In a few days, our entire country will be celebrating the birthday of our nation.  Of course as Americans, we give tribute to our country by exploding fireworks, partying, and of course bbq-ing.  But if you’re a vegan, BBQ can be a little overwhelming, especially if you are attending a conventional event. Never fear though, we have some great vegan 4th of July grilling tips, including what to cook in place of meat.  Be prepared for your own cookout or for when you are visiting others!

Burgers & Franks: There are so many great choices in vegan grilling these days. You can purchase a number of good brands of veggie burgers including Gardenburger Vegan, Boca Vegan Burgers, Morningstar Grillers Chik’n. But if you are looking for something a little more healthy and unique, check out this recipe for Black Bean Burgers.  Another perfect grilling option is the good old classic veggie dog. There are numerous vegan hot dogs on the market such as Tofu Pups, but we recommend Tofurkey Franks or their delectable Sausage collection including Beer Brats and Kielbasa.

Kebobs: Always a favorite: veggie kabobs! You can cut favorite veggies such as bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, onion, mushrooms and zucchini into large chunks and soak them in marinade or your choice. We like to use Bragg’s Amino Acid, maple syrup and garlic. For a fun and yummy twist add some pineapple. You can also add some protein such as tofu chunks or Gardein’s BBQ skewers!  Also tasty and fun to eat!

Rib and Steak-ish: If you were once a fan of BBQ ribs look no further than MorningStar Riblets. These are tasty and easy enough to grill on the BBQ. For an alternative to gluten you could marinate large strips of extra firm tofu or tempeh with your favorite BBQ sauce for a healthier twist. If you were a steak fan, try out Gardein’s Steak Tips, just add them on a skewer and through them on the grill. You can also replace the BBQ sauce with Steak sauce on tofu and tempeh.

Good Ol’ Veggies: Whoever said simple is best, really understood vegetables. Sometimes the best grilled items are just simple veggies. At our cookouts we have eaten everything from grilled portabellas to whole onions to asparagus and even artichokes! Grilled veggies are easy, simple, and always pleasing. A great tip is to soak your veggies in balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and garlic first. Also, an easy favorite is soaking pineapple slices in oil and brown sugar before grilling.

Now that you know exactly how to make to grill for a vegan, don’t forget the sides and dessert. We have a huge backlog of delicious vegan recipes but especially don’t forget Potato Salad, Macaroni Salad, Creamy Artichoke Dip, Spinach Dip, and Bean Dip. Lastly, don’t forget your dessert! Try out some of our favorites: Red, White, and Blue Sorbet, Strawberry Shortcake, Chocolate Cake, and Apple Pie.

Happy 4th of July and Happy Vegan Grilling!!!

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Summer is officially here: BBQ season has begun, the sun is beating down, and the 4th of July is just around the corner. Our recipe this week will not only help you beat the summer heat, but celebrate the red, white, and blue! It includes simple ingredients including strawberries (the red), blueberries (the blue), and almond milk (the white). An easy, quick sorbet recipe that will satisfy any dessert lover. This is perfect to serve at your 4th of July party or any hot night during the next few months.

Vegan Patriotic Sorbet

Prep Time: 20 Minutes    

2 Cups Organic Frozen Strawberries
2 Cups Organic Frozen Blueberries
1/4 Cup Organic Almond Milk

2 Tbsp Organic Maple Syrup

Leave out the frozen blueberries and strawberries to thaw for about 10-12 minutes. You don’t want them to be completely defrosted, just enough so they will still break apart. Pour them in a food processor or blender and use the pulse feature until the berries start to beak apart. Add in the almond milk and pulsate some more, until mixed. Next add in the maple syrup and blend/process for 2-5 minutes or until completely smooth. Serve immediately or store in the freezer for a later treat.

