Vegan 4th of July / Summertime: 50+ Recipes. Fireworks Photo Tips!

Ready, set, celebrate. Lets all pour ourselves a tall glass of something super frosty and refreshing and cheers *virtual glass clink!* to the 4th of July .. and the long, laid-back, summer holiday weekend that comes with it.

Fill your holiday with fabulous healthy/delicious food, fun and flashy fireworks and some solid happy family time. Check out my wide array of vegan recipes to help inspire your holiday menu. Whip up some veggie burgers, chill some watermelon slices, blend up a frosty smoothie, toss some cole slaw, make some potato salad or whip up a few fun holiday appetizers like jalapeno POPpers or RED beet-walnut dip. And for dessert, some homemade sorbet or maybe a classic Flag Cake.

Plus my three tips for taking fireworks photos with your cell phone. (It is not an easy task!) Food, fun and fireworks!..


First off.. THANK YOU for the support for my very first ever book launch day! Yesterday my book 365 Vegan Smoothies went on sale in stores and online. I even rushed over to B&N to see for myself. It isn't all REAL until I see my book in a real bookstore...


And as my proud mom gushed about the introduction, the photos and the recipes she said something simple and poignant about the book.. "..It is a book to be used!!" True mom. True true. (Aren't proud moms the cutest?) But she is right, it is not just a "recipe book" but it is a life tool, filled with tips, inspiration, how-to's, FAQ's, ingredient guides, nutrition info, stories and more.

To those who snagged a copy already - thank you bunches. Please tweet and Insta me your #365VeganSmoothies pics. I will share as many as I can! I love seeing what you guys make from my recipes. And if you purchased online or on iTunes, positive reviews are hugely appreciated! Thank you for taking time to leave them. Even quickie ratings help so much. I love reading what you guys have to say. Still need a copy? Buy online or venture out and give your local bookstore some foot traffic.

Festive Vegan 4th of July Recipes - serve these dishes this holiday week, and all summer long!

(Links to recipes are listed below the pics.)




Drinks:
* Pink Pitaya Smoothie + Blendtec review
* Red, White & Blueberry Smoothie - refreshing and fun!
* Fruity Red Sangria - festive adults-only bevie
* Pink Lemonade Coconut Water Frosty - chill sip, hydrate with coconut water.
* Fizzy Ginger Blood Orangeade - RED and refreshing!
* Easy Agua Frescas - aka Lazy Frescas
Cool off with a Juicy Mango Margarita Mocktail - this smoothie satisfies!
* Wild BLUEberry Shake - protein rich blueberry smoothie.
WHITE (Vanilla) Secret Ingredient Shake - super refreshing, tastes like vanilla ice cream!
* RED Raspberry Ritual Vitality Smoothie - antioxidants galore in this sweet berry sip!
* Watermelon Frosty! recipe here or grab a few more frozen watermelon recipes in my book.

Entrees:
* Spicy BLT Sandwich + VIDEO
* Cool Cucumber Spicy and Sweet Curried Chickpea Wraps
* Vegan Chili Cheese Dogs - hot dogs go vegan for summertime!
* Garden Veggie Sloppy Joes - kid (and adult) fave!
* Veggie Burgers! Get ten of my favorite recipes .. because you cannot go wrong with veggie burgers on the 4th! My fave: my sweet potato veggie burgers.
* Summer Pita Bowl - serve a crowd these healthy, make-ahead, grab-n-go pita pockets!
* BBQ Hasselback Tofu - summer flavor in each skinny slice.
* Bowtie Pasta Primavera - colorful and healthy, serve warm or chilled.
* Summer Tomato Tofu Feta Sandwich - lunch perfection for summertime!
* Tofu Eggless Salad Sandwich - picnic perfect.
* Vegan Philly Cheese Sandwiches - Sizzling seitan, melty vegan cheese, bell peppers. Guy-approved.

Salads:
* Marinated Summertime Tomato Salad with Avocado
* Turmeric Curried Carrot Slaw
* Watermelon Basil Tofu Feta Salad - so refreshing!
* Creamy Ranch Chickpea Peach Farm Salad - a hearty salad with amazing summer flavors.
* Wedge Salad with Creamy Green Dressing & Tempeh "bacon" crumbles - love a wedge!
* Vegan Cobb Salad - Cobb me!
* Aloha Summer Salad with Tiki Tempeh Triangles - Aloha. Mahalo. Happy 4th island style!
* Grilled Portobello Mushroom Salad - with zesty summer lemon dressing.
* Easy Peach Balsamic Salad - with avocado and pistachio.

