Summer food made healthy. Very healthy.
It’s hard to believe it’s been three years since we first started creating one healthy, vegan recipe per camp season for our friend Scott Williams who runs Camp4Real each summer! Past recipes include our much-loved C4R Signature Salad with watermelon, sugar snaps & corn, and our MYO Grain Bowls, but this summer we wanted to do something different.
We teamed up with our amazing and talented friend, Kath Younger, of Kath Eats Real Food, to put together not one but two vegan recipes that the campers would love. If you’re a subscriber, you may have seen the C4R Vegan Chili that we did earlier this summer, too.
Yesterday, Kath and I (Founder, Lynsie Steele) gathered in the morning at Meriwether Lewis Elementary School to begin prep on serving 100 campers. All in all, the task was fairly easy and we rose to the challenge for sure! I prepped all of the food ahead of time, Kath chose the menu and spoke to the kids about the importance of nutrition: “Eat the rainbow, always balance meals with a healthy whole grain, fruit, vegetable, and protein,” etc.
Check out some photos of the day, and note my special “helpers” (read: my four boys). The day was a success and the kids even asked for seconds (and thirds!). For us adults and parents, it was rewarding to see these kids not only try everything on their plates, but eat with gusto and curiosity.
Vegan Smoothie Bowls
Vegan Smoothie Bowls
We use oats as a great binder to help thicken these bowls. Also included: lots of bananas, some dates, almond milk and a couple handfuls of spinach + all-natural peanut butter. Stay tuned for a post coming up on the 5 best practices for making a thick smoothie bowl!
1 bunch bananas (about 6)
1 1/2 cup oats
2 cups almond milk (or more as needed)
2 handfuls spinach, washed
3 dates, pitted
1/4 cup peanut butter
Sliced bananas, chia seeds, oats, raisins, and granola
- Layer ingredients in the order listed to a high-powered blender (we used a Vitamix). Pulse until all ingredients are brought down to the blade, then flip to high speed to break down the oats.
- If your blender is giving you trouble, remove the lid (while blender is off) and use a rubber spatula to redistribute ingredients, then place lid back on and pulse again until ingredients begin to mix together nicely.
- Top with chia seeds, oats, raisins, sliced bananas, and granola.
Vegan Burrito Bowls with Chimichurri Brown Rice, Spiced Black Beans, Peppers & Fire Roasted Corn + Tomato Salsa
Vegan Burrito Bowls
Yield 8-10 servings
I think what makes these bowls really special is the fact that we mix chimichurri sauce with cooked brown rice. Not only does it jazz up that often boring rice flavor, but it sneaks lots of nutrients into the kids and expands their palates just enough so that they're open to trying new foods in the future!
2 cups brown rice
1 bunch cilantro, rinsed
1/2 bunch parsley, rinsed
1 lime, juiced
1 tsp salt
1 pinch red pepper flakes
3 cloves garlic
2 Tbsp cup olive oil
2 bell peppers, sliced (color your choice)
3 tomatoes, stems removed and chopped
1 bag frozen fire roasted corn
3 Tbsp reserved chimichurri sauce
2 cans black beans
1 Tbsp each chile lime seasoning, cumin, onion powder
1 tsp salt
1 bag tortilla chips *see Notes
- Begin by cooking rice with 4 cups water in a rice cooker, pressure cooker or on the stove. See our tutorial here to learn how to cook grains like an expert.
- Next, in a blender, combine herbs with lime juice, red pepper flakes, salt, garlic, and olive oil and pulse combined. Reserve 3 Tbsp for salsa.
- Once rice is done, stir to allow steam to escape (this will make the rice less gummy) and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Stir in chimichurri sauce from the blender.
- In a saucepan, heat beans with chile lime seasoning, cumin, onion powder and salt. Remove once bubbling and keep warm until ready to use.
- While beans are heating up and rice is cooking, combine shopped tomatoes with frozen corn and the 3 Tbsp reserved chimichurri sauce. That's your salsa, baby!
- Serve bowls with chimichurri rice topped with beans, sliced peppers, salsa and a wedge of lime if desired. Don't forget to add a few tortilla chips, but don't go overboard!
We enjoyed sharing with the kids that all things are good in moderation, including the chips! Kids would not get chips unless they added all other ingredients to their bowls and tried everything. Same went for seconds, and thirds, until we had no food left! It was a win-win!!