Vegan Delights of Summer

Posted by Nick Brothers |
Staff Photo Amanda Bancroft Homemade vegan, gluten-free and nut-free chocolate chip cookies taste like the real thing but are safe for those with most food allergies.

Staff Photo Amanda Bancroft
Homemade vegan, gluten-free and nut-free chocolate chip cookies taste like the real thing but are safe for those with most food allergies.

by Amanda Bancroft

Vegetarian and vegan diets are healthy and can adequately meet nutritional requirements according to the Mayo Clinic,, and the USDA. The American Dietary Guidelines put forth by the USDA and Health and Human Services notes that “In prospective studies of adults, compared to non-vegetarian eating patterns, vegetarian-style eating patterns have been associated with improved health outcomes.” Summer salads are classic vegan fare. But what other options does a vegan have? Surprisingly many, and with ancient roots.

Chipotle Bowl

Historically, indigenous cultures in Mexico developed a habit of pairing beans and corn, which are said to have complimentary amino acids that make up protein. Our recipe for a vegan “chipotle” bowl reflects this pairing.

Cilantro Lime Rice Ingredients:

1 Tbs olive oil

2/3 cup rice (any kind you like)

1 ¼ cup water (1 ½ if using brown rice)

2 Tbs cilantro, finely chopped

½ tsp Salt (Celtic Sea Salt)

½ medium lime

Heat a 2-quart heavy saucepan over low heat. Add oil. Immediately after, add rice and lime juice, stir for 1 minute. Add water and salt, and then bring to a boil. Cover, turn down to simmer over low heat until rice is tender and the water is absorbed, about 25 minutes. Let sit with remaining moisture for 5 – 10 minutes, until all is absorbed. Add in the cilantro and fluff rice with a fork.

Black Bean & Corn Mix Ingredients:


½ Tbs Olive Oil

¾ cups cooked black beans

½ to ¾ cups frozen corn

Mexican Spice Blend:

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp chili powder

½ tsp paprika

1 tsp oregano

½ tsp garlic powder

Pinch cayenne pepper

Heat a saucepan over low-medium heat. Add oil, and immediately add frozen corn. Cook for 1 – 2 minutes, and then add beans. Once warmed, about 2 minutes, add spice mixture. Cook for another minute, then turn off heat. Spoon beans and corn onto cilantro rice, top with guacamole and fresh tomato salsa, and enjoy!

Chocolate Chip Cookies

The chocolate chip cookie has not-so-vegan and not-so-ancient origins around 1938 with Ruth Graves Wakefield of Tollhouse. But our chocolate chip cookie recipe is adapted to taste similar to these original cookies while leaving out the animal products and becoming completely gluten-free and nut-free.

2/3 Cup Vegetable Shortening

1 Tbsp Vegetable Oil

1 Cup Packed Brown Sugar

1 Tbsp Vanilla Extract

1/3 Cup Water

2 ½ Cups Bob’s Red Mill All Purpose Gluten-free Flour

1 ¼ Tsp Salt

1 Tsp Xanthan Gum

1 ½ Tsp Baking Soda

½ Tsp Gluten-free Baking Powder

1 Package Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips or Chunks

In two separate bowls, mix together the dry and wet ingredients. Combine the well-sifted dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, and blend them with a mixer. Stir in chocolate chips. On a cookie sheet, bake for 8-12 minutes at 375 degrees.

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