Plant-based dishes for patriotic parties
Every day is a holiday when you eat plant-based, but July 4th gives you an excuse to eat more burgers, potato or macaroni salads, flag-themed desserts and huge hunks of watermelon than you would any other time of year. Just like Memorial Day, it’s a day to fire up the grill, run around outside and, if state laws permit (like they do in New York now, yey!), light a few sparklers for a day full of fun.
Build your menu with these great plant-based dishes and watch your Independence Day guests go back for seconds. And possibly thirds.
For the main course:
- Go classic with QV’s Spicy Black Bean Sweet Potato Patties served up on whole-grain buns with all the fixings, or surprise burger lovers with some “ridiculously healthy” Millet, Yam and Kale Burgers from Choosing Raw.
- Skip the bun and reach for your favorite leafy green to wrap up Oh She Glows’ delicious Lentil-Walnut Taco Meat. (I used this stuff to make kale tacos recently and it was amazing.)
- Chili is great when you want to feed a crowd on 4th of July (or any time), and hearty Pinto Bean & Vegan Sausage Chili will please vegans and omnivores alike!
- If it’s too hot out for chili but you’re still craving something beany for your cookout, try my Burrito Bowl with Fresh Tomatoes!
Super plant-based sides:
- Vegan potato salad is perfect for cookouts since there’s no mayo to go bad in the heat! Try Creamy Avocado Potato Salad from the Post Punk Kitchen, or head over to the Forks Over Knives website and give Potato Salad with Avocado and Dill a whirl.
- If macaroni salad is more your style, the Minimalist Baker has a vegan recipe that’s chock full of veggies. Taste of Home takes it up a notch with a spicy Southwestern Macaroni Salad. (To make either version oil-free, whip up a quick batch of oil substitute.)
- A green salad never goes amiss, and this Kale Salad with Chickpeas and Spicy Tempeh Bits from May I Have That Recipe is sure to be a hit with a hungry crowd.
- It’s not a cookout without baked beans, and Oh She Glows puts a vegan twist on an old classic with Canadian Maple Baked Beans. The Cheater Baked Beans from Veganomicon celebrate traditional American fare with their sweet tomato-molasses sauce.
- Going back to potatoes, Healthy. Happy. Life. has the perfect side for burgers: Savory Trio Boardwalk Fries. No one will know that some of the potatoes are actually yucca!
- Don’t forget a platter of veggies served up with a zesty bowl of Garlic Curry Hummus with Siracha!
Finish off sweet:
- This Raw Triple Berry Crisp from Oh She Glows has every major seasonal berry you could want, all mixed up in a nutty oat “crumble.” Choosing Raw offers an even simpler berry treat topped with raw cashew whipped cream.
- Wow the gluten-free crowd with some stunning red velvet cupcakes topped with vegan cream cheese frosting and your favorite fresh berries, courtesy of Heather Christo. (Be sure to choose a natural food coloring or make your own for a chemical-free dessert.)
- Finally, if you have some serious time to spend in the kitchen, May I Have That Recipe offers step-by-step instructions for a multi-layered Vegan Red White and Blue Fruit Tart that’s so pretty you might want to take a moment to admire it before your guests dig in.
- And, of course, a big, juicy watermelon is always a hit with the kids. Just sayin’.
So there you have it–all you need to plan your plant-based menu for the 4th of July. Remember to raise a flag and toast all of those who fight for freedom, and take a moment during the fireworks to remember those who have passed in service to our country.