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5 Refreshing Plant-Based Recipes Perfect for Spring and Summer

Food

Wed, May 15

Are you ready to embark on a flavorful adventure this spring and summer with a curated selection of five refreshing plant-based recipes designed to excite your taste buds and inspire a newfound love for vibrant, seasonal ingredients? As the days grow longer and the weather warms up, there's no better time to explore the world of plant-based cooking and discover its endless possibilities.

From refreshing salads to hearty mains that will satisfy even the most discerning appetites, these dishes are delicious, nutritious, and easy to prepare, making them perfect for young individuals eager to experiment in the kitchen.

Whether you're a seasoned chef or a novice cook, these recipes are sure to spark your creativity and ignite a passion for creating wholesome, plant-powered meals that are as fun to make as they are to eat. So, roll up your sleeves, gather your ingredients, and get ready to elevate your culinary skills with these creative and colorful recipes that celebrate the flavors of spring and summer in all their glory.

Before we begin I want to shout out Minimalist Baker for providing the recipes I have picked out. You can find the recipes I share and many more through the link below.

https://minimalistbaker.com/vibrant-spring-recipes/

Minty Iced Matcha Latte

Every meal needs a drink so I only thought it was right to include at least two different drinks you can try out and both of these drinks take only 5 minutes to make! The first drink is a Minty Iced Matcha Latte. Matcha has been around for a while and originates in China but over the past couple of years, it’s become prevalent at places like Starbucks and Dunkin.

I feel most people either love or hate Matcha. Many say it tastes like grass but others say if it's done just right it tastes amazing. Some experts argue that the health benefits of matcha, such as its antioxidant properties and potential metabolism-boosting effects, outweigh the grass taste.

For this recipe in a small blender, combine pitted date, light coconut milk, water, sea salt, matcha powder, and mint leaves. Blend on high until the mixture is creamy and smooth. Adjust the flavors by adding more mint for a refreshing taste, matcha for a stronger tea-like flavor, or a touch more date for added sweetness.

Serve over ice, garnish with fresh mint if desired, and enjoy immediately for the best taste. Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.

Creamy Vegan Mango Lassi

The next and final drink is the Creamy Vegan Mango Lassi. Before today I had never heard of Lassi. Lassi is simply just a yogurt-based drink and the closest thing I can compare it to is a smoothie. This 5-ingredient lassi smoothie combines frozen ripe mango, creamy coconut milk, tangy coconut yogurt, lime juice, and optional honey (or maple syrup) to sweeten.

To start Combine mango, coconut milk, coconut yogurt, and lime juice in a high-speed blender or food processor. Blend until smooth, adjusting the flavors as needed with honey (or maple syrup), lime, coconut yogurt, or coconut milk. Serve as is or with additional coconut yogurt, garnished with fresh mango, shredded coconut, and lime wedges. It is important to go out of your comfort zone with your taste buds and a great way to start is with drinks.

Rainbow “Raw-Maine” Taco Boats

Now I’m gonna share with you 3 plant-based meals that would pair wonderfully with the drinks I shared above! First is the Rainbow “Raw-Maine” Taco Boats. This quick and easy recipe requires 10 ingredients and doesn’t involve any cooking.

Those 10 ingredients are romaine lettuce, hummus of your choice, halved cherry tomatoes, alfalfa sprouts, finely shredded carrots, thinly sliced red cabbage, avocado, tahini, lemon juice, and maple syrup. The romaine lettuce will be acting as our taco shells.

We will start by preparing our sauce. Mix tahini, lemon juice, maple syrup, and salt in a small bowl until well combined and you can slowly add water if dressing isn’t smooth enough. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired, adding more salt, lemon, or maple syrup as needed.

Transfer the sauce to a serving dish. Place lettuce leaves on a platter and fill each with the hummus of your choice. Top with tomatoes, sprouts, carrots, cabbage, avocado, and hemp seeds if desired. Drizzle with tahini sauce or serve on the side and enjoy! This meal would serve as a refreshing appetizer or if you want you can add a protein of your choice to make more of an entree.

