This has been a strange summer across the United States. Some areas are boiling while others are still experiencing weather that feels downright springlike. Whatever your weather’s like, you still don’t want to spend your precious summer hours slaving over a hot stove. You’d rather be outside running around after the kids or working in the garden, right? We’ve found three simple recipes that take only minutes to prepare and make the most of delicious summer produce. That’s right, every one of these recipes is chocked full of veggies and completely vegetarian.
Savory Lemon-Spinach White Bean Dip
This is hummus kicked up a few notches. Sure, you’ve got the classic creamy base, here provided by white beans, and tahini, the sesame paste that’s a required ingredient in any good hummus. But a heaping handful of spinach boosts your iron intake, your nutrients and the delicious factor. Nutritional yeast is optional in this recipe, but we suggest including it. You can find this in health food stores. Nutritional yeast is pure umami, or that meaty, savory flavor that’s so satisfying in vegetarian dishes. It’s all finished off with a squeeze of lemon to cut through the richness of the beans. This recipe calls for baking it in the oven, almost like a spinach artichoke dip, but it’d be great served cold. Spread this dip on sandwiches, in a wrap or just dice up a huge mound of veggies and call this dinner. The protein in the white beans will help keep you full when it’s just too hot to eat a regular meal.
Bocconcini comes from the Italian phrase for “small mouthfuls.” In our case, it refers to balls of mozzarella cheese, each about the size of a small egg. You can often find this with imported cheeses and packaged in water or whey. Its soft texture pairs beautifully with white beans, tomatoes and basil in a salad that’s almost a riff on the classic ensalada caprese. If you can’t find bocconcini, you can also just use soft mozzarella, the kind that comes in a big ball, and cut it into bite-sized pieces.
The other secret ingredient to this garden-fresh salad is pea sprouts. Just like the name implies, these are immature pea plants. Think of a soft watercress but with a bright pea flavor. Toss it all together in a maple syrup vinaigrette and you’ve got a dish that’s fancy enough to wow dinner guests but simple enough to throw together in less than ten minutes.
Have you jumped on the quinoa train yet? This ancient Aztec grain is gaining huge prominence in the US for its nutty flavor and metric ton of nutrients. It’s quick and easy to prepare–only about 15 minutes–and is packed with protein. Add that to white beans and you won’t even notice this dish is entirely vegan. In addition to all the grain and beans, you’ll also find fresh tomatoes, cucumber, dill and parsley. Mix it all together and serve chilled.
Summertime is the perfect time to try this tasty recipe featuring Randall Beans Great Northern Beans.