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!..
Hooray for July 4th weekend! A long holiday weekend filled with sunshine, friends and feasting is just what I need. And at the center of many July 4th festivities is: food!..
..Delicious, yummy, beachy, picnic-approved, poolside, summertime food to be exact. There are so many vegan recipes that remind me of this holiday. Red frosty drinks, juicy meatless burgers, summertime salads and cool desserts.
Celebrate Independence Day with a vegan feast! I hope my 4th of July recipe ideas inspire you to add some spunky vegan flare to your holiday weekend. Or go all in for a totally vegan feast. Your vegan spread (think vegan cole slaw, watermelon frosties, Daiya pepperjack portobello burgers & mocha coconut milk ice cream root beer floats) will put those hamburgers to shame.
See my menu..
A few quickie notes! these recipes are just a few of my picks. Be sure to peruse my complete Recipe Index for even more ideas. And ps - be sure to vote for me as Jamba Juice Ambassador of WOW! You can vote once a day until July 13th. And check out my re-vamped "About Kathy" page - and Twitter background. :)
Vegan Menu Ideas for July 4th
Red Watermelon Frosties
Red, White & Blue Smoothie
Blended Soy Coffee "Frapp" - better than Starbucks :) .. cuz you make them.
Triple Citrus Lemonade
Pink Frosted Lemonade
Coconut Water Frosty - Blueberry or Strawberry
Burgers & More
Messy Cheesy BBQ Mushroom Burgers
White Bean "Cheddar Bacon" Burgers
Black Bean Fiesta Burgers
Chili Cheese Dogs
Perfect Lunch Bagel-which
Homemade BBQ Suace - how-to! (better than bottled)
Sides & Salads
Creamy Dill Potato Salad
"Tofu Feta" Watermelon Salad
Crisp Wedge Salad with Summer Green Goddess-Style Dressing & Tempeh Bacon Bits
Spicy Cheesy Corn on the Cob
Grilled Portobello Mushroom Salad with Lemon Dressing
Spicy Bean Chili
Spicy Fireworks - Red Bruschetta
Flag Fruit Salad
Cheesy Jalapeno Popper
Sweet Potato Biscuits
Sassy Cole Slaw
Easy Seedy Cole Slaw
Classic Cole Slaw - colorful, creamy, sweet, sassy
Boardwalk Fries - Trio
PCRM'S Recipe: Vegan Potato Salad - as seen in Florida Today, photo by me
Mocha Root Beer Float - coconut milk ice cream
Caramel Apple Pie - all American dessert!
Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Pie
Cool Smores Ice Cream Sundae
Strawberry Jam Cheesecake Bites with Whip
* * * HEALTHY HAPPY 4TH OF JULY EVERYONE * * *
Happy BBQ Weekend! I hope you are able to relax, soak in some sunshine and have some fun adventures with your family or friends. And when folks gather, they eat! So as the last stop in my Paninis and Grill Marks Series - here are a few vegan ideas to spice up your weekend get-together BBQ. Get my veg BBQ menu - plus my top 20 Vegan Foods to grill / panini press. Grillfest Inspiration...
BBQ Sauced Grilled Peaches:
Vegan BBQ Menu Ideas:
Sweet Chili Marinated Cucumber Salad
Savory Trio Boardwalk Fries: Yam, Yucca, White
Lemon Pepper Two Bean Salad
Red, White, Blue Flag Fruit Plate
Super Rouge RED Salad
California Backyard Salad
"Better" Hex Party Mix Snack
Vegan Classic Cole Slaw
Crunchy Cool Jicama Slaw
Burgers and Sandwiches:
Mean Green Edamame Soy Burger
Sweet Potato 'Thanksgiving in July' Backyard Burgers
Classic Club Sandwich - veganized
Chickenless Salad Sandwich
Paninis from the Grill Marks Series
Vegan Beach Dogs
Dips and Sauces:
Vegan BBQ Sauce - better than bottled
Raw Almond Dip (Spicy, Sweet or Snappy)
Spicy Carrot Sunrise Mimosa
Fruity Fizz White Sangria
Peachy Lychee Daiquiri
Ginger Pear Frosted Lemonade
Red, White and Blueberry Smoothie
Totally Tropical Smoothie
Cool Soy Coffee Blended
*Download my Smoothies! IPhone App - perfect for summer sipping*
Cherry Apricot Pie Bars
Lemon Custard Bars
Chocolate Fruit Dessert Panini
Rice Crispy Treats - veganized
...still not hungry?? this will kickstart some cravings --> Are You Hungry? Video.