As the temperature gage rises, grilling season begins! With 4th of July and summer BBQ season on the horizon, it is time to dust off your grills and get ready from some fire tinged meals. There are plenty of vegan options on the market for cookouts including soy hot dogs, veggie burgers, and even grilled veggies. But if you want a homemade treat to grill all season, check out our new recipe: Spicy Black Bean Burgers. These are easy and quick to prepare and can be cooked in a pan or grill.  Curious about other vegan BBQ options? Check out our older post on Vegan BBQ Tips. Happy Grilling!

Spicy Vegan Black Bean Burgers

Prep Time: 20 Minutes    Grill Time: 5-10 Minutes    Makes About 6 Burgers

1 can of Organic Black Beans, drained
1 Cup Vegan Organic Bread Crumbs
1/4 Cup Cooked Organic Rice (wild or white)
1/4 Cup Organic Onion
1/4 Cup Organic Green Bell Pepper
1 Tbs Organic Olive Oil
2 Cloves Organic Garlic
1 Tsp Salt
1/2 Tsp Organic Cayenne Pepper
1/4 Tsp Black Pepper
1 Tbs Organic Crushed Cilantro (optional)

Fire up your grill! Cook 1/4 cup of rice the usual way. Finely chop the onions, bell pepper, and garlic. On the stove, use 1 Tbs of Olive Oil in a frying pan and saute the onions, bell pepper, and garlic just to soften them up. Be careful not to  over cook the garlic. In a food processor, mixing bowl (with electric mixer) or blender, add the black beans, cooked rice, bread crumbs, sautéed veggies, and spices. Pulse the mixture until it is chopped. Form the mixture into patties and either grill or cook in a frying pan with olive oil. Serve with vegan buns and all the fixings such as fresh onion, tomato, lettuce, ketchup, mustard, BBQ sauce, salsa, guacamole, pickles or vegan cheese.

With 4th of July right around the corner, its time to start preparing your menus!  Since we are celebrating all things American this holiday we figured we would provide a Vegan Apple Pie recipe. Because really, what could be more American the Apple Pie? We think nothing! So this year celebrate the birth of our Nation by eating some Good Ol’ American Apple Pie! And why not do it with a vegan twist? Use this recipe for the 4th, any BBQ, or all year round, because really Apple Pie is always a delight.

Vegan Apple Pie

Filling:
5 Medium Sized Organic Apples (Granny Smith or Gala)
1/3 Cup Vegan Margarine (Earth Balance)
1/3 Cup Organic Brown Sugar
1 Tbsp Cinnamon
1 Tbsp Nutmeg

Crust:

4 Cups Organic Unbleached Flour
2 tsp of Salt
1 1/3 Cups, plus 2 Tbls of Soy Margarine (we suggest Earth Balance)
1/2 Cup Ice Water (more may be needed)

Before preparing the filling, you will want to pre-make 2 crusts (one for the bottom and one over the top). To make the crust you will first want to sift the dry ingredients together with a fork. You will want to use a knife or pastry knife to add margarine in the mixture. Sprinkle the cold water in and mix lightly together with the fork. Split the dough into two balls, set aside one ball. The other should be flattened with a rolling pin, you may need to add more flour to be sure the dough doesn’t stick. Roll the dough out until its in a circle and about 2 inches wider than the pie plate. Fold dough in half and transfer to the pie plate. Pull back the one side so that the entire dough covers the pan. With your fingers press down the dough to the pan and on the outer rim use your finger tips to make a pattern in the dough.

Set aside the pie pan and start to make the filling. Make sure to preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Next you will want to peel the apples, although sometimes it is quite tasty to leave the skins on. Next slice the apples thinly and place in a large bowl. You will want to add the cinnamon, brown sugar, and nutmeg. Stir the whole mixture until everything is a brownish color. Next you’ll want to pour your apple mixture in the pie crust. Repeat the earlier steps to roll out the second ball of dough you had set aside and place this one on top of the pie. Once again use your fingers to scrunch the sides of the pie. Using a butter knife carefully cut ventilation wholes (I like to make them into petal shapes) in the center of the pie. Bake for 45-50 minutes. Serve with Soy Ice Cream for a special treat.

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