VEGAN LABOR DAY MENU!

Labor Day is the perfect opportunity to entertain family and friends with a festive menu to please any palate.

My Vegan “Beer Brat” Skewers with Sweet Apricot Glaze make a good choice for serving both omnivores and vegans, as it is a hearty offering with classic tastes.

(Vegan “Beer Brat” Skewers ready for the oven)

 

 

Chickpea, Kale and Sweet Red Pepper Salad is totally satisfying, showcasing nutritious, delicious chickpeas, front and center. 

 

The colors are so beautiful, with the pop of green from the kale and the beautiful jewel tones from the peppers. Serve this hearty salad offering as a main dish luncheon entrée, as a light supper with crusty bread, or as a satisfying side for this festive, hearty meal.

 

For appetizers, my festive Guacamole Mini-Peppers are delicious and so easy to prepare, too.

 

For dessert, Choco-Peanut Butter Cups will satisfy both peanut butter and chocolate lovers alike! So easy to prepare too!

 

For more appetizers, try my Black Bean Dip with Lemon Paprika Tortilla Rounds on the side as delightful dippers.

Scroll down for all of these jazzylicious recipes. Have a wonderful weekend everyone!


 

Vegan Labor Day Menu

Vegan “Beer Brat” Skewers with Sweet Apricot Glaze

Chickpea, Kale and Sweet Red Pepper Salad

Quick Quinoa

Choco-Peanut Butter Cups

Black Bean Dip

Lemon Paprika Tortilla Rounds


 

 

Vegan “Beer Brat” Skewers with Sweet Apricot Glaze

Makes 5 servings

 

GLAZE

6 heaping tablespoons apricot preserves

2 tablespoons reduced-sodium tamari

2 tablespoons maple syrup

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

 

SKEWERS

10, twelve-inch bamboo skewers, soaked in water for about 20 minutes

1 pint cherry tomatoes

2 medium sweet red bell peppers, cut in chunks

8 ounces white button or cremini mushrooms, stems removed

2 small pattypan squash or 1 medium summer squash, cut in cubes

1/2 large red onion, chopped

1 package (about 14 ounces) vegan “beer brat” sausages (or your favorite variety)

 

EXTRAS

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (optional)

 

Preheat the oven to 375° F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet (large enough to accommodate 10 skewers) with unbleached parchment paper.

 

Put all of the glaze ingredients in a small bowl and stir to combine. The glaze will be very thick.

 

Thread all of the skewer ingredients onto the skewers, evenly diving them as you go. Arrange the skewers in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Spoon about 2 teaspoons of glaze over each skewer. Bake for 28 to 30 minutes.

 

Meanwhile, add 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil to the remaining glaze and stir to combine. Remove the baking sheet from the oven. Spread the remaining glaze over the skewers. Bake for an additional 20 minutes. Put on a wire rack and let cool for 5 minutes. Serve 2 skewers per person, arranged over rice or Quick Quinoa (recipe below), then scatter fresh parsley over the top.


 

 

 

Chickpea, Kale and Sweet Red Pepper Salad

Makes 2 servings

 

 

1 cup (firmly packed), destemmed and very thinly sliced kale

1 medium sweet red bell pepper, diced

1 can (15 to 16 ounces) chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed

1 medium clove garlic, minced

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon good quality balsamic vinegar

½ teaspoon Italian seasoning blend

1/8 teaspoon sea salt

Dash cayenne pepper

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste.

 

Put the kale in a medium-sized bowl and massage with clean hands for 10 to 15 seconds to break down the tough fibers. Add the red pepper, garbanzo beans and garlic, and gently toss to combine.

 

Put the lemon juice, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, Italian seasoning, sea salt, and cayenne pepper in a small bowl, and whisk briskly to combine.

 

Pour the dressing over the chickpea/pepper mixture, and gently toss to combine. Let stand at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes before serving, to allow the flavors to marry. Or alternately, the salad may be prepared up to 2 hours before serving, covered, refrigerated and served chilled.


 

 

 

Quick Quinoa

Makes 4 servings

(Serve the skewers over rice or quinoa)

1 cup white quinoa, rinsed very well and drained

2 cups filtered or spring water

1 vegetable bouillon cube, crumbled

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (optional, plus more for garnish)

 

Put the quinoa, water, and crumbled bouillon cube in a medium sauce pan. Cover and bring to a boil over medium heat. Decrease the heat to medium-low and continue to simmer for 15 to 17 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed. Fluff with a fork. Cover and remove from heat. Let the quinoa sit for 5 minutes. Stir in 2 tablespoons of parsley (if using). Sprinkle more parsley (if using) over the top and serve!


 

 

Choco-Peanut Butter Cups

Makes 10 Servings

 

¾ cup vegan dark chocolate chips

1/3 cup smooth peanut butter

1 teaspoon maple syrup

Chopped peanuts (for garnish)

 

Line a twelve-cup mini-muffin tin with 10 paper liners.

Melt the chocolate in a double boiler over medium-low heat.

Put the peanut butter and maple syrup in to a medium-sized bowl and stir to thoroughly combine.

Pour the chocolate into the peanut butter mixture and stir until thoroughly combined.

Divide the chocolate evenly into the 10 mini-muffin paper liners. Smooth the tops using a rubber spatula or offset spatula.

Freeze for 15 minutes. Top with chopped peanuts. Put in the refrigerator for 30 to 45 minutes more, or until set.

Serve chilled. Store (covered) in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.


 

Appetizers:

Guacamole Mini-Peppers

Makes 6 servings

 

5-ingredient guacamole (see below)

1 package (8 ounces) mini sweet peppers, cut in half longwise and seeded

½ teaspoon chili powder, plus more as needed

 

Put a heaping tablespoon of the guacamole into each pepper half. Arrange the peppers in a pleasing manner on a pretty platter. Dust with chili powder, to taste. Serve well-chilled.

 

Quick Guacamole

Makes 4 servings

2 large ripe avocados

1 heaping tablespoon vegan mayonnaise

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 cloves garlic, minced

1⁄4 teaspoon chili powder

1⁄8 teaspoon sea salt

Put all the ingredients in a medium bowl and mash with a potato masher or large fork until smooth and creamy. Transfer to a serving dish and serve immediately.

 

Black Bean Dip

Makes 6 servings

1 can (about 15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained

¼ cup prepared salsa

1 clove garlic, chopped

1 teaspoon fresh lime juice

½ teaspoon chili powder

 

Put all of the ingredients in a small bowl and mash with a potato masher or large fork until combined but still chunky. Transfer to a pretty bowl and serve with tortilla chips or Lemon Paprika Tortilla Rounds on the side, for dipping.

 

Lemon Paprika Tortilla Rounds

Makes 3 servings

 

Need some zesty dippers? These freshly baked chips are made from tortillas, so it’s easy to keep 'em gluten-free and oil-free, if you like.

 

3  8-inch whole grain or brown rice tortillas

1 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 teaspoon smoked paprika (see note)

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a large, rimmed baking with unbleached parchment paper.

 

Put a tortilla on a cutting board. Cut the tortilla into 6 to 8 rounds using a 2 to 2 1/2 inch round cookie cutter.

 

Arrange the rounds in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Brush the top of each round with a thin layer of lemon juice. Sprinkle paprika and sea salt over the top of each of the rounds.

Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden and crisp, checking every few minutes to make certain they do not burn. Put the pan on a wire rack and let cool 10 minutes before serving.

 

Chef's Note: You may use sweet paprika, if desired.