I used to be a vegetarian. It was for a few short years in the late ’90s when being a vegetarian was more an extension of being a disaffected youth than it was a conscientious lifestyle choice. And while I could say that it was a sudden and unremitting need for chicken fingers that drove me back to eating meat—I gave up the virtuous life in a Sonic parking lot down the street from my Memphis apartment—it was mostly a growing disdain for the ubiquitous blah-ness of frozen veggie patties.

If I had had access to these zucchini-based veggie burgers back then, however, I might never have gotten out of that lifestyle. They’re sturdy enough for the grill and are packed with summer’s best produce. And since they’re held together with millet, cornmeal, and white beans, they’ll also help you keep on track with that gluten-free diet you’ve been thinking about ditching.

Another vegetarian option that might have come in handy in those days: ricotta tacos. Loaded with fire-roasted poblanos and herbs, the star here is roasted garlic–laced ricotta cheese. The tacos are creamy and spicy and very slightly sweet. And since they’re ready in about 20 minutes, there’s no reason not to eat them for dinner any night of the week.

In other so-fast-but-so-flavorful-it’s-absurd dinner ideas, the fish in these sliders is coated in a piquant spice rub that would be just as welcome on pork chops or scrambled eggs. It’s a heady mix of coriander, smoked paprika, dried oregano, and cardamom. The sandwiches are slicked with an easy and healthful Greek yogurt–based tartar sauce, and stuffed with a fresh cabbage and fennel slaw. Eating them feels like a summertime rite of passage.

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