With the heat waves rolling in and the summer solstice behind us, it is officially BBQ season! And there couldn’t be a more BBQ friendly holiday than the 4th of July, because there is no better way to celebrate America’s birthday than with smoked food. As well as BBQs, summer calls for strawberries and lot’s of them! So how can you honor the US of A, summer strawberries, and BBQ season? A one of a kind dessert by the name of Strawberry Rhubarb Pie. So celebrate the country and the season with this traditional summer treat.

Vegan Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

Prep Time: 30 Minutes    Bake Time: 45 Minutes

Pie Crust (x 2)

  • 2 Cups Organic Unbleached Flour
  • 1 Tsp Salt
  • 2/3 Cup, plus 1 Tbsp Earth Balance
  • 1/4 Cup Ice Water (more may be needed)
 Filling:
  • 1 1/4 lbs Organic Rhubarb
  • 1/3 lbs Organic Strawberries
  • 3/4 Cup Evaporated Cane Juice
  • 1/3 Cup Organic Unbleached Flour
  • 1/4 Tsp Salt

Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees. You will need to double to recipe for the pie crust to make crusts, one for the top. Prepare the pie crust by combining the flour and salt. Blend in 2/3 cup soy margarine until the mixture is crumbly. Add in the water until mixture starts to hold together (you may not need all the water or you may need more-play it by ear!). Next roll out the crust with a rolling pin (or in times of need a washed wine bottle can substitute). Place the first crust in a 9 inch pan and use your fingers to make even patterns in the dough. Repeat the above instructions and after the dough is rolled out, set aside.

To prepare the filling, cut the rhubarb into one inch pieces and cut the greens off the strawberries and slice them. In a large mixing bowl combine the rhubarb, strawberries, evaporated cane juice, salt, and flour until mixed. Pour the filling inside the first crust. Depending on how you want the pie to look, either put the other crust over the filling and cut vents in, or cut the second crust in strips and make a checkered pattern across the pie. For a special 4th of July treat, you could cut stars or stripes into the pie!

We are mid way through July, thus in the full swing of summer. While recently house-sitting, we noticed the peach trees outside were in full bloom, with ripe peaches falling to the ground everywhere. We gathered up all the peaches and we must have had twenty, juicy, perfectly refreshing summer peaches in our hands. We couldn’t figure out what to do, when it dawned on us, let’s make peach cobbler! Because the heat is so oppressive this summer, we thought we’d try out some raw peach cobbler and skip turning on the oven, which would only make the house warmer. Peaches are a summer staple and this cobbler is quick, easy, and requires no cooking!

Raw Peach Cobbler

8 Med-Large Peaches, Unpeeled

1 Cup Raw Pecans or favorite nut
1 Cup Dates, Pitted
3 Tbsp Organic Agave or other Sweetner
1 tsp Organic Cinnamon
1 tsp Organic Coconut Oil

Pinch of Salt

Slice the peaches up into halves and set aside. Combine all but two tablespoons of agave, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, coconut oil and salt with the peaches into a food processor or blender. Blend a little but not too much, the peaches should be chunky.  Pour the mixture into a casserole dish and set in the fridge.  In a food processor or blender, add the dates, pecans, and remaining cinnamon and agave. Blend until mashed up, but not liquid. Sprinkle the nut mix over the peaches. Serve as is or cool for a refreshing taste. If you like your cobbler warm, set out in the sun for an hour before serving.  The cobbler will taste better the longer it sits, allowing the flavors to blend. For an added treat serve with vegan whipped cream or ice cream!

Summer is officially here: BBQ season has begun, the sun is beating down, and the 4th of July is just around the corner. Our recipe this week will not only help you beat the summer heat, but celebrate the red, white, and blue! It includes simple ingredients including strawberries (the red), blueberries (the blue), and almond milk (the white). An easy, quick sorbet recipe that will satisfy any dessert lover. This is perfect to serve at your 4th of July party or any hot night during the next few months.

Vegan Patriotic Sorbet

Prep Time: 20 Minutes    

2 Cups Organic Frozen Strawberries
2 Cups Organic Frozen Blueberries
1/4 Cup Organic Almond Milk

2 Tbsp Organic Maple Syrup

Leave out the frozen blueberries and strawberries to thaw for about 10-12 minutes. You don’t want them to be completely defrosted, just enough so they will still break apart. Pour them in a food processor or blender and use the pulse feature until the berries start to beak apart. Add in the almond milk and pulsate some more, until mixed. Next add in the maple syrup and blend/process for 2-5 minutes or until completely smooth. Serve immediately or store in the freezer for a later treat.

Summer is almost here and we are flipping through our vegan summer recipes to bring you the best. One of our favorite things to eat during the summer is sandwiches! They are fast, easy, and not too heavy during the summer heat. There are a million sandwiches out there to be enjoyed, but a tasty fun one is the classic reuben. We have put together a fast and easy way to make a yummy vegan version to enjoy at home. Whip out your sandwich skills and get cracking!

Vegan Reuben

Prep Time: 20 Minutes  

Reuben Sandwich:

  • 1/4 Cup Bragg’s Amino Acids
  • 1/4 Cup Organic Olive Oil
  • 1/4 Cup Chopped Organic Onion
  • 1 Chopped Organic Glove
  • 1/2 Tsp Organic Oregano
  • 1/2 Tsp Black Pepper
  • 8 Ounces of Organic Tempeh, sliced
  • 2 Cups of Organic Sauerkraut
  • Loaf of Vegan Rye Bread
  • Your Favorite fixin’s (Tomato, Onion, Lettuce, Vegan Cheese) optional 

Thousand Island Dressing:

  • 1/4 Cup Vegenaise
  • 3 Tbsp Organic Relish
  • 2 Tbsp Organic All Natural Ketchup
  • Pinch of Salt
In a mixing bowl combine the vegenaise, relish, ketchup, and salt in a small mixing bowl and set in the fridge to cool.  Chop the onion and garlic. In a long casserole dish pour in the Bragg’s Amino Acids, olive oil, onions, olive oil, and spices. Mix up and place sliced tempeh into the sauce. Marinate for about 10 minutes. In a large saucepan, pour tempeh and oil into the pan. Cook the tempeh evenly on each side until crispy. Toast the Rye Pieces. Spread the dressing on each side of the rye bread. Cover one side with the tempeh slices sauerkraut and any other fixin’s you would like. Serve with pickles, chips, carrots, or fruit.

