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Cool Eats & Treats

With temperatures tickling the 105-and-above-degree mark all over the country during America’s hottest year on record, we’re all looking for ways to keep our kitchens, our bodies, and our planet cooler.

Thankfully, the vegan lifestyle is automatically cooler, given the fewer greenhouse gas emissions associated with plant food production. Combine that with some oven-free and stove-free food prep tips beyond salad, and you can turn the A/C and your global warming guilt down a notch.

The first three cool food ideas came straight from Finding Vegan. I always feel like I’m cheating when I grab recipe ideas from there.

Speedy Taco Toast by Kathy Patalsky on Babble.com

Protein-packed simple lunch idea with 5 ingredients

Bread, refried beans, tomato, avocado, and cilantro — doesn’t get any simpler than this! A great option when you have to whip up a quick, healthy lunch.

Stuffed Avocado from The Simple Veganista Blog

Hummus is the special ingredient that binds the veggies together.

Forgo the bread as the “vehicle” and use the avocado itself to hold this yummy, healthy veggie mix.

Raw Mexican Rice Burritos with Guac and Chipotle Cheddar Sauce from the Fragrant Vanilla Cake blog

Cauliflower is the “rice” in this creative raw burrito

Perfect when you’re in the mood for Mexican but don’t want to take the kitchen heat or the simple carbs in many tortillas.

Mac ‘n Cheese from Eat Raw, Eat Well by Doug McNish

Got zucchini coming out of your ears? Turn it into raw noodles!

Raw chef Doug McNish uses raw zucchini and sweet potatoes to make the noodles and a cashew cheese sauce, sprinkled with an almond parmesan. We just used a potato peeler, not the fancy spiral vegetable peeler called for in the recipe to make the noodles. Normally, they look a lot noodle-ier. SO tasty, simple, and we didn’t even have to turn on the stove. We highly recommend this cookbook!

Frozen Grapes

So simple it’s almost stupid.

One ingredient, two steps: wash and freeze. Easy, healthy and hydrating to boot!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Silken Pie from VegWeb.

The filling in this no-bake pie has just 6 simple ingredients: peanut butter, baker’s chocolate, tofu, non-dairy milk, and sugar.

Let’s be clear: health food it is not. But “wow your non-vegan friends at a party” food it is. This Chocolate Peanut Butter Silken Pie was a big hit at the 4th of July party I took it to. I added some extra peanut butter to boost the flavor. With temps hitting 102 degrees that day, I appreciated the “no bake” aspect of this pie. I did have to turn on the oven briefly to bake the ready-made frozen pie crust, but you can make your own raw pie crust using nuts and dates for a completely oven-free experience.

Banana Ice Cream with Berries & Cacao Nibs

3 ingredients in this simple, satisfying dessert

All hail the frozen banana! A single frozen banana makes an excellent ice cream treat base. Simply blend it or put it through the special nozzle of your non-centrifugal juicer (like an Omega 8006) and add fun toppings like fruit, nuts, dried coconut, cacao nibs, or a little cocoa powder mixed with cinnamon for a good-for-you treat.

What are you waiting for? Get un-cooking!

Yours coolly,
Marisa