List: 20 Vegan Foods I Love to Grill.
*in no particular order*
20. Seitan Skewers.
Grilled seitan in crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. Black-charred edges. I add a light brushing of a balsamic vinegar/EVOO/black pepper mixture to the seitan before and during grilling. You can also get more elaborate by marinating your seitan overnight. BBQ sauced seitan is also delicious. I like to add big chunks of red or vidalia onions to my seitan skewers. Soak the skewers in water to avoid a charred, breaks-apart stick.
19. Seasonal Fare. Fiddleheads Ferns and Ramps.
For a seasonal taste of the grill choose unique short-lived produce items like Fiddlehead Ferns and Ramps. I like to wrap these small, tender items in a foil packet with a tinge of EVOO, garlic, salt and pepper. Grill until tender.
Fiddleheads over Sauerkraut Grill Packet:
18. Bell Peppers.
Thick slices of bell pepper are perfect for grilling. Grill until tender, or skewer with other chopped veggies like onion and squash.
17. Vegan Sausages.
Field Roast Spicy Chipotle sausages are my favorite to grill. I halve the sausages and place directly on the grill. They are ready to eat in just under 4 minutes!
I place whole, peeled garlic chunks inside a foil packet - add a bit of EVOO and grill. Garlic will take about 5+ minutes to get tender - maybe longer. Sometimes I place the garlic cloves directly on the grill to half-roast them.
15. Sweet Potatoes.
Slice them thin. Add a brush of EVOO and maybe a drizzle of maple syrup. Grill until tender and serve!
14. Cinnamon Toast.
Grilled cinnamon sugar toast is so much fun on a Saturday morning. I add thick slices of bakery fresh - crusty bread to the grill, spread a bit of vegan buttery spread on top and sprinkle on a layer of cinnamon sugar. Panini press for 3-4 minutes and cinna-sugar bliss is served. Side of papaya doughnuts would be my recommendation...
13. Vegan Hot Dogs.
Fresh diced veggies on top...I love black-charred vegan hot dogs. The soy dogs and veg sausage dogs are all pretty yummy - especially when you pile on the toppings and spicy mustard. You can even try Veg Chili Dogs.
Classic summertime veggie that tastes amazing on the grill. I slather my frilled corn in some vegan buttery spread for an extra special summertime treat. Add cayenne and chili powder for that spicy grilled corn flavor.
11. Green Tomatoes.
Instead of battered fried green tomatoes - I do EVOO/peppered grilled green tomatoes. Be sure to use a nice brushing on EVOO on the tomatoes or they will stick to the grill. I like to add a sprinkle of sunflower seed or vegan cheese on top.
Grilled tempeh is fantastic. Here is how I prepare it in a flash...
2 cups Tempeh, sliced thin and triangled.
1-4 Tbsp EVOO
1/4 cups apple cider vinegar and/or lemon juice
2-3 Tbsp maple or agave syrup
optional: garlic powder, cayenne, other dry run spices/herbs.
Hot To: Marinate in the above ingredients for about 5 minutes. Place on panini press or grill until dark grill marks appear and tempeh is tender to a fork poke. Remove, cool. Add fresh black pepper and sea salt to taste.
9. Portobella Mushroom Caps.
You'll be amazed at the amount of natural flavor in portobella mushrooms. Simple soak in a tiny bit of balsamic vinegar and EVOO prior to placing on the grill, grill until tender, add salt and pepper to taste. A sprinkle of vegan cheese over top is also a nice touch. Slice thin and spread over salads. Or add to a bun for a vegan porto burger.
