat a healthy, plant-based diet, but that doesn’t have to be the case. Sautéed veggies over rice makes for one of the most affordable meals around. It’s also a simple and versatile option for any night of the week.

We chose five popular, summer vegetables for you to choose from! We looked through the Food Monster App for our blogger’s best tips on what sauces you can pair with your fresh summer vegetables. Serve these sautéed over roasted potatoes, rice, or even with a big hunk of bread!


1. Eggplant

Chinese Eggplant With Garlic Sauce / One Green Planet

Eggplant is great because they are in season all summer long and partially into fall! They are meaty veggies that are able to take on any flavor combination you add!

Raymund Macaalay showed us how to make a sticky, garlicky eggplant stir-fry with this amazing Chinese Eggplant With Garlic Sauce recipe! Two different kinds of soy sauce, ginger, garlic, and peanut oil combine to create this sticky, caramelized sauce. Now all you need is some rice!

Rachel Hanawalt showed us not to be afraid to go for sweet and savory in the same dish with her Asian Eggplant Stir-Fry recipe! She combines brown sugar, soy sauce, and ginger for a tangy, sweet sauce! She cooks the eggplant in the pan with peppers for an extra kick!


Courtney West used cashews, sesame, paprika, and cinnamon to spice her Eggplant and Mushroom Sauté With Herbed Toasted Millet! Not only does this add a nutty flavor to your already meaty eggplant, but it also adds a bit of protein!

2. AsparagusVegan Sesame Tofu Asparagus Stir Fry

Sesame Asparagus Stir-Fry/ One Green Planet

Asparagus is so refreshing, crisp, and light. We’re here to show you how to make it even better with some delicious sauces for an awesome summer stirfry!

Pavani Nandula showed us how to add hoisin, soy sauce, chili-garlic sauce, and some cornstarch to her asparagus for a nutty, light treat.  Her Sesame Asparagus Stir-Fry is light with just enough flavor to balance out the light asparagus.


This Asparagus and Carrot Indian Stir-Fry by Rinku Bhattacharya is loaded with south Indian flavors like asafetida! Instead of adding light flavors, she adds spicy, warming flavors to her asparagus. This creates a unique balance for a bold dish!

3. Cauliflower

Spicy Grilled Cauliflower Summer Bowl /One Green Planet 

Cauliflower is anything but bland, it has an amazing ability to take on a variety of flavor combinations!

If you’re feeling extra spicy and fresh you can spice your cauliflower with chili powder, turmeric, and lime juice like Anu Kadkol did in her Spicy Grilled Cauliflower Summer Bowl recipe. She even adds cumin for some extra spice!


Celeste Meredith mixes her cauliflower in a spicy cilantro sauce made from peppers, cilantro, lime, and oil. For the full recipe, you can check out Cauliflower-Chickpea Tacos With Spicy Cilantro Sauce!

For a heavier dish, you can take advice from Deena Mehta in her Roasted Cauliflower Tikka Masala recipe!  She combines vegan yogurt, garam masala, chili, and ginger for a thick, spicy sauce to coat the cauliflower.

4. BroccoliniBroccolini and Shiitake Stir Fry

Broccolini and Shiitake Stir-Fry / One Green Planet

Broccolini is lighter,  more bitter, and crunchier than broccoli and for that reason, it is our new obsession! It has such a strong flavor it can be hard to add sauce or seasoning to. Luckily, we have some brilliant bloggers with great ideas!

Jessica Gavin added rice wine vinegar, sesame, and ginger to her Broccolini and Shiitake Stir-Fry! The tangy flavors balance out the bitterness of the broccolini.

Karielyn Tillman made a super refreshing, Spicy Lemon Sautéed Broccolini that is perfect for summer. Just five ingredients for a delicious sauce including lemon and pink salt!

5. ZucchiniVegan Hasselback Zucchini

Hasselback Zucchini / One Green Planet

Zucchini is great because it is low in calories, refreshing, and super affordable.

Real Food Really Fast: Delicious Plant-Based Recipes Ready in 10 Minutes or Less is a cookbook that changed the way we see zucchini! This Hasselback Zucchini recipe is so unique and applicable to many different vegetables. They add warming spices like thyme, rosemary, and chili flakes to offset the light and refreshing flavor of the zucchini.

Ella Suihko added Thai flavor to her zucchini with this Thai Green Vegetable Curry recipe. Green curry paste, vegetable stock, and ginger combine for a light and refreshing sauce!

Talida Voinea made a tangy and delicious sauce out of pineapple puree, tamari, and sugar in her Cambodian Vegetable Stir-Fry recipe!

Need more veggie inspiration? Check out 10 Ways to Cook With Fresh Summer Squash by downloading our Food Monster App, which is available for both Android and iPhone, and can also be found on Instagram and Facebook. The app has more than 10,000 plant-based, allergy-friendly recipes, and subscribers gain access to new recipes every day. Check it out!

Lead image source: Cambodian Vegetable Stir-Fry