Vegan Summer Weekend – Chili Dogs, Burgers, And More

July 25, 2010 by Keri

Aside from a Saturday migraine, we had a great summer weekend!  We spent the afternoons in the in-laws’ pool, the evenings bike riding, and post-toddler bed time working on I Eat Trees, still slightly pink from the sun.  You might notice some things out of place and some things missing, but don’t worry, we’re just moving things around; I think I’m going to make a separate “About Me” page and a Blog Roll page, because I keep finding great blogs and I’m running out of room on the side…

This weekend I also started my “no purchasing processed foods or anything other than a necessary ingredient in packaging” plan.  I know for a lot of you this is already a way of life, but I’ve been known to grab the “bacon” tempeh strips or the Clif bars from time to time.  I’m not sure where exactly I’m drawing the lines (can I buy plain tofu?  I don’t know how to make tofu…), but I’ll figure it out.  We do still accept free food though, in any vegan form.  If Dad shows up with a Costco bag of Gardein tenders, I’m not turning him away at the door!  And my mom sometimes passes along vegan vendor samples she gets at work.  Our food budget isn’t large enough to be that particular.  The general idea is to save money, eat less processed food, and save all that unnecessary packaging from the recycling bin or trash.

Knowing there isn’t processed food buying in our future, I had some fun with what we have left in the freezer this weekend.  There was a package of jumbo LightLife Smart Dogs, a package of hot dog buns, and about a quarter of a block Follow Your Heart vegan nacho cheese.  So of course,  I made vegan chili cheese dogs!!  To go on the side, I sliced up a couple sweet potatoes, tossed them in just a little oil and salt, and roasted.  Quick and easy sweet potato fries!  It was a fun, delicious meal that was very reminiscent of a childhood hot summer day.  And apparently my eyes were larger than my stomach because I made two, but could barely finish one.  Oh well, you know how I love leftovers!

Vegan Meat

Vegan Roasted Vegetable Recipes

After dinner, the husband was in the mood to run to the gas station for a drink, but with our new food buying plan, I suggested I made him something instead.  I whipped up a pitcher of old-fashioned lemonade with simple syrup, fresh lemon juice, and water.  It was so refreshing.  Plus, I put in little skull and cross bone ice cubes! You can’t get those in your gas station lemonade, now can you?!

Vegan Beverage Recipes

Since I had the lemons out anyway, I also made a batch of lemon squares, which managed to magically disappear before you could even say lemon squ—

Vegan Dessert Recipes

This afternoon, I rode my bike to my in-laws’ pool, toddler in tow, for some splash time.  My little man loves jumping into the pool and going under water on the count of three.  He’s just so much fun!  At two, I can’t help but feel a little sad he’s not really going to remember any of our special little outings… When we got home, I put together the Veganomicon black bean burgers we’d been craving, along with a side dish of “Potatoes O’Brien”, a testing dish from Hearty Vegan by Celine Steen and Jodi Marie Newman.  The black bean burgers were delicious again, and the Potatoes O’Brien were very tasty as well.  It’s definitely a dish you’d find at a well-loved beaten-path diner- very much a comfort food dish.

Vegan Burger Recipes

Vegan Burger Recipes

Vegan Cookbook Recipes

I hope you all had a great weekend as well.  And thank you for participating in all of my fun birthday giveaways.  I’ll leave you tonight with my little man’s “uh-oh” face.  I’m not sure what we’re uh-ohing about , but I love this picture!

What was the best thing you did this weekend?  What was the best thing you ate?

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I Eat Trees is a blog featuring my adventures in all things vegan. My favorite recipes, snack food finds, and restaurant trials are all on the menu so enjoy!


  1. Melissa G says:

    Sorry to hear about your migraine, Keri! Hope you’re feeling better now. Love all the fabulous food, as always, and the skull & crossbones ice cubes. And that pic of your little guy is so cute! You might be surprised at the little snippets of your fun outings that he will remember. I know I have memories from that far back. Best thing I did this weekend? Vegan potluck at my friend’s house. Good food, lots of great vegan friends and a really fun time! Best thing I ate…well, NOT the Chipotle Veg Burrito that I picked 2 small pieces of chicken out of last night. I don’t think I got all the chicken out of it since I spent A LOT of time in the bathroom today. UGH! I’d have to say the guacamole I made for the potluck. First time I made it and it was pretty good!

    • Keri says:

      Thank you, Melissa. I am feeling better, but I’m starting to get another headache. No fun at all. But that’s not as bad as finding chicken in your food- UGH! I’m so sorry that happened to you!! A vegan potluck would be so much fun though!!

      • Melissa G says:

        Thanks for that…but I’ll bet your migraine trumps my chicken incident because it’s all out of my system now. Poor you!! Hope the tea helps 🙂

  2. Crazy thing! I did a double take on your migraine for Saturday. I had one scratch that, on Friday! It was horrible, it went for 9 hours and I finally made myself a tea that stopped it! Hope yours did not last that long. Woman, your eats look so delicious! I think the best thing I ate this weekend was the BBQ Seitan Ribz and my vegan Eggplant Timbale with Daiya cheese and Field Roast Sausage! So yum!! As far as the best thing I did this weekend is REST. I loved my rest and my awesome voice lesson!