Sides:
* Coconut Oil Roasted Sweet Potatoes (use for a sweet potato salad too!)
* Creamy Dill Potato Salad - potato heaven
* Vegan Cole Slaw - 6 summer slaw recipes to try
* Chilled Maple Lime Citrus Salad - fabulous fruit salad with lively summer flavors.
* Easy Lemon Pepper Two-Bean Salad - fresh, peppery, simple flavors using healthy protein and fiber-rich beans.
* Pineapple Fried Quinoa - serve in a pineapple boat with tofu triangles for a party.
* Homemade BBQ Sauce - also make BBQ peaches or tempeh with this sauce.

Appetizers:
* RED Hot Bruschetta
Pop! Firework-show-watching approved Vegan Jalapeno Poppers
* Citrus Radish Avocado Platter - colorful platter that is uber-healthy, fresh and raw!
* RED Beet Dip - pink really, but red enough for me! Delicious.
* Creamy RED Tomato Garlic Hummus Dip - add some veggie sticks and boom, dine + delicious summer snacking.
* Summer Zucchini Apps - two yummy and light summer zucchini appetizers to serve your guests.
* Summer Peach + Citrus and Tomato Balsamic Bruschettas - peach bruschetta is a favorite creative appetizer of mine!
* Peach Basil Avocado Skewers - or fold into a lunch-approved wrap.
* Raw Almond Dips - three flavors to try.
* Cashew Cheese - spicy hot harissa flavor for the 4th of July.

Dessert:
* Red, Banana and Blueberries Banana Blender Ice Cream! + VIDEO
* Easy Magical Shell Chocolate Ice Cream Topping + VIDEO
* Chocolate Taco Shakes
* Veganized Classic Berry + Whip Flag Cake
* Fresh Fruit: Flag Fruit Plate - peaches and berries, add a dollop of coconut whip.
* Summer Sorbets - four fruity flavors, made in my blender.
* Vegan Smores Hot Fudge Sundae
* Smores Blondie Cake Bars - if you can't find a campfire, fire up your oven and bake these!
* Fresh RED Raspberry Sauce for ice cream sundaes - this homemade topping if easy to eat by the spoonful it is so yummy.
* Fresh Blackberry Acai Creamy Sorbet - made in a blender in minutes! Super healthy and delicious. Cool off with each spoonful.
* Chocolate Cherry Pudding parfait - (or no-bake pudding pie!)
* Mocha Root Beer Float - frosty coconut milk ice cream treat.

Other:
* BLUEberry Muffins - love this recipe using coconut oil
* Paninis and Grillmarks Series - tips & recipes.


Note: ALL the fireworks shots in this post are done via a cell phone.

Three Tips for Taking Great Fireworks Pics on Your Cell Phone: I headed out to Disneyland last week and snapped a few photos of their fireworks show. I was shocked at how hard it is to capture crisp fireworks shots. My husband's blackberry only came up with super fuzzy photos. I was impressed very with my shots. These tips can help:

1. Sports Setting! My best tip, right here. You may think that using the "auto" setting on your camera's cell phone will work just fine, but most likely, "auto" will end up being "night" since fireworks go off in the dark. But this is a bad setting for fireworks because the shutter speed is sometimes slower and overall you get a lot of slow-snap-blur in your fireworks pics. For crisp shots use the sports setting! The "action" or "sport" setting will snap the photo quickly, getting you a crisp firework shot. Don't worry about the darkness, you WANT a dark background so those colorful fireworks can show off their sparkly selves.

2. Shoot Early. Try to get your shots in the first few minutes of the show. I know this is kinda silly because the "finale" sections of the shows are always beautiful, but there will be much less smoke during the first few fireworks/minutes of the show. Smoke clogs your photos and messes up the darkness of the shot since smoke captures light well. To get away from the smoke, you can also try to shoot a bit on the high side to stay away from the sinking, drifting smoke which usually drifts down and away from the scene.

3. Screen Capture. If for some reason your camera's settings do not pick up good photos when you click the capture button, but the fireworks look good on your screen when setting up a shot, try using your phone's screen capture to catch the view!


Smile shot.

Enjoying a pre-fireworks vegan grilled veggie barley grain salad with pesto dressing - Disneyland is nice to vegans. This was from Jolly Holiday on Main Street! I love this meal SO much!

*This post was part of my summer series, sponsored by the Nokia Lumia 928, Microsoft phone.
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