Summer is a great time for barbecues, picnics, and other outdoor events. As these events usually cater to meat-lovers, though, you may feel a little left out as a vegetarian. If side dishes like corn, potato chips, and fruit are your only options, you may also fail to meet your daily protein quota.
Here are several tasty summer dishes that are both protein-rich and strictly vegetarian. Have your carnivore friends sample a few and they just might convert.
Quinoa isn’t just a tasty little grain — it’s also packed with protein. The grain has become a dietary staple with many vegetarians because of its high protein content. It’s also great for those with Celiac Disease because it’s 100% gluten-free.
Quinoa is not only good for you; it also makes a wonderful summer salad. While there are many varieties of quinoa salad out there, my favorite is made with olive oil, pine nuts, cucumber, and grape tomatoes. Finish the salad with parsley, lemon juice, and zest for a light and fresh taste.
Rice and Bean Burritos
The traditional bean burrito has refried beans, which aren’t necessarily vegetarian. Many canned refried beans are actually cooked with lard, so unless you make the beans yourself, the burrito’s not vegetarian.
Instead of refried beans, opt for rice and black beans. As you may know, the rice and beans together make a complete protein, which can be difficult for vegetarians to find. Top the burrito with romaine lettuce, tomato, and cilantro.
Lemon Hummus with Fresh Veggies and Pita
Who doesn’t love fresh homemade hummus? For a twist on the traditional recipe, add a little lemon juice to the hummus. It may sound a little strange, but lemon hummus is a clean, fresh, and delicious side dish. Serve it with your favorite fresh veggies and some grilled pita bread.
Mozzarella and Tomato Salad
Caprese salad is one of my favorite foods any time of the year, but it’s especially delicious in the summer, when there’s an abundance of fresh tomatoes.
To make a delicious caprese salad, top slices of fresh mozzarella with thick tomato slices and fresh basil. You can also drizzle a little olive oil over the top, depending on your preferences. Bring it to parties and family gatherings, or take it to your sister to reward her for the progress she’s made at the 12 Palms addiction rehab center.
Grilled Summer Veggies and Tofu
Meat lovers are always at the grill — why shouldn’t vegetarians be, too? To make this tasty dish, cut chunks of firm tofu, and place them in aluminum foil with some garlic and olive oil. Cook the tofu on high for a few minutes, and then add the vegetables. I like to use peppers and squash, but you can grill almost any veggie. Soon, you’ll have delicious grilled veggies and tofu.