Father’s day dinner does not have to involve hamburgers and hotdogs on the grill. You can still plan a cookout, though, and make it vegan! Father’s Day is June 19, so summer produce will be just beginning. Here are some ideas on how to plan your menu and dishes you can serve.

  1. Main Dish think of whole grains and vegetables, and hearty comfort foods. Does Dad typically like hot dogs? meatballs? hamburgers? You can do all of these in vegan form, or try something new. Here are some ideas.

-Vegan meatballs can be purchased or made by combining:

*1 cup ground walnuts (use a blender or food processor)

*1 1/3 cups crushed saltine-type crackers

*1 7-ounce package tofu, extra firm and drained

*1 cup rolled oats

*1 small onion, minced

*1/3 cup minced fresh parsley (or 3 tablespoons dried flakes)

*2 garlic cloves, minced

*1/2 teaspoon salt

Mix well and form into 1-inch balls. Place balls in baking dish. Pour over them apricot sweet and sour sauce, made by combining the following in a saucepan and bring to a boil:

*1 cup apricot jam

*1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

*1/4 cup safflower or canola oil

*1/2 cup vegan ketchup

*2 tablespoons grated onion

*2 tablespoons minced fresh oregano (or 1 tablespoon dried)

*2 tablespoons Sucanat (natural sugar that can be consumed by vegans)

When the cause boils, pour it over the meatballs and bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes.

Other menu ideas include:

-Vegetable and bean chili

-Whole grain pasta, brown rice, or egg-free noodles can be served with any of the above.

-Vegan hot dogs grilled outside

-Vegan burgers on the grill

  1. Beverages

Think of something special for Dad.

-Consider vegan wine or beer if Dad appreciates those beverages.

-Make an interesting vegan cocktail with tomato juice, lemon juice, and chili sauce.

-Sparkling water or vegan champagne mixed with fruit puree or juice makes a fizzy, tangy drink.

  1. Dessert

-Vegan chocolate cake is a comforting dessert that Dad is sure to love. Its easy, too just sift together into an 8-inch square baking pan:

*1 1/2 cups vegan flour

*1/2 cup vegan cocoa powder

*1 teaspoon baking powder

*3/4 teaspoon salt

*1 cup plus 2 tablespoons evaporated cane juice

In a separate bowl with a spout, mix:

*1/2 cup safflower oil

*1 cup cold coffee

*1 tablespoon vegan vanilla extract

Pour the liquid over the sifted ingredients right in the pan. Whisk together, then stir in:

*2 tablespoons vinegar

Bake at 375 for 20-30 minutes. When cool, frost with your favorite vegan frosting.

  1. Side dishes and appetizers

-Grill vegetables such as zucchini, corn, and onions. While the vegetable cook, brush them with olive oil and sprinkle them with salt and pepper to taste.

-Serve a fresh fruit plate, and get fancy with vegan chocolate fondue sauce if you like.

-Roasted pumpkin seeds are not only tasty, but they’re good for Dads health. (Pumpkin and squash seeds are implicated in promoting a healthy prostate gland.) Many health food stores carry tangy or spicy flavors of pumpkin seeds, or you can roast them yourself with your Dad’s favorite flavorings.