5 Light and Easy No-Cook Vegan Summer Recipes (That Aren’t Salads!)

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summer rolls

Summer is about being light and care-free, and that same sentiment should reflect in our food choices. These no-cook vegan summer recipes are essential foundational recipes that you can make time and time again throughout the summer.

Because it’s hotter outside, our bodies natural desire fewer comfort foods in order to ward off excess heat. Instead, we tend to crave cool flavors and light textures. It is a great opportunity for all of us to make healthy food choices and steer our summer diets in the right direction – more plants and fewer animal-based protein.

I’ve carefully chosen the following summer recipes for their ease, deliciousness and utility.

1. Raw Cashew Cheese

Makes about 1.5 cups

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup raw cashew, soaked overnight
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • Handful of fresh parsley, chopped

Directions: Add all ingredients to a food processor and blend until smooth. Add more seasoning based on your taste preferences. Serve alongside crudites or crackers.

2. Strawberry Chia Jam

Makes about 1 cup

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup strawberries, fresh or frozen and thawed
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup

Directions: Mash the strawberries in a food processor. Add the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth. Transfer to a glass jar, cover and place in the fridge to set for about 1 hour.

3. Zucchini Pasta with Avocado Alfredo Sauce

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 1 large zucchini
  • 1 large avocado
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • Small handful of fresh basil
  • ¼ cup water

Directions: Thinly slice the zucchini so that it has noodle like consistency. For best results, use a spiralizer. Add all the remaining ingredients into a food processer and blend until smooth. Place the sauce into a bowl and add the zucchini noodles. Fold until all the noodles are evenly coated. Serve and enjoy!

4. Fresh Summer Rolls

Serves 2

Ingredients:

For the rolls:

  • 6 sheets rice paper
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 small cucumber
  • 1 small red bell pepper
  • Handful fresh basil
  • Small handful fresh cilantro
  • 5 kale leaves

For the sauce:

  • 1/3 cup natural peanut butter
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon miso
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Up to 1/3 cup water, depending on desired consistency

Directions: Cut the carrots, avocado, cucumber, bell pepper and kale into thin strips. Dip the rice paper into warm water so that they soften, one at a time so they don’t stick together. One at a time, lay out each rice paper on a moist towel. Arrange a few leaves of basil and cilantro in the center. Add a few slices each of the carrot, avocado, cucumber, bell pepper and kale. Position them horizontally. Fold over the top edge of the paper over the filling. Pull in the sides and then fold the bottom layer over the fillings as well. Slice each roll in half.

For the sauce, combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. Serve aside the summer rolls.

5. Cucumber Avocado Soup

Serves 4

  • 2 large cucumbers
  • 1 large avocado
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • Chopped fresh tomatoes for garnish

Directions: Blend all in a food processor until smooth and serve in a soup bowl with tomato garnish.

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Photo Credit: Zoe Shuttleworth

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