    • Keri says:

      Mine was from Friday night until Saturday afternoon. I tried to sleep through it a lot, but ugh- they’re still awful. Glad you’re feeling better! Thank you about the food. 🙂 Yours always looks great too! Mmm.. Field Roast sausage and Daiya!!

  3. Vegmom says:

    Yay, for no processed stuff. I’m anxious to read all about it. I’m not quite there yet on the processed food for Hubby and my Young man, but know I could live without them for myself.

    Just have to find more time to Prepare stuff in advance. I’m confident that is the trick! 🙂

    Your food all looks delicious as always. And I hope your migraine didn’t last long.

    Hmm, best thing this weekend? Must be hanging out with my kiddo lots
    Best thing I eat… MUST be the eggplant jerky I made today. Can you O.D. on eggplant?

    • Keri says:

      Yeah, I do spend a lot of time in the kitchen that I know could be cut shorter with “convenience foods”, but I’m trying really hard to resist. It’s more of a “make it all from scratch” project than anything. We’re still going to eat cookies. 😉 Thank you- and eggplant jerky sounds amazing!! Oh, how I need a dehydrator. Or could I do that at a low temp in the oven?…

      • Vegmom says:

        I don’t know about low temp oven, I suppose you could. I have found the taste of my dehydrated stuff beats the oven equivalent. But if you haven’t tried the dehydrated one, you wouldn’t know the difference *smile*

        I’ve also heard that on these hot days, you can dehydrate by the sun. But I’m not sure how that works with bugs and such?? Maybe someone else can chime in.

        As much as I use my dehydrator, I’m ready to move up to a bigger one. But my little walmart special is just fine for now 🙂

        • Keri says:

          Yeah, I think I’m just saving up for an Excalibur because I’m a lover of fine kitchen appliances. You should see my car. My Vita-Mix is probably worth more than my car. I’m going to drive that thing into my first few billion dollars just like Bill Gates did. Haha!
          Hmm, yeah we have a lot of trees, so the bugs would love my sun-drying. Is it still vegan if the ants have developed a colony on my jerky?! 😉

  4. Sherri says:

    Will you share the lemon squares recipe??

  5. nina says:

    Yay for no processed food! Super excited! 🙂

  6. JL Goes Vegan says:

    Good luck on the move away from highly processed foods! I did a cleanse in January that helped me eliminate a lot of processed foods from my diet. It means I spend more time in the kitchen, that’s for sure!

    • Keri says:

      That’s awesome! Luckily, I love being in the kitchen and creating! 🙂 I think I need to start doing a “prep day” as well.

  7. Dianne says:

    I just decided to give up processed foods before/after vacation as well, but I have a lot of leftovers to use up first…I didn’t even think about how it might cost less, but of course it will! Extra bonus!

    • Keri says:

      We have a little bit left to use also- some gardein and some tempeh bacon, along with a few packaged granola bars, but once those are gone- it’s gone! 🙂 Saving money is a big plus!

  8. Woz says:

    This chili dogs look SO GOOD! It’s only 8 a.m. here but I want those NOW. hee hee

    And that Little Man face is just adorable. OMG. 😀

    • Keri says:

      I’ve heard of pizza for breakfast, but I can’t say I’ve ever heard anyone mention a chili dog… 😉
      Thank you- I think he is too! <3

  9. Danielle (Runs on Green) says:

    Ahh such a cute “uh-oh” face!

    And you just gave me another project to add on the list of things to do before I die: make my own tofu. I don’t know how you’d do that either…but I wanna try!

    Have a great day 🙂

    • Keri says:

      Thank you! 🙂
      Haha- I’m guessing it’s not a common “To-Do Before I Die” list item!

  10. Lacey says:

    Those potatoes look amazing. Of course Celine and Joni don’t know how to make anything that isn’t amazing…those two rock my socks off!

  11. Amanda says:

    Oh those lemon bars. I must make them this week. I really can’t wait to hear about how your adventures in unprocessed food goes, it’s really my ideal but I am so not strict enough with myself, and maybe if my boyfriend was on board it’d be more feasible. Can’t wait to get some ideas from you! 🙂

    • Keri says:

      It’s hard when I open up my favorite cookbooks and they call for vegan cheeses and so on. It’s discouraging because I know those recipes would be tasty! I’ll have to figure out somewhere to happily draw the line because recipein’ is *my thing* and I’d hate to miss out!
      Enjoy the lemon bars!! 🙂

      • Vegmom says:

        Oh, you can make Chedder’ish Hemp Cheese in the Vita-Mix. Its only like 4 ingredients and is done in a flash 🙂 As for the Mozz style you can probably find a cashew recipe for that.

  12. Vegmom says:

    Ok one more thing for your tofu quest…. I have an old cookbook called the Tofu Cookery. I’m not sure if you can still find it but it tells you how to make your own tofu on the last page…
    All you need is a Food Processor, heavy pot, whisk, mesh or cheese cloth, spoon, Colander, Ladle, 1/2 Gallon jug.

    A curdling agent like vinegar or lemon juice and dried soybeans….

    Well and then 2 pages worth of steps. But it can’t be that hard right?