Now that summer is upon us and the celebration of all things American arrives in just two days, our meals make their way outside. Whether you are hosting a vegan party or need to cater to a special diet guest, the following will be your guide to a vegan summer cookout.

Fake Meat

If you are looking for meat substitutes for your bbq, there are many options that can be found at most health food stores, co-ops, and even health food sections at chain grocers. For just your basic hot dogs, try Tofu Pups or Tofurkey Franks. For a German Sausage twist we suggest Tofurkey Sausages, especially the Kielbasas and Beer Brats. If you are interested in replacing the good ol’ American Hamburger, your best bet is Gardenburger’s GardenVegan or Boca Original Vegan. If Chicken patties are your thing, indulge in Gardenburger’s Chik’n Grill or Breaded Chik’n. Finally, for those of you who go for the BBQ Ribs, try Gardenburger’s BBQ Ribs.

Grilled Veggies

If substitute meats aren’t exactly your thing or would like a side dish with the “meats,” here are a few suggestions. We personally love to make and serve vegan shish kabobs! Usually we like to marinate Tofu chunks overnight in a combination of soy sauce, peanut oil, scallions, and garlic. Next chop up veggies into large chunks. A few good ideas for veggies are Green or Red Bell Peppers, Tomatoes, Onions, Mushrooms, and Pineapple. If you place the tofu, veggies, and fruit on a table with the skewers close by, it is fun and entertaining for the guests to make their own kabobs. Also, veggies straight to the grill are always a good standard, especially Corn on the Cob, Onions, Artichokes, and Asparagus. If you don’t like your veggies grilled plain, try soaking them in balsamic vinegar and olive oil.

Salads and Side Dishes

A great addition to any grilled food is salad! Some American favorites are Potato Salad or Macaroni Salad. Also, a favorite salad of ours is the Simple Sweet Summer Salad. And of course you can always serve any variation of green salads using your favorite veggies and fruits. Other side dishes you might like to include would be Spinach Dip, 7 Layer Bean Dip, vegan breads, and biscuits. Or if you want more suggestions, check out all our vegan recipes!

Desserts

The easiest and possibly healthiest dessert you can serve at any cookout is fruit. The best summer fruits that won’t spoil outside too quickly are Watermelon, Cantaloupe, Pineapple, Strawberries, Blueberries, and Cherries. But if you are feeling a bit more ambitious you may want attempt cupcakes or cakes. Check out the hundreds of vegan recipes for both on VeganCupcakeRecipes.com. You’ll be sure to find something you’ll favor in that long list of choices!

We hope these vegan bbq tips will help you plan your holiday cookouts or for future use. So watch those fireworks on a full stomach and make sure you wear sunscreen!