As a plant-based eater, you don’t have to deprive yourself during gatherings like July 4th BBQs. Your Independence Day can be full of delicious, plant-based recipes that are perfect for grilling and there are vegan versions for almost any meat and dairy dish you can imagine. Enjoy your old favorites in new ways! Check out some summer recipes from our two very own vegan cookbooks below, as well as a few favorites from other plant-based recipe blogs we follow on Pinterest!
Marinated Tofu and Pineapple Kabobs
(yields 6 to 7 kabobs)
1 pound extra-firm tofu, pressed and cut into 18 to 21 1-inch cubes
1 pineapple, cut into 1-inch cubes (enough for three pieces for each skewer)
1 large red pepper
1 large red onion
6 to 7 bamboo skewers (soak bamboo skewers in water for 30 minutes before using to prevent burning)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 small-medium shallot, chopped fine
1 clove garlic, minced
Grated zest from l lemon
1 lemon, juiced
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/3 teaspoon dried thyme
1⁄4 cup vegetable broth
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Tofu is pressed to extract water, create a firmer texture, and allow more absorption of marinade. Stand the block of tofu on its edge and slice horizontally into 2 equal slabs. To press, place a clean towel on a baking sheet or cutting board. Place tofu sheets on the towel; cover with another towel. Gently press down on the towel to remove water. Remove damp towel and place two layers of fresh towels on top of tofu. Carefully place a bowl or other weight on top of the towels to press down on tofu. Let sit for at least 15 minutes.
In a baking pan, mix marinade ingredients. Place tofu cubes in the pan and coat all side with marinade. Cover and refrigerate several hours or overnight. Cut pepper and onion into 1-inch chunks, and steam vegetables for 1 to 2 minutes until just tender. A microwave works well for steaming. Remove tofu from marinade, and thread 3 tofu chunks onto each skewer, alternating with pineapple chunks and vegetables.
To cook, place skewers on a flat grill sprayed with non-stick cooking oil. Brush lightly with oil and grill over medium heat for about 10 minutes, turning every couple of minutes to brown and cook on all sides. Leave kabobs on bamboo skewers and serve on a plate with cooked Jasmine rice.
Watermelon and Tomato Salad
2 cups seedless watermelon, in 1-inch cubes
2 cups grape or cherry tomatoes, halved lengthwise
1 lemon, juice and zest
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt, small pinch
Freshly ground black pepper
1⁄2 cup thinly sliced (julienned) fresh mint leaves
Combine watermelon, tomatoes and salt in a chilled bowl. Whisk lemon juice, zest, oil and pepper and drizzle over fruit.
Sprinkle with mint, and toss gently. Do not refrigerate; serve within 30 minutes on chilled salad plates.
1 Pound dry macaroni, cooked al dente
9 cups in total of diced red pepper, chopped red onion or scallions (mostly the white parts), carrots, together with blanched broccoli, asparagus, and snap beans
Mustard Vinaigrette Dressing:
1 tablespoon natural (grainy) Dijon Mustard
4 tablespoons red wind or balsamic vinegar
½ cup cold-pressed, olive oil
1 or 2 minced cloves of garlic
½ teaspoon combined salt and group pepper
Fresh, chopped herbs such as dill, parsley and basil
Combine all ingredients. Refrigerate, but let the dish stand at room temperature a bit before serving.
Tip: See “The Art of Preparing a Perfect Pasta” (in the classic pasta dishes section) for sound culinary counsel.
2 avacados, peeled and seeded
1 scallion (mainly whites), finely chopped
½ small onion, diced
2 cloves minced garlic
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
1 fresh lime, juiced
½ tomato, diced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
Choose an avocado that has give to it. Peel and seed the avocado and mash it with a fork. Transfer the mashed avocado to a bowl and combine with remaining ingredients, including salt to taster. Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 hours.
Tip:A pit left in the guacamole and a sprinkling of lemon or lime juice, helps to preserve the guacamole’s hue of vibrant green. Stir lightly before serving.
Black Bean Fiesta Burgers from Lunch Box Bunch
Makes 5 burgers
1 1/2 cups black beans, drained/canned (unsalted)
3 Tbsp fine bread crumbs
3/4 cup baked/mashed sweet potato
3 Tbsp chopped cilantro – including stems
1/3 cup diced white onion
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp chopped garlic
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp cider vinegar
2 Tbsp lime juice
1/2 jalapeno, diced/de-seeded
3 Tbsp nutritional yeast – or use more bread crumbs
a few dashes of chipotle powder or cayenne for extra heat
Special Spicy Sauce:
1/2 cup vegan mayo
2 tsp garlic hot sauce
5 round onion slices and 5 round tomato slices
optional: lime-juice spritzed avocado slices (not shown in burger photos – but recommended!)
1. First off prepare the Fiesta Slaw according to the directions. (recipe) – Chill in fridge until ready to add to burgers.
2. Whip up your “special spicy sauce” – set aside in fridge as well.
3. Next up, prepare the burgers. Pulse all the ingredients in a food processor. You can also mash well by hand – but a fp is a tad faster. Next, hand-form burger patties with the mixture and place them on a lightly greased baking sheet. I like to roll my burgers in a touch of breadcrumbs so that they have nice crisp edges.
Chocolate Chip Cookies Ice Cream Sandwiches by Chef Chloe
Chocolate Chip Cookies:
2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon Ener-G egg replacer
¾ teaspoon salt
¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup vegan margarine
¾ cup sugar
¾ cup brown sugar
¼ cup water
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (dairy-free)
Vanilla Ice Cream
1 (14-ounce) can coconut milk
1 ½ cups almond milk
¾ cup agave
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
¾ teaspoon xanthan or guar gum
2cups semisweet chocolate chips (dairy-free)
1 cup topping of your choice (July 4th sprinkles, toasted almond bits, coconut, etc)
To make the Chocolate Chip Cookies: Preheat oven to 325 degrees F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
In medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, egg replacer, salt, and cinnamon. Using an electric mixer, beat the margarine, sugar, brown sugar, water, and vanilla until fluffy. Stir in the flour mixture ½ cup at a time, and then add 1 cup chocolate chips.
Scoop about 2 tablespoons of dough at a time onto the prepared baking sheet and flatten it with the palm of your hand. Repeat with remaining dough, leaving about 2 inches between each cookie. Bake for approximately 12 to 18 minutes, until the edges begin to brown and the center of the cookie is a nice golden color. Remove from oven and let cool completely.
To make the Vanilla Ice Cream: Blend coconut milk, almond milk, agave, oil, vanilla, salt, and xanthan gum in a blender until smooth. Chill in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 hours. Once the ice cream base is chilled, run it in an ice cream maker according to machine instructions. Store in freezer, wrapped tightly with plastic wrap touching the top of the ice cream.
To assemble the Ice Cream Sandwiches: Let the ice cream soften in the refrigerator for about 15-30 minutes. Sandwich 1 scoop of ice cream between 2 cookies and freeze. Repeat with all remaining cookies. While the sandwiches firm up in the freezer, melt chocolate chips in a double boiler or microwave.
Dip half of each ice cream sandwich in the melted chocolate and roll in desired topping until coated. Refreeze immediately.