seitan barbecue sandwich, vegetarian father's day dinner

Pulled “Pork” BBQ Sandwiches

Seitan is a great meat substitute-it is packed with protein and has a chewy, meaty texture that can easily fill in for the real thing. While we haven’t tried it, we think this recipe would also work well by replacing the seitan with tempeh that has been cut into fingers, steamed for 10 minutes, then chopped or crumbled into smaller pieces to resemble ground meat.


2 Tbsp olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

10 garlic cloves, minced (You can use a mini food processor if you are lazy at mincing, like I am)

1 15oz can tomato sauce (Use a plain style here; Whole Foods has a good organic, basic version. You do not want a marinara sauce or a fancy version with olives and mushrooms.)

2 tsp molasses

1 tsp lemon zest

½ Tbsp apple cider vinegar

About 1 lb of seitan, shredded

A few dashes of cinnamon (optional)

4 sandwich rolls of your choosing

  1. Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and sauté 5-6 minutes, until soft. Add garlic and sauté for another 1-2 minutes.
  2. Stir in tomato sauce and cook 3-5 minutes. Add molasses, apple cider vinegar, lemon zest, and ¼ cup water. Add cinnamon, if using. Simmer over medium-low heat for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally and being sure to stir the bottom of the pan to prevent sticking (you may need to turn down the heat).
  3. Turn heat to low, stir in seitan, and let the mixture cook for about 10 minutes to absorb flavor, stirring occasionally.
  4. Split rolls in half and pile on seitan mixture. This recipe makes enough for about 4 sandwiches. Enjoy!  Feel free to serve hot sauce with the sandwiches or add to taste into the recipe during step 2 if your family likes spicy food!

Adapted from Vegetarian Times

coleslaw, vegetarian father's day dinner

Basic Carrot-Cabbage Crunchy Coleslaw

Another barbecue and summertime picnic staple. Cool and crisp, the cabbages and carrots complement each other and are both super-healthy. Someone recently told us that they like to put their coleslaw alongside the barbeque in their sandwiches. We haven’t tried it yet, but we’re definitely intrigued!

coleslaw, vegetarian father's day dinner


One small cabbage, shredded (should yield about 3 cups)

6-8 medium carrots, shredded

3/4 cup Vegenaise

1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

2 tsp lemon juice

Up to 1 Tbsp dried herbs, such as dill, or 2 Tbsp chopped fresh herbs such as cilantro (optional, but encouraged)

1-2 tsp salt

1-2  tbsp water

  1. Mix cabbage and carrots together.
  2. Place remaining ingredients (except water) together in a small bowl and whisk.  The consistency should be like a thick salad dressing, so add water accordingly.
  3. Add dressing to carrots and cabbage and toss to coat. Put bowl in refrigerator and let marinate for at least an hour.  Take out and add salt and freshly ground black pepper as needed.

sweet potato fries, vegetarian friendly father's day dinner

Kicked Up Sweet Potato Fries

These are healthier than regular fries and just as tasty! Sweet potatoes stand in for the more traditional starch and add vitamin C, fiber, and potassium, not to mention an irresistible sweetness. This version is slightly spicy. If your family can’t take the heat, skip the red pepper variations and ground black pepper. Also, sweet potatoes never get quite as crispy as regular potato fried and are kinda mushy the next day, so make these right before serving and eat ‘em all up!

This recipe makes enough for 3-4 people. The ingredients are not precisely measured to allow for personal preference, but I give some suggestions as a starting point.

sweet potatoes, vegetarian father's day


2 medium sized sweet potatoes, chopped into ½ inch to ¾ inch fingers. An easy way to do this is to chop the sweet potatoes in half lengthwise. From there, cut thick slabs and then chop the slabs into fingers.

Several Tbsp olive oil

Freshly ground black pepper

Cayenne Pepper, crushed red Pepper flakes, or ground Aleppo pepper


Sea salt

  1. Preheat oven to 450F.
  2. Arrange sweet potato fingers on 2 cookie pans. I put aluminum foil down first to reduce the mess. At this point, I divide the batch into two.  One batch just gets olive oil and a light sprinkling of sea salt since my son hates spicy food.
  3. Add a few tablespoons of olive oil and the spices (I used about a teaspoon of cumin, ¾  tsp of black pepper, and 3/4 tsp of Aleppo pepper. This was on 1/2 a batch so double if making the whole version Kicked Up).  Using your hands, spread oil and spices over the potato fingers, coating them well.  If they look really dry, add a few additional tablespoons of olive oil. Spread sweet potato pieces out so that they are not touching each other.
  4. Place pans in the oven and cook for 15-18 minutes.  Remove from oven and turn fries over with a tong. (They will be very hot, so using your fingers is NOT recommended).
  5. Place back in the oven for another 15 minutes, until they are extra crispy.  Ovens differ, so check after about 12 minutes and remove if getting too dark.
  6. Let cool for a minute or two (until you can put them in your mouth without being scalded) then serve with organic ketchup.

cherry pie, vegan ice cream, vegetarian father's day dinner

Cherry Pie

Finish off the meal with a slice of homemade cherry pie topped with a scoop of ice cream. Heaven!  We like tried-and-true vanilla from So Delicious or Luna and Larry’s coconut milk ice cream. For a homemade version, we highly recommend the recipe from Veganomicon.

Note: You need 2 pie crusts for this recipe, so choose your favorite recipe and make two batches worth. The top crust should be dough (not a hard, prebaked version) but the bottom can be a storebought, prebaked version. You could also use one crust on the bottom and then make a streusel topping for a variation on this yummy treat.

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Image © bastique


Makes 1 pie (6-8 servings)

2 recipes of crust

2 – 2 1/2 lbs cherries, pitted and quartered

2/3 cup sugar  Note: If you are not serving this with ice cream, you can add another few tablespoons of sugar.  Personally, I like to taste the fruit rather than sugar.

2 tsp lemon juice

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp ground cinnamon

4 Tbsp arrowroot powder

Glaze for top of crust:

½ Tbsp rice syrup

½ Tbsp water

1 tsp lemon juice

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F
  2. In a medium bowl, place the cherries, sugar, lemon juice, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and arrowroot. Stir to mix then let it rest. The longer you let it sit, the more the cherry juices will come out. Stir the mixture every once in a while so that everything stays mixed up and coated.
  3. Put your first crust into a 9-inch pie plate. Add the filling to the crust. There may be a lot of juice in the bottom of your mixing bowl.  Depending on your taste, you can add all of it (to make a very juicy pie) or only some of it. Use your judgment-there’s not a wrong way, just preferences.  I saved some of the juice from my bowl to use as pancake topping!
  4. Cover the filling with the second pie crust dough-either covering it (cut an X in the top so that steam can get through) or lattice style. Press the two edges of the crusts together. Or again, cover with a streusel topping.
  5. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for about 45 minutes. The crust should begin turning a medium honey shade.
  6. Mix together the glaze ingredients. Take the pie from the oven. Use a pastry brush to spread the glaze over the top pie crust. Return pie to the oven for another 5-10 minutes, until the crust looks golden brown. Remove the pie and let it cool to room temperature.

Adapted from The Voluptuous Vegan (a truly fantastic cookbook that will please any palate!)

Other veg-friendly options for Dad’s Day: Roast or grill some peppers and onions and serve with vegan Field Roast Sausages on hoagie rolls. And there are a surprising number of delicious veggie dogs and burgers, so throw some of those on the grill too for a taste test! Some versions we like include Amy’s and Boca Burgers.