8. Artichoke Hearts.
I love grilling artichoke hearts - from a can even! So fast and easy - yet the grilled hearts add tons of dense flavor to salads and even sandwiches and veggie burgers. I simply pull the hearts from the can or jar, slice in half and place right on the grill! It's that easy. You can brush some EVOO over top if you'd like.
Grilled tofu has a black-charred flavor that simply can't be beat by any other preparation of tofu. Grilling tofu allows the outside to firm up while leaving the inside moist and tender. Grill marinated tofu, slather tofu in BBQ sauce and grill or simply do a super fast grill of straight from the box tofu and add your seasonings post-grill. Tofu grills up in a matter of minutes. Easy! My favorite flavors for marinating tofu:
Asian: soy sauce and agave and mandarin oranges
Southwest: BBQ sauce
fiesta: lime, EVOO, chipotle powder and garlic powder
Simple American: Maple, Apple Cider Vinegar, black pepper
Picnic: Lemon, Orange juice, citrus zest, Grapeseed Oil
Onions become sweet and tender on the grill. Simply place thick slices directly on the grill - or attach thick chunks to a skewer and grill. Add grilled onions to burgers, sandwiches, salads or pitas. Soak onions in a sugary substance prior to grill to get a nice caramelized effect.
Asparagus is delicious when grilled. And it cooks in about 3-5 minutes. Simply add lemon juice, pepper and a sprinkle of course sea salt to the grill marked finished product. Serve hot!
This may seem obvious, but grilled bread is the perfect addition to a big veggie meal. Add triangled grilled bread slices to the side of a big salad bowl. Grill baguettes for bruschetta, or grill bagels and rolls for sandwiches. You can grill bread dry or add a brush or EVOO. Just don't over grill - or your grilled bread will turn into toast!
3. Brussel Sprouts.
I tried grilling brussel sprouts last week and loved the results. I halved the brussel sprouts and added a brush of EVOO to the outer leaves. A quick 4-5 min grill, a little salt and pepper and lemon juice and they were a delicious addition to my dinner plate.
2. Apples, Pineapple and Peaches. And Citrus.
I'm not a big fan of grilling fruit - simply because I prefer to eat fruit raw. But sometimes a nice slice of grilled apple or pineapple is the perfect addition to a sandwich or salad. I grill the fruit naked - no need for oil or seasoning. Grilled fruit is also delicious is a grilled fruit dessert. Scoop of vanilla soy cream over top some grilled peaches and maple syrup=yum!
Also, grilled citrus slices make a beautiful garnish for your plate. I love grilled oranges for a Mexican enchilada plate.
1. Marinated Mushrooms.
I toss sliced mushrooms in a bit of vinegar and EVOO - salt and pepper - additional herbs and spices optional. Then I wrap them in a foil packet and simply place the packet on the grill. I press my panini press down and in 5 minutes my mushrooms are perfectly cooked in those delicious marinated juices. Flavors I love to add: chopped leeks/ramps, rosemary, thyme, finely chopped jalapenos, chopped parsley, lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, sunflower seeds.
Flag Fruit Plate:
Bonus: The Apple Prop. My Smoosh-Free Panini Grill Tip: If you are panini pressing delicate foods and don't want to over smoosh them - add a grill block. I add a halved apple to the grill to prop up the panini press so that it doesn't weigh too heavily on whatever i am grilling. However, most paninis and flat grilled veggies can handle the full weight of the press. Apple props work best on delicate items like marinated artichoke hearts, tomatoes and soft flat bread.
See the entire Paninis and Grill Marks Series here.
What a beautiful holiday weekend it is going to be. I have had quite the busy week: my husband and I moved into our new apartment in NYC, and we are still unpacking clothes and shoes into little piles and stacks on the floor and into our one telephone booth-sized closet. I'm scratching my head at my new kitchen - the counter is already squished tight with my blender and Super Angel Juicer. Yet amidst the chaos, all I can think about is my blog and making sure you all have a few inspiring vegan spring holiday menu ideas. My menu ideas and my move-in weekend...
