I asked last month and the general consensus was more of a mix, rather than just vegetarian dinner ideas. So here are some healthy summer recipes for June, the very beginning of summer and end of spring. In season now: stone fruits, rhubarb, berries, cucumber, berries, radishes, garlic (and garlic scapes), asparagus, elderflower, cherry tomatoes, new potatoes, greens (chard, rucola, lettuce), and early zucchini.
Here in the northern Netherlands, we’re seeing a big wave of local strawberries, potatoes, and asparagus not grown in greenhouses, and a lot of produce that’s still coming from hothouses. In our garden, right now it’s mostly still greens but by the end of the month I expect to be harvesting our earliest potatoes, berries from the new bushes, piles of herbs, peas, and maybe some beets.
If we’re very lucky, then maybe a cherry tomato or two. We won’t have any garlic scapes this year because we didn’t move in early enough to sow hard neck garlic – everything in our garden in general is a bit late because we’ve sowed it all from scratch this year. Nettle is still going strong if you like to forage, and makes a great pesto.
For this month, I’ve included recipes that feature the best of the season, with a variation here and there if needed. As usual, all the recipes are vegetarian and dairy free, and most are vegan and/or gluten free. Thinking of a specific ingredient? Check out these healthy rhubarb recipes and healthy strawberry recipes.
1. Mexican Lentil Salad
This one is definitely more of an end of June recipe, much more for summer than spring, but it’s one of my favourite things to make when the garden is at its best. Light, fresh, still filling, just right for hot days. Get the recipe here.
2. Quinoa Swiss Chard Patties
Yes, the recipe is called swiss chard patties, but I make these with all kinds of greens – even celery leaves. They don’t take long to cook and use really simple, easy ingredients. I usually pop them on a salad in the summer with or without the avo tahini sauce. Get the recipe here.
3. Curried Potato Salad
For chillier June days! Roasted potatoes with plenty of spice, hardier greens, herbs, lentils, and red onion make up this meal salad. Try it for an outdoor meal or as part of a barbeque. Get the recipe here.
4. Cucumber and Lentil Salad Topped Socca
If you don’t want to turn the oven on, this can also be made on a stovetop. Socca with a ribboned cucumber salad, lentils, herbs, and creamy pine nuts. Get the recipe here.
5. Roasted Tomato, Zucchini, and Eggplant Soup
Eggplants might not be in yet, but you can sub more zucchini instead if you don’t have it. The veggies are roasted before being blended up, adding great depth of flavour, and you could even grill them instead. It’s all topped off with a tahini pesto for a little extra zing. Get the recipe here.
6. Vegan Cucumber Salad with Dill & Chives
I’m a big fan of slicing cucumbers in the food processor for this recipe to get them ultra thin, and it’s a big time saver. Mixed with chives, dill, and a simple vinaigrette, it’s a nice light salad. Get the recipe here.
7. Green Monster Swiss Chard Quiche
A very old recipe but still something that I make whenever we have chard in the garden. A spelt crust is filled with an egg, chard, and herb mixture, and it makes a really lovely weekend dinner. Get the recipe here.
8. Vegan Broccoli Flatbread Pizza
GF and vegan broccoli flatbread (made with chickpea flour) is topped with a simple pesto, greens, and spring veg for this easy pizza-ish and very green main. Get the recipe here.
10. Raspberry Oat Scones
Moving into some sweeter seasonal recipes here, with these vegan raspberry oatmeal scones. These make an excellent quick breakfast or afternoon treat and work well with both frozen and fresh berries. Get the recipe here.
11. Gluten Free Black Forest Cupcakes
Another old recipe (can you tell?) but a long time favourite. With a base of cocoa and coconut flour, these are totally grain free and would be excellent with fresh cherries in place of jarred! Get the recipe here.
12. Strawberry Elderflower Scone Cake
Strawberries are at their peak in June, as are elderflowers, and they pair perfectly in this giant scone cake. It’s one of the easiest cakes you’ll ever bake and very easy to make beautiful with the berries, coconut cream, and tiny blossoms. Get the recipe here.
13. Vegan Chocolate Tarts with Apricots
With an almond base, chocolate ganache filling, and sweet apricot topping, these are rich little tarts for early summer and make a pretty make-ahead dessert option for guests or a special dinner. Get the recipe here.
14. Strawberry Rhubarb Cobbler
Depending on where you are, rhubarb might be just coming in to its season in June, or just heading out. Either way, try this healthier plant based cobbler while you can. Get the recipe here.
15. Vegan Chocolate Raspberry Cake
Easily one of my top 10 ever blog recipes, and I don’t know how I’m going to top it for Graham’s birthday this year. One bowl chocolate cake, with raspberries added to the centre, coated in coconut milk chocolate ganache and topped with more raspberries. Get the recipe here.
16. Vegan Summer Fruit Galette
A spelt crust is filled with summer stone fruits for an easier version of pie, and you don’t need to slice the fruits as pictured! The crust can be made in a food processor, and just chuck some halved fruits in and bake. It’ll taste the same and summer fruits are pretty no matter what. Get the recipe here.