Wow! This summer’s heat and humidity has sure been oppressive. With reports this is the hottest summer in New England, we have definitely felt it around the AP office. With sweat dripping and fans roaring, we are constantly looking for a way to cool down.  A good friend of ours recently introduced us to the perfect thing! Our friend Jackie, who loves the culinary arts, found an amazing recipe online! Now we have all heard of mango salsa but how about watermelon? Watermelon, a delicious summer treat, always pulls off the cooling trick and when mixed with tomatoes is surprisingly delicious and refreshing. To beat the summer heat, try something a little unique and thirst-quenching. Thanks Jackie!

Organic Watermelon Salsa

Prep Time: About 10 Minutes

  • ½ Cup Chopped Organic Watermelon
  • ¼ Cup Chopped  Organic Tomato
  • 2 Tbs Chopped  Organic Red Onion
  • 1 Tbs Chopped Organic Jalapeno
  • 1 Tbs Chopped Organic Cilantro
  • 2 Tablespoons Freshly Squeezed Lime Juice
  • 1 Clove Organic Garlic, Minced
  • Salt and Pepper to Taste

Chop watermelon, tomato, and onion in small cubes. Finely mince garlic, jalapeno, and cilantro. In a medium mixing bowl stir all ingredients, including spices together.  Serve with tortilla or pita chips.

Raw ice cream? What is raw ice cream? Well we were recently turned on by this recipe in VegNews: Strawberry Ice Cream. It looked so delectable, we just had to share it with you. But with an Autonomie Project twist of course! This recipe is pretty quick and would satisfy any vegan, raw foodist, or ice cream lover in your life. We have compiled a base and some suggestions for flavors. Of course with summertime upon us, the fruit flavors sound the most refreshing, but we have thrown in a couple of year round classics as well.  So cool off this summer with homemade vegan ice cream! Let us know what flavors you make or if you come up with some of your own!

RAW ICE CREAM BASE:
1 Cup Coconut Water
1/2 Cup Organic Raw Cashews
3/4 Cup Organic Honey Dates, Pitted

FLAVORS:
Chocolate: 3 Tbs Organic Cocoa Powder
Strawberry: 3 cups Organic Stawberries, chopped
Vanilla: 1 Tbs Vanilla Bean Paste
Chocolate Peanut Butter: 3 Tbs Organic Cocoa Powder, 3 Tbs Peanut Butter
Blueberry: 2 Cups Organic Blueberry
Butter Pecan: 1/2 Cup Organic Earth Balance, 1 tsp Vanilla Bean Paste, 3/4 Cup Pecans
Strawberry Banana: 3 cups Organic Stawberries, chopped, 3 Bananas

If you are using fruit, run through a blender and be sure to crush all fruit (for strawberries, be sure the leaves are sliced off first). Set these aside and clean out the blender. Blend the coconut water and cashews until smooth. While the blender is on low add in the dates and whatever flavor ingredients your are using until well mixed. Your mixture will now appear to look like melted ice cream. Place in whatever container you want to use (casserole dish or jar) and put in the freezer for at least an hour. If you have an ice cream maker you can then use this in the contraption and re-freeze. Most of you probably don’t, so you will have ice cream that looks like its melted bur re-frozen. No worries though, it will taste great!

As the temperature gage rises, grilling season begins! With 4th of July and summer BBQ season on the horizon, it is time to dust off your grills and get ready from some fire tinged meals. There are plenty of vegan options on the market for cookouts including soy hot dogs, veggie burgers, and even grilled veggies. But if you want a homemade treat to grill all season, check out our new recipe: Spicy Black Bean Burgers. These are easy and quick to prepare and can be cooked in a pan or grill.  Curious about other vegan BBQ options? Check out our older post on Vegan BBQ Tips. Happy Grilling!

Spicy Vegan Black Bean Burgers

Prep Time: 20 Minutes    Grill Time: 5-10 Minutes    Makes About 6 Burgers

1 can of Organic Black Beans, drained
1 Cup Vegan Organic Bread Crumbs
1/4 Cup Cooked Organic Rice (wild or white)
1/4 Cup Organic Onion
1/4 Cup Organic Green Bell Pepper
1 Tbs Organic Olive Oil
2 Cloves Organic Garlic
1 Tsp Salt
1/2 Tsp Organic Cayenne Pepper
1/4 Tsp Black Pepper
1 Tbs Organic Crushed Cilantro (optional)

Fire up your grill! Cook 1/4 cup of rice the usual way. Finely chop the onions, bell pepper, and garlic. On the stove, use 1 Tbs of Olive Oil in a frying pan and saute the onions, bell pepper, and garlic just to soften them up. Be careful not to  over cook the garlic. In a food processor, mixing bowl (with electric mixer) or blender, add the black beans, cooked rice, bread crumbs, sautéed veggies, and spices. Pulse the mixture until it is chopped. Form the mixture into patties and either grill or cook in a frying pan with olive oil. Serve with vegan buns and all the fixings such as fresh onion, tomato, lettuce, ketchup, mustard, BBQ sauce, salsa, guacamole, pickles or vegan cheese.

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