Move-In Weekend. Right now, I'm sitting on the floor on a not so cushy makeshift pillow/chair as I type on my Mac - which is perched on a white container store bin. But I'm excited to be swimming in sunlight from one of our many blue-sky-filled windows.
The pro's of this place can easily outweigh the classic NYC apartment con's. I love the sunlight, brick-speckled views and turquoise stone features on the building across the street, the new neighbor birds that sing to me all day and night from our fire-escape, the skylight in our bathroom, the sweet tiny kitchen alcove for a kitchen table (quite a luxury for me), the exposed brick in our bedroom and breathtaking view we have from our bedroom window. Plus, each window has a little white perch for my kitty cat to sit on. She has finally come out of hiding and rolling in a sunbeam right now. These little treasures make me forget about the shoe-box-sized bathroom sink and lack-of-dishwasher.
The Reward: A Good Spring Day.. After all the huffing and puffing up the stairs, lugging bags of stuff. Bruises and backaches. A good day feels almost magical: Stepping outside, my husband's hand in mine, strolling crowded cobblestone streets in springtime, a cool breeze, a million white tree buds in bloom leaving wavy shadows on the twisty streets of downtown, that's my idea of a good day.
And even though I won't be able to fully unpack my kitchen supplies for another few days - I do plan on making a few goodies for a casual Easter evening supper. And I know many of you are having festive vegan (or vegan-friendly) spring holiday dinners, champagne brunches or light garden-side lunches this weekend, so here are a few spring-filled recipe ideas to inspire you...
Vegan Recipes for a Spring-Filled Easter Weekend
Sunny Mushroom Tempeh Bagel, open-faced
Plum and Pluot (or seasonal spring fruit) Parfait
Vegan Tofu Veggie Quiche with herbed crust
Simple Easy Almond-Buttered Toast, a la Jean Georges
Saffron Scented Tofu Scramble with some easy herbed potato hash browns on the side
Paradise Found Fruit Salad
Purple Power Antioxidant Fruit Salad
Bulls eye Spiral Wraps with Roasted Red Peppers
Spring Green Fruit Salad
Easy Lemon Two-Bean Salad
Fennel Arugula Citrus Salad
Easy Mango Cream Crusty, open-faced
Avocado Beet Pea Shoot Salad
Vegan Cole Slaw
Crunchy Cool Jicama Salad
Picnic Perfect Chicken-less Salad Sandwich
Spicy Sweet Fiddlehead Fern and Chickpea Pasta
Lemon Peppered California Pasta Salad
Zen Green Tofu Salad
Any Salad from my recent Spring Salad Series
Sunny Asparagus Tapenade
Radishes with "Butter"
Premium Red Fruity Sangria
Fruity Fizz White Sangria
Half-Frozen Mint Lemon Water
Easter Pastel Swirl Lamb or Layer Cake
Ginger Poppy seed Thyme Tea Cookies
Fresh Fruit Tart with creamy vanilla custard
Zesty Lemon No-Bake Bars
Tonight is the Oscar's and thoughts of black limos, gold statues, teary-eyed too-long speeches and slender starlets in swanky dresses swirl in my head. But the Oscar's wouldn't be complete without the red carpet. And red makes me think of all the delicious red foods I love to eat because they are both tasty and healthy: strawberries, tomatoes, cranberries, red bell peppers, raspberries, pomegranate, cherries, apples and more. Red foods are after all the first color step towards eating the rainbow. Why are red foods healthy? Buzzword: phytochemicals. So I've designed a complete menu from breakfast to dinner - with recipes starring red foods. My red carpet ready menu...
I must say, strawberries are one of my favorite red foods (fresh during strawberry season, or frozen in smoothies year round!)
Let the red-foods menu begin....
