While many people think of backyard barbecues during the summer complete with fish, chicken, and burgers, you can enjoy some great summer meals even if you are a vegetarian. There is no need to miss out on the flavors of summer just because you choose to avoid eating meat. You will find there are plenty of great alternatives that you can cook up for a wonderful barbecue, picnic, or just a nice family dinner together. Here is a look at a few exciting meal choices for the vegetarian family that are sure to be a big hit.

Tasty Portobello Burgers

You do not have to miss out on a summer favorite – burgers. Vegetarians will find that Portobello burgers provide plenty of flavor without the meat. Since you are using no meat, you are able to save some of the fat and calories that come with eating ground beef burgers. You will need just a few ingredients to turn out these tasty burgers for the whole family. You will need some larger Portobello mushrooms. Make sure you take off the stems before you are ready to cook the mushrooms. While you can cook these mushrooms on the stove top, you will get the best flavor by cooking them out on the grill. Brushing them with a bit of olive oil that includes garlic will give them plenty of flavor. Usually grilling for about 4-5 minutes for each side is going to be plenty. Enjoy using a variety of toppings, such as feta cheese, red peppers, lettuce, sliced onions, and more.

Veggie Ribbon Side Dish

Another of the exciting meal choices for the vegetarian family during the summer is a nice veggie ribbon side dish. This is a dish that is full of color, flavor, and healthy nutrients. This type of a dish is best made with zucchini and carrots. A vegetable peeler can be used to make ribbons from the vegetables. Simply add a bit of olive oil to a skillet and heat with some minced onion and garlic. Add in the veggie ribbons for a few minutes, using salt and pepper to season them. One they are tender crisp, add a bit of thyme and serve the vegetables immediately.

Raspberry Rhubarb Dessert Bar Recipe

Not only do you need some nice main dishes and sides during the summer months, but it is always nice to finish up your meal with a nice dessert that is tasty and refreshing as well. Here is a recipe for an especially tasty dessert that includes both raspberry and rhubarb for a healthy finish to your summer meal.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 tablespoon of cornstarch,
  • 2 large oranges, juiced (use just the juice)
  • 5 cups of raspberries, fresh
  • ½ cups of rhubarb, diced
  • 1 cup of rolled oats, uncooked
  • 1/3 cup of granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup of whole wheat flour
  • ¾ cup of all purpose flour
  • Tablespoon of orange zest, grated
  • ½ cup of light brown sugar, firmly packed
  • ¼ teaspoon of ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • ¾ teaspoon of baking powder
  • ¼ cup of canola oil
  • ½ teaspoon of salt, optional
  • Almonds, finely chopped

How to Make It:

Preheat your oven to 350. Take a 9-inch baking dish and spray with cooking spray. In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and a tablespoon of the orange juice. Combine the raspberries, orange zest, rhubarb, brown sugar, and 3 tablespoons of the orange juice in a saucepan, heating on medium high heat. Simmer the mixture. Lower the heat and simmer partially covered for about 5-9 minutes, making sure rhubarb has become tender. Stir the cornstarch mix into the pan, cooking until the mix thickens. Remove pan from the heat and allow to cool.

In another big bowl, combine together granulated sugar, ginger, flours, oats, salt, baking powder, and cinnamon. Add in the oil and the rest of the orange juice, using a fork to mix until it becomes crumbly. Take two cups of the mixture and press into your baking dish. Pour the raspberry rhubarb mix on top of the crust, spreading evenly. Take the rest of the oat mixture and add in almonds. Sprinkle it on top of the filling. Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes or until the topping is golden. Cool and then cut into bars.