Meatless Monday Feature: Does BBQ Season Go Hand In Hand With Vegetarians?

Meal Garden recently added pretty cool functionality for vegetarians and vegans alike - you can now set your diet type in the tool to filter your recipes accordingly. In celebration of making meal planning even easier for our plant-based friends, we thought it would be good to touch base with the vegetarian-expert (and Meal Garden user) Karen Gilman, who also happens to be a Registered Holistic Nutritionist. In inspiration of Meatless Monday, and all this lovely warm weather we’ve been having in Toronto these days - here’s what she had to say on the topic of being a vegetarian midst BBQ season...

One of the best things about summer is all the fresh, local produce. Not only is it great for supporting local farmers it just tastes better than the produce shipped across the continent from California. Farmer’s markets or CSA programs (Community Supported Agriculture) are the perfect way to enjoy these goodies. My family and I signed up for a CSA program a few years ago and I remember my kids eating the fresh basil in the car on the way home.  Though a little dirtier than the produce you find at the local grocery store, it is much fresher.
Here is a great recipe with one of our favourite meal options, pesto:
If your family is put off by the thought of using beets, substitute zucchini noodles instead. They won’t even know it isn’t real pasta.
The other great thing about the summer is everyone’s favourite: the BBQ.  BBQ season is not just for meat-lovers either.  At our house we use it to grill veggie burgers and vegetables. Nothing tastes better than fresh asparagus right off the BBQ.  You don’t even need a recipe for grilling veggies. Just choose a few of your favourites like red peppers, zucchini or eggplant, brush with some olive oil and grill to your liking.
A summer BBQ wouldn’t be complete without a frozen treat. Though not for the BBQ these Chocolate Covered Frozen Bananas can be made ahead of time and frozen until you are ready to eat them. I always have a batch in the freezer. They are a great alternative to store-bought frozen treats:
 

There you have it - who said keeping it veggie-friendly on warm sunny days was hard?

In fact, at recent meal planning workshops I’ve attended, people are now looking to shy away from meat-heavy cooked meals and instead want to opt for something lighter. If there’s any season that will make you crave salads and smoothie bowls - it’s summer!

Here are some of my own favourites for this occasion…

Have I tempted you to get scheduling yet?