Ah, summer grilling. Truthfully, I don’t have a strong, nostalgic attachment to the at-home grill. I don’t remember ever having one growing up, but I do remember going to the park to borrow the communal charcoal pits, and heating up corn, burgers, and, of course, s’mores! When my partner and I found an apartment with a back deck, we knew we had to get a personal Weber to cook up some of those childhood favorites–but, vegan/healthy-style, of course.
On Sunday, we decided to go all out: black bean burgers, farm fresh corn, sweet potato/farm carrot fries, and vegan s’mores (which, are not really healthy, but certainly better than the non-vegan kind!). As we enjoyed our grill-blackened, farm-fresh veggies, the crisp heartiness of black bean patties, and the delightful mix of sweet potatoes and carrots (you *must* try this combo!), we were immersed in the sound that summer makes when it’s coming to an end. Not as much mournful as it is grateful; for a few months well spent, knowing nothing will stop it from coming back, same time, next year. Birds, bugs, and neighborhood children tossed harmonies into the sky that were carried by warm August winds, all amalgamating to create one really lovely soundtrack to our personal alfresco feast. <3
Black Bean Burgers inspired by Angela’s “perfect veggie burger.” Modifications included: no bread crumbs, added millet. They were good, but I have trouble with flax as an egg substitute if the flax taste doesn’t blend in well enough. My partner didn’t notice that as much, so maybe I’m just sensitive. Very tasty overall though!
Grilled Corn, naked as it came. Doesn’t need anything. No oil, no vegan margarine, no salt no pepper. Tasty as is!
Sweet Potato/Carrot Fries. I just chopped them all up in strips, added some sunflower oil (use any high-heat oil), and a dash of sea salt and red pepper. Amazingly tasty, and the mix of the two adds a diverse range of nutritional benefits. See the full plate below!
Of course, I enjoyed my burger bunless, but feel free to add a bun and (vegan or not) cheese to make it more traditional. A note about all that ketchup you see on the plate. I have no real defense of ketchup. It’s full of sugar and salt and the minimal nutrition you get from the tomato base doesn’t outweigh the not so great stuff. We bought the organic kind, with unrefined sugar, but it was a treat and not something I recommend enjoying very often!
And what late-summer cookout would be complete without s’mores? They have always been one of my favorite summer desserts, and realizing that Sweet & Sara made a really yummy vegan marshmallow was quite exciting in my early vegan years. After becoming a more health-conscious vegan, I wasn’t quite as thrilled about ingesting these sugar-filled yummies, but again, this was a dinner of treats, which I think we all deserve once in a while! I made my own graham crackers, inspired, once again, from Oh She Glows’ recipe (didn’t have molasses, but they still turned out great), and bought some fair trade, dark chocolate to put in the middle. Drool-worthy pictures, below: