Summer recipes are hugely popular, especially if we’re lucky enough to get great weather. From barbecues and garden parties, to fetes and festivals, great summer food is a must for any food business – especially if you’re a delivery company or food truck.
At the beginning of the year we looked into 2019 food trends, noting that low carbon footprint foods, and hence vegans, vegetarians and flexitarians were on the rise. However, those looking for a conscientious food choices can struggle to find attractive, tasty options when eating al fresco in summer.
In this article we look at why you should be adding vegan and vegetarian recipes to your summer menu, how you can make sure they appeal to conscientious eaters and maybe some meat lovers!
A Meat Free / Vegan Menu Is Necessary As There Is Growing Demand
Eating with an environmental awareness is more than a fad. It’s here to stay. The number of vegans in the UK quadrupled between 2014 and 2018, with vegetarians and vegans are estimated to make up a quarter of the British population by 2025. And that doesn’t even include flexitarians – who follow ‘a style of eating that encourages mostly plant-based foods while allowing meat and other animal products in moderation.’
“Vegan Trend Quadrupled in the 5 years between 2012 and 2017, according to Google search” – The Vegan Society.
Even if someone isn’t fully vegan or vegetarian, interest in these foods is on the increase and as a smart food business you should be responding. In fact, your food business can capitalise on this trend, if you do it properly. Here are three ways in which a vegan menu can benefit your business:
- Increase your customer base – It’s not rocket science. If you can provide a meat free option or two on your menu, you’ll be able to cater to individuals and groups who are looking for vegetarian or vegan options, thus getting you more sales.
- Help you hit KPIs – In order for your food business to succeed you need to be making money. For small business this means growing or at least breaking even. Diversifying with a vegan menu, or at least trying some vegan recipes, can help you get there.
- Prove your business cares about the environment – Being able to appeal to conscientious diners with enjoyable meals can help you attract the eco-conscious eater (of which there are more and more) and could even attract good PR.
Challenge Yourself To Create Vegan Recipes For Popular Dishes
You might be surprised at your ability to create amazing food that is both vegan or vegetarian AND reduces your carbon footprint. Even McDonalds has woken up this, with a vegetarian menu that is well established, and they launched their first vegan burger in April this year. If they can do it, so can you.
Start by looking at your most popular dishes or favourites and then start swapping out ingredients for vegan alternatives. It might take some trial and error, but isn’t that what great cooking is all about?
If you need some inspiration, then check out these vegan summer recipes from some of the best cooks and chefs online and off.
Vegan Summer Recipes
Swapping Out The Sizzling Summer Meat For A Vegan Treat
Of course, you there are many shortcuts – a Linda McCartney sausage (still voted top) or a Vurger Co. ready burger, but below are a couple of fantastic suggestions from some of the UK’s top culinary experts.
Jack Monroe isn’t an exclusively vegan but they do have lots of popular vegan recipes. Tackling the staple of summer, the burger, Jack’s twist is delicious and nutritious.
If you’re really looking to impress then these Raw Pad Thai Tacos will provide a touch of the exotic to whet any summertime appetite. They look great and can be assembled just as quickly as meaty alternatives.
Co-Author of So Vegan In 5 and one of the masterminds behind the website So Vegan, with Ben Pook, Roxy Pope has a fantastic selection of vegan recipes on her site. We think the spicy fritters recipe in particular are a bright and colourful standout.
Vegan Salads For Summer Parties & Picnics
Big able to make big, sharing bowls that go a long way is important for any food business but especially for food trucks. Mass catering with these salads as mains or sides will satisfy even the hungriest diner.
Joel and Aiste, the founders of the Wild Food Cafe offer this incredible Chickpea Tofu Salad recipe on their blog – perfect to accompany any summer BBQ feast, alongside burgers of all kinds.
If your burgers are chickpea heavy, you might want to offer lighter alternatives with your summer salad. This fresh and juicy triple tomato tabbouleh by Jacqueline Meldrum is just the ticket, and it even has a little bulk thanks to a quinoa base.
This chopped kale salad is a really refreshing treat. In fact, we found all of Cookie + Kate’s salad recipes mouthwatering and would really recommend considering this blog for inspiration for vegan and vegetarian salad inspiration.
Vegan Pudding You Could Share, But Don’t Have To
Pudding can be really tricky to break the back of when you’ve been trained to bake with eggs and butter, but Jacqueline’s chocolate and prune brownie recipe will make you realise that you can make vegan puddings that taste just as good without the dairy and eggs.
It doesn’t exactly sound healthy, but this blog is great for offering some fantastic vegan treats. Take this coconut chocolate chip ice cream from the Beaming Baker, for example. Refreshing, sweet and 100% vegan.
Looking To Perfect Your Vegan Menu & Summer Recipes?
When you’ve been trained to cook with meat and dairy it is hard to adjust your culinary skills. We aren’t suggesting that you overhaul your entire menu, but that you do offer an option for vegetarian or vegan requirements.
You don’t have to retrain all of your staff – but it might be clever to get some of your team trained so that they can, in the first instance, add to your menu, and in the second educate the rest of your staff with tantalising, original and tasty options.
- Wild Food Cafe also offer some fantastic well being and foraging courses as well as Plant Based Chef and Wellbeing Leadership Professional Training for food businesses looking to expand their knowledge and understanding in this area.
- Looking for more than just the odd for vegan patisserie? Clarisse Flon, the mind behind vegan Cafe Forty One in Notting Hill, London, now offers consulting services for food businesses looking to develop their vegan repertoire.
Try some of the recipes mentioned in this article, and, if you like them, consider the courses that some of these chefs provide. You never know, you might become the next stop shop for some of the best vegan food in town.