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Favorite vegetarian recipes for summer

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People expect a lot from a person who has heart disease and broadcasts it through all channels of media. They watch what we eat, bring to a potluck or prepare for a family get together. There's even pressure to stay healthy and pick the right food choices in front of grandkids who now know what the word vegetarian means.

Vegetarian: Vegetarianism is the practice of abstaining from the consumption of meat – red meat, poultry, seafood and the flesh of any other animal; it may also include abstention from by-products of animal slaughter.

Here are five recipes that will bring you fame and acclaim at the next function that requires you to bring that special vegetarian dish.

Melon and Apple Granita

This granita uses sweet ripe melon for flavor, apple juice instead of sugar and a touch of lime juice to perk up the flavors. Berries look beautiful on top; or if you can find fresh figs, add them. For a vibrant look, make with an orange-fleshed melon, such as cantaloupe, Charentais or orange honeydew.
Ingredients:

  • 4 cups cubed ripe melon
  • 1 cup unsweetened apple juice
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1 cup fresh raspberries
  • Fresh mint leaves for garnish

Directions

  1. Combine melon, apple juice and lime juice in a blender; puree until smooth. Pour the mixture into a 9-by-13-inch glass or metal pan.
  2. Place the pan on a level surface in your freezer. Freeze, stirring and scraping with a fork every 30 minutes, moving the frozen edges in toward the slushy center and crushing any lumps, until the granita is firm but not frozen solid, 3 to 4 hours.
  3. Remove from the freezer; use a metal spatula or large spoon to break up the frozen ice into small slivers. Pack into an airtight plastic container and freeze for at least 1 hour more.
  4. Remove from the freezer about 20 minutes before serving to soften slightly. Use a wide spoon or ice cream scoop to scrape the granita into shallow bowls. Sprinkle blueberries and raspberries over each portion and garnish with mint leaves, if desired.

Mexican Grilled Corn

Street vendors across Mexico sell this style of roasted or grilled corn—topped with mayonnaise, chili powder and Cotija cheese. You can serve the unadorned corn on a platter with small bowls of the sauce, cheese and lime on the side so everyone can make their own.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons low-fat mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons nonfat plain yogurt
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 4 ears corn, husked
  • 4 tablespoons finely shredded Cotija or Parmesan cheese
  • 1 lime, quartered

Directions

  1. Preheat grill to medium-high.
  2. Combine mayonnaise, yogurt and chili powder in a small bowl.
  3. Grill corn, turning occasionally, until marked and tender, 8 to 12 minutes total. Spread each ear with 1 tablespoon of the sauce and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon Cotija (or Parmesan). Serve with lime wedges.

Mediterranean Roasted Broccoli & Tomatoes

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces broccoli crowns, trimmed and cut into bite-size florets (about 4 cups)
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 10 pitted black olives, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons capers, rinsed (optional)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 450°F.
  2. Toss broccoli, tomatoes, oil, garlic and salt in a large bowl until evenly coated. Spread in an even layer on a baking sheet. Bake until the broccoli begins to brown, 10 to 13 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, combine lemon zest and juice, olives, oregano and capers (if using) in a large bowl. Add the roasted vegetables; stir to combine. Serve warm.

Spinach, Avocado & Mango Salad

Ingredients

Dressing

  • 1/3 cup orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons hazelnut oil, almond oil or canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste

Salad

  • 10 cups baby spinach leaves (about 8 ounces)
  • 1 1/2 cups radicchio, torn into bite-size pieces
  • 8-12 small red radishes (1 bunch), sliced
  • 1 small ripe mango, sliced
  • 1 medium avocado, sliced

Directions

  1. To prepare dressing: Whisk juice, vinegar, oil, mustard, salt and pepper in a bowl.
  2. To prepare salad: Just before serving, combine spinach, radicchio, radishes and mango in a large bowl. Add the dressing; toss to coat. Garnish each serving with avocado slices.

Broccoli Salad with Creamy Feta Dressing

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/4 cup nonfat plain yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 8 ounces broccoli crowns, trimmed and finely chopped (about 3 cups)
  • 1 7-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed
  • 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper

Directions

  1. Whisk feta, yogurt, lemon juice, garlic and pepper in a medium bowl until combined.
  2. Add broccoli, chickpeas and bell pepper; toss to coat. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

Enjoy!

Lois Trader

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