Healthy Recipes for a 3-Course Plant-Based Summer Grill Out

Grilled Peaches John Schlimm Vegan Summer Recipes

There is a tasty magic relegated to this time of the year when sun and grill conspire to let us all be kids again–laughing, playing, and eating to our heart’s content. I wrote Grilling Vegan Style to expand the grill into a sizzling party of delicious, no-fuss options for everyone to enjoy no matter where you are–backyard, beach, tailgating, or in the glorious middle of nowhere.

Grilling with me means fresh fruits and vegetables of all kinds that some of you may have never tried throwing on the grill before, such as peaches, watermelon, tomatoes, cauliflower, artichokes, and edamame. Also, homemade burgers like the following scrumptious “Italian Herb Burgers on Focaccio,” as well as sides and salads. Even desserts like one of my favorites, “Grilled Peaches with Raspberry Sauce.”

Grilling Vegan Style is the artisanal grill made easy for you as the “Summer Host With the Most,” leaving your guests wowed and smiling. My fired-up feasts let you get down to what matters most: Having fun and living life to the fullest with every bite!

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Party on South Peach Salsa Grilling Vegan Style by John Schlimm

Soft, juicy peaches may seem delicate but with a little tender loving care, they prove opposites do attract when they meet a flame head on. One secret is to not remove the skins, which helps the peaches stay intact and firm, but be sure to remove the pits. And when you throw jalapeño, onion, and crushed red pepper into the mix for this salsa, the summit of sweet and hot accents will win over any crowd!

Heat the grill to medium.

Brush the quartered peaches with the olive oil. Grill the peaches until nicely charred (or browned as desired), 3 to 5 minutes per side. Removing the skin is optional after grilling. Dice the peaches.

In a medium-size bowl, combine the peaches with the rest of the ingredients, mixing well. The salsa can be served warm or after being refrigerated to let the flavors further set.

Serve with tortilla chips, or as a tantalizing garnish for your favorite dish.

Yield: About 3 cups, serving 4 to 6

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  • 4 medium-size ripe peaches, pitted and quartered, skin intact
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for brushing the peaches
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and diced finely
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • Crushed red pepper (the more, the spicier!)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Juice of 1 lime, or to taste

Italian Herb Burgers John Schlimm Grilling Vegan

Italian Herb Burgers on Focaccia

Life doesn’t get much sweeter than a grill surrounded by good friends and laughter, and topped with these Italian-inspired focaccia burgers. Here, fresh mushrooms, red onion, bell pepper, garlic, basil, oregano, parsley, sun-dried tomatoes, and other ingredients belt out an opera of flavors we can all sink our teeth into.

In a food processor, combine all the ingredients, except the focaccia. Pulse until just coarsely chopped, adding more oatmeal as needed (start with 1 cup), until the mixture holds together when you make a patty.

Chill the mixture for an hour. Shape into patties about 1⁄2 inch thick and about 4 inches in diameter. Chill the patties on a plastic wrap–covered platter for at least 3 hours.

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Heat a broiler and a grill to medium-high. Broil the patties about 5 inches from the heat source for 4 to 6 minutes, or until lightly browned (watch them closely, as times may vary), checking to make sure the ingredients are holding together well. Broiling first will help to prevent them from falling apart on the grill. Using a grilling screen if desired, transfer the patties to the heated grill and grill for 2 to 3 minutes, turning once.

Serve at once, with the focaccia bread.

Yield: Varies, but enough for 3 to 4 people

  • 1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans
  • 1 to 2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats, as needed
  • 1⁄2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1⁄4 cup vegan egg substitute
  • 1⁄2 cup roughly chopped white mushrooms
  • 1⁄2 cup roughly chopped red onion
  • 1 carrot, shredded
  • 1⁄2 cup roughly chopped red bell pepper
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and pressed
  • 4 fresh basil leaves, chopped roughly
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 1⁄4 cup well-chopped sun-dried tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • Vegan focaccia bread, for serving

Note: If you can’t find focaccia, grill up some vegan whole wheat pita bread instead and proceed.

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Grilled Peaches John SChlimm Vegan Recipes

Grilled Peaches with Raspberry Sauce

Instead of reading some lengthy headnote where the author uses clever verbiage and the quirky turn of a phrase to express how with a little attention peaches shine on the grill or just how out-of-this-world, off-the-hook, sinfully palatable this easy and amaaaaaazing dessert with a homemade raspberry sauce is, simply reread the recipe title, study it, absorb it, and devour it. After all, those five words up there say it all: YUM!

In a shallow dish, combine the sugar, molasses, and lime juice, mixing well. Add half of the raspberries and mash. Add the peach halves, turning to coat. Marinate at room temperature, cut side down, for 30 to 60 minutes.

Coat the grill rack with the vegetable oil spray and heat the grill to medium-hot. Place the peaches on the grill, cut side down. Reserve the marinade.

Turn the peaches over after 2 minutes, then cook for another 6 to 8 minutes, or until tender, basting once with half of the reserved marinade. Then remove them from the grill.

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Stir the remaining raspberries into the remaining marinade and spoon over the peach halves.

Serve warm.

Yield: 5 servings, 2 peach halves per person

  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon molasses
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime or lemon juice
  • 1 cup fresh raspberries
  • 5 medium-size unpeeled fresh peaches, halved and pitted
  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray, for the grill grates


Recipes and photographs from Grilling Vegan: 125 Fired-Up Recipes to Turn Every Bite into a Backyard BBQ by John Schlimm. Published by Da Capo Lifelong Books, 2012. 


About the Author

author image

John Schlimm is a Harvard-trained educator, artist, activist and award-winning writer. His newest book is an inspirational memoir titled “Five Years in Heaven: The Unlikely Friendship That Answered Life’s Greatest Questions.” John’s other books include “Stand Up!: 75 Young Activists Who Rock the World, And How You Can, Too!” and a series of plant-based cookbooks, including “The Tipsy Vegan,” “Grilling Vegan Style,” “The Cheesy Vegan” and “The Ultimate Beer Lover’s Happy Hour.” He has traveled the country speaking about inspirational/motivational topics, cooking, entertaining and public relations, including his “Embrace Compassion, Change the World” keynote address on Capitol Hill, and has appeared on such national media outlets as The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Bravo’s Watch What Happens Live, NPR, Martha Stewart Living’s Everyday Food, The Splendid Table, QVC and Fox & Friends. John also recently debuted his participatory art piece THE SMILE THAT CHANGED THE WORLD (is yours) with installations in Canada and Washington, D.C.In June 2016, THE SMILE installation will open at The Westmoreland Museum of American Art.

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