Vegan Sushi Bowls with Ginger Marinated Tofu

Our next meal is called Vegan Sushi Bowls with Ginger Marinated Tofu. This meal combines all the same flavors, textures, and ingredients used in normal sushi just in bowl form and not in hand rolls. To start, prepare the rice by rinsing it with cold water in a fine mesh strainer until the water runs clear.

Drain the rice and transfer it to a small saucepan. Add water and rice vinegar, then bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until the water is absorbed and the rice is tender (approximately 20 minutes). Turn off the heat and let the rice steam with the lid on for an additional 10 minutes.

While the rice is cooking, prepare the tofu marinade. In a medium bowl, whisk together tamari, sesame oil, rice vinegar, grated ginger, and maple syrup (if using). Allow the tofu to marinate for at least 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to ensure even marination.

For the pickled carrots, combine rice vinegar, water, ginger, and maple syrup (if using) in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer to create a brine. Place the carrots in a heat-proof bowl or jar and pour the hot brine over them. Cover and refrigerate while you continue with the recipe. Or if it would be easier you can always just buy pickled carrots if you don’t have as much time on your hands. Cook the marinated tofu in a hot non-stick or cast iron skillet for 2-3 minutes on each side until crispy and golden brown. To serve, divide the cooked rice into bowls and top with pickled carrots, cucumbers, avocado, cooked tofu, seaweed sprinkles, and the reserved marinade. Optionally garnish with sesame seeds, green onion, micro greens, pickled ginger, and/or wasabi, and enjoy!

Crispy Shallot Spring Rolls

Now for our final meal, we will be making Crispy Shallot Spring Rolls and I decided to save these for last since it’s my favorite recipe. Before I continue with sharing the recipe I just want to give my second and final thanks to Minimalist Baker for providing the recipes I have picked out. You can find the recipes I share and many more through the link I shared at the beginning of the article. Now back to the Crispy Shallot Spring Rolls.

To prepare for baking the seared tofu, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (204 C). Press the tofu to remove excess moisture and cut it into thick long rectangles. Place the tofu in a shallow dish or a plastic/reusable bag, then add coconut aminos and chili garlic sauce or chili flakes (if using).

Gently toss or shake to coat the tofu and let it marinate for 5 minutes. Heat a medium, oven-safe skillet over medium heat and add avocado oil. Sear the tofu for 4 minutes until golden brown, then flip and cook for an additional 3 minutes. Transfer the skillet to the preheated oven for 10 minutes to finish cooking. Set aside to cool. In a small mixing bowl, coat thinly sliced shallots with brown rice flour and salt. Heat a large skillet over medium to medium-high heat, add oil, and sauté the shallots until golden brown. Remove from heat and set aside to cool. Prepare the vegetables and set them aside. Place rice noodles in a medium mixing bowl and cover with just-boiling water. Cook for 4-5 minutes until tender, then drain. Prepare peanut sauce if desired. Set aside for serving.

To prepare spring rolls, fill a wide shallow dish with hot water, ensuring it is wide enough to accommodate the spring roll papers. Place a single piece of rice paper in the water and let it soften for 30-45 seconds, being cautious not to over-soak as it may tear easily. The rice paper should be pliable but not overly soft.

Once softened, transfer it to a clean, dampened flat surface to prevent sticking. Gently smooth the edges without excessive tugging. On the bottom third of the rice paper, layer radish, bell pepper, carrots, cooked rice noodles, tofu, crispy shallots, and fresh herbs. To roll, fold the bottom edge of the rice paper over the fillings, followed by folding the left and right sides over the center. Roll forward and away from you until the roll is sealed. Repeat with a fresh rice paper until all fillings are used (approximately 8 rolls). Enjoy immediately on its own or with peanut sauce and/or sriracha.

I hope you try out some or all of these plant-based recipes perfect for the spring and summertime. The great thing about all these recipes is that you can add your flare to them! Comment which recipes you're going to try or are your favorite!

Gabby Quiceno

Writer since Nov, 2023 · 4 published articles

Gabby enjoys spending time with her friends and family on the weekends. She loves traveling the world and wants to study abroad in college. Other activities she partakes in out of school are dance, reading, and baking. Her favorite subjects in school are history and english.

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