Food and Drink Suggestions for Summer Activities
This summer seems to be flying by. I can’t believe it’s already the second week of July. Before I know it, I’m going to be starting my first semester of classes as an official grad student. I really don’t want to start thinking about that yet, though. I want to enjoy the days of summer while they last. I’m looking forward to more beach days, more summer parties, more warm weather, and, of course, more food and drinks.
Food and drinks are honestly the best part of any season. Every summer experience is an opportunity to try a new flavor. Below are a few of my favorite summer activities and what I like to eat and drink while doing them.
(Note: drink recommendations are for those 21 or older.)
For a Beach Day
I’m really lucky because where I live is within driving distance for either a day in New York City or a day on the Jersey Shore. You can probably imagine that I take advantage of my close proximity to the beach as much as possible. While I don’t go as often as I would like to go, I do try my best to make time for it. A day at the beach deserves good food and great drinks to go along with it.
Food: Black Bean Tacos
Black bean tacos are quick and easy to make. You can throw them together the night before and leave them in the fridge without worrying about them spoiling. All you really need are tortillas, a can of black beans, lettuce, and tomatoes. You can add salsa or bring some guacamole in your beach cooler to make the dish more interesting. If you have a little more prep time you can try this Roasted Veggie and Black Bean Taco recipe.
If you’re eating tacos, you have to have margaritas. They’re limey, refreshing, and will probably make you feel like you’re on an island (if you’re not already). You can either make classic alcoholic margaritas, or you can make them as a mocktail. I suggest storing your drink in a plastic bottle rather than glass because some beaches don’t allow glass bottles. If you’re thinking about making a classic alcoholic margarita, make sure to check with your beach if they allow alcohol before you go. Remember to bring cups too!
As relaxing as it is to spend all day laying in the sun, it can also be very dehydrating. In addition to bringing a few bottles of water, pack a hydrating snack, like watermelon. Watermelon is sweet, refreshing, and healthy. It’s the perfect beach day snack.
Prep your food and drinks the night before going to the beach so that you can leave earlier in the morning.
For a Summer PArty
Summer parties are always really fun because the party can take place outside in the fresh air. Typical summer parties include hot dogs and hamburgers. Sometimes it can be hard for us non-meat-eaters to find something to eat. This summer, either host your own party or bring the following food and drink to someone else’s.
Food: Coconut Crusted Tempeh
One of my favorite dishes that I’ve ever had at a vegan restaurant was coconut crusted tempeh from Good Karma Cafe in Red Bank, NJ. It was served with pineapple chutney, making it the perfect summer dish. Coconut crusted tempeh would be a great entree for an outdoor summer party. Adam and I tried to recreate the meal from Good Karma Cafe ourselves, and it turned out really good. This is the recipe that we used for it. To properly recreate Good Karma Cafe’s dish, pair the coconut crusted tempeh with sauteed vegetables and brown rice. Your guests will thank you for this deliciously different collection of flavors and textures.
Drink: Rum Swizzle
The best part of going to a tropical island is trying the local cocktails. My favorite tropical cocktail is a Rum Swizzle from Bermuda. The drink is made with orange juice, pineapple juice, two types of rum, and a few other ingredients. It’s a very sweet, refreshing drink. There’s quite a bit of rum in it, but it tastes like juice. It makes a great punch-type drink for a summer party.
Snack: No-Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Bars
It isn’t always ideal to turn on the oven to bake during hot temperatures. I have recently discovered no-bake desserts, and my life has been changed. While I’m still a pie and cake lover, no-bake dessert recipes are very helpful when it’s too hot to turn on the oven. I tried a No-Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Bars last week, and they were INCREDIBLY delicious. The center is made purely out of chocolate and peanut butter, making it really rich. The recipe yields a few bars so you can share with guests at a summer party.
For a Quiet Night at HOme with Your Sweetie
The best summer nights are quiet nights at home with the person you love – whether that be your significant other, your best friend, or your dog. It’s fun to have a drink, cook dinner, and sit outside on the patio enjoying a nice meal. Make some time for a quiet night at home with your sweetie to watch the sunset at the end of dinner.
Food: Zoodles with (Meatless) Bolognese
I absolutely love my zoodles, even more now that zucchinis in season. I spiralize zucchinis almost every week at this point and put them into a number of different dishes. My favorite way to eat zoodles is in a meatless bolognese sauce with a side of a crunchy French baguette. It’s a simple yet delicious dish to cook with that special someone for a night in. Here’s my recipe for zoodles with meatless bolognese.
Drink: Natale Verga – Love Wine
Typically white wine is supposed to be the go-to wine for the summer. It’s lighter and can be enjoyed cold. Red sauce, although, pairs best with red wine. Pair your zoodles & meatless bolognese with Love Wine from Casa Vinicola Natale Verga. This is a lighter red blend that has sweet, floral notes. I wouldn’t suggest putting it in the fridge for too long, but it can be enjoyed at a slightly cooler temperature. It’s the perfect summer accent for your meal.
Snack: Ice Cream Sundaes
I love ice cream in general, but something about the warm weather makes ice cream sundaes taste SO MUCH BETTER. You should definitely be eating plenty of ice cream this summer. Don’t just eat regular old ice cream for your quiet night at home, make ice cream sundaes! The beauty of ice cream sundaes is that you can put anything you want on them. I usually make ice cream sundaes with the following:
Layer 1: Chocolate chip cookie or brownie (slightly warmed up in the microwave)
Layer 2: Ice cream (typically Oreo or cookie dough)
Layer 3: Hot fudge (Smucker’s Simple Delight Hot Fudge is the best)
Layer 4: Rainbow sprinkles
Layer 5: Chocolate chips (Ghiradelli Bittersweet 60% Cacao Baking Chips are my favorite)
Layer 6: Whipped cream
My sundaes are pretty extensive, but they’re awesome. Here are some other ice cream sundae ideas.
No matter what you’re doing this summer, make sure you get a taste of all the flavors the warm weather has to offer. Try one or more of my food and drink suggestions (only try the alcoholic drinks if you’re over 21, of course) and enjoy a beautiful summer day or night. Take advantage of summer while it’s here!
Have a delicious summer, my Dolls!
Are you making the most out of your summer experiences? Read “Real Talk: Seizing Opportunities.”