Red Carpet Ready Menu
Fresh strawberries, simple and sweet
Kiwi Cherry Almond Oatmeal
Totally Tropical 'Strawberry' Smoothie
Fresh Strawberry Papaya Coconut Smoothie
Red Goji Berry Chai Tea
Super Rouge Red Salad
Side of California Tomato Mexican Rice
Red Roasted Pepper Bulls eye Wraps
TMT Pita: Tomato, Mache, Tempeh Facon
Fresh Crushed pomegranate Juice
Red Pepper in Bulls Eye Spiral Wraps:
Savory Roasted Red Pepper Soup
Red Radishes and Vegan "Butter" Crackers
Sweet Potato Stuffed Roasted Red Peppers
Easy Roasted Red Pepper Salsa
Tempeh Pesto Stuffed Tomatoes
Lasagna Rosso Classico
Spicy Vegan Sausage Tomato Pappardelle
"Cheesy" Red San Marzano Tomato Pasta Bread Bowl
Fruity Premium Red Sangria
Sparkling water with frozen strawberries
Coconut Water with frozen raspberries and lemon
Red Velvet Cake (NYC only)
Pomegranate Raspberry Pudding Parfait
Strawberry Upside-Down Cake
Chai Berry Short Cup Dessert Smoothie
Happy Red Carpet Cooking and Eating!
A few links for you to peruse while you dine...
WebMD's Why to Eat Red Foods Article.
Track LIVE Oscar Tweets here all night long - on one screen.
PS: Go Food Inc. and The Cove!! Both nominees for best documentary feature.
More super yummy strawberry pics below...
Thanks to Hannah, an employee at Le Pain Quotidien, we now have an official list of vegan and vegetarian items at this fabulous Belgium style bakery and cafe. Though most the items she lists are not vegan, it's still nice to have an official confirm!
She even weighs in on the Banana Fig Muffin controversy, and sends her condolences regarding the loss of the famed beloved Green Tea Muffin. Check this out!...
Dietary Restrictions? Will Travel. Thanks to my newest favorite Le Pain employee, Hannah, I now have this official list. Here's what Hannah commented recently on one of my Le Pain posts:
"Hey all. I actually work at Le Pain - the newest store in Manhattan NY by the United Nations. Sorry for your loss (the green tea muffin). I'm personally sorry that many of you have experienced occasions of a few employees goofing up on info. I have to say, despite my better pastry knowledge, its not easy for any of us remembering what is/is not vegan, gluten free, wheat free, and other such dietary trivia - or even to be asked on the spot. To make it all easier for you, here is a run down of our menu items to study and cherish for yourselves.
APPLE CINNAMON MUFFIN: low fat, contains wheat, is NOT vegan but OK for some vegetarians.
BLUEBERRY MUFFIN: contains wheat, is vegan.
BANANA FIG MUFFIN: NOT VEGAN!! Contains wheat.
ALMOND MERINGUE: wheat free, is NOT vegan but OK for some vegetarians
ALMOND POUND CAKE: is NOT vegan but OK for some vegetarians
APPLE/PEAR T'OVR: Is NOT vegan but OFVTEE.
BROWNIE (my fav!): is NOT vegan but OFVTEE.
WAFFLE: contains wheat, is NOT vegan but OFVTEE.
BRIOCHE: is NOT vegan but OFVTEE.
CHOC. CHP. COOKIE: is HUGE but NOT Vegan. ok for some vegetarians
CROISSANT/PAIN AU CHOC./CHZ ALMD DANISH/CHOC. MOUSSE CAKE/MINI MOUSSE DUO/COCONUT MACAROON: is NOT vegan but ok for some vegetarians
COUQUE SUISSE: is NOT Vegan, is OK for some vegetarians. may contain almonds of peanuts - for those who are allergic.
GRANOLA BAR: is NOT vegan but OK for some vegetarians
MADELINE: is NOT vegan but OK for some vegetarians.
SAVORY CHEESE MUFFIN: (not avail. at all locations) is NOT vegan but OK for some vegetarians.
TARTS: NOT vegan. all tarts contain nuts EXCEPT the raspberry tart... wouldn't take the risk any way though.
that's all. i would do the breads but you should all know that already. <3
Thanks Hannah...by the way, what does OFVTEE mean? Need to decipher this ASAP!
*And if anyone has any more menu items to add to this list-please comment them and I'll add them.
PS...bring back the Green Tea Muffin please. :)