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It’s summer! It’s hot! It’s grill time! It’s summer! It’s hot! It’s grill time! It’s summer! It’s…time for a summer-spired story ♪
As a vegetarian, I never used to be a big fan of grilling. Most of my friends never quite know what to do with me when it comes to the good ol’ summer BBQ: “You’re vegetarian,” they’d say, “but is sausage okay?” or “I know you don’t eat meat, but does fish count?”
These are legitimate questions, since there are a lot of different denominations of “vegetarian” floating around these days. For the record, I’ve been 97% meatless for going on four years now–the 3% I reserve for special cultural occasions in which family is involved, because there are just some traditions I’m not willing to give up. I eat eggs and consume dairy products, but about half of my meals are actually vegan (no meat, eggs, OR dairy), and later this month M & I are going to try a week of veganism together! All in all, I’ve learned a lot over the past few years about sustainable, nutritious eating, and I’m pretty satisfied with how far I’ve been able to come since I first laid my eager paws on Michael Pollan’s wonderful book, In Defense of Food.
Luckily, as the years have gone by and our friend groups back home have expanded, we’ve introduced a few more vegetarians and vegans into our midst, which means that our gatherings are a lot more dietary-need-conscious nowadays. Most of the time we’ll opt for potlucks so that everyone can bring and enjoy something, which is fantastic because then our spreads end up looking like this:
So colorful and fresh! I’d like to take partial credit for being a good influence
Since I was traveling a lot and didn’t have much time to prep a dish, I decided to bring a good ol’ everyone-friendly veggie patty from one of my favorite go-tos, MorningStar Farms. I bought two of my favorite flavors: the original veggie patty and the spicy black bean patty. My friend (who’s in culinary school right now btw, nbd) helped me toss them on the grill and got a nice smoky crisp on the patties before piling up the patty with homemade tangy sweet slaw, grilled mushrooms, grilled zucchini, and some awesome garlic naan we picked up from our one stop at Target.
So what happened with these awesome grilled vegetable & veggie burger naan-wiches? I won’t keep you in suspense–they were gone within five minutes of popping off the grill, and even the biggest skeptic in our group nabbed the other half of my naan-wich. Everyone loved how the chewy, crisp naan perfectly complimented the slightly spicy patties and sweet, cooling slaw, not to mention the subtle juiciness of the grilled veggies.
Verdict? Nailed it! Veggie cuisine ftw, everybody. Boo-yeah.
For a student like myself, summer’s such a great time to really slow down and make every gesture a meaningful one. As I continue my exploration of the world of sustainable eating and farming practices, I’m open to learning about new opportunities and great new ways to stay connected with communities of like-minded friends & strangers. Whether you’re a long-time vegetarian or just considering making an impact on the world around you, it pays to be aware! One other reason I’m excited to be sharing MorningStar Farms with you today (besides the fact that it makes meatless DELISH) is that they’re helping spread awareness through MorningStar Farms’ and the Veg of Allegiance Program, where you can pledge to go meatless for as many (or as few!) meals a week as you want and even get prizes for doing it. I think it’s a really cool way to get your feet wet if you’re looking for better, more sustainable ways to live! The Choose Well section at Target’s a good place to start looking:
May your summers be off to a mindful start! What will you do to be more mindful of your eating habits this summer? Let me know in the comments! <3