Happy Fourth of July weekend, everyone!
Nothing says fun summer celebration like barbecue gatherings -- but the food options at these aren't always vegan-friendly. Never fear, plant-based folks: with a little creativity, a weekend of socializing and celebrating can be just as enjoyable, sans deprivation or feelings of being limited. (I would hazard that the eating-plants route can be even more fun: missing out on a meat hangover is a beautiful thing!)
Michael and I attended a lovely Fourth of July gathering in Astoria yesterday where our host was kind enough to prepare some ENORMOUS grilled Portobello mushrooms for the plant-eaters in the group. With a dollop of hummus and a slice of tomato, these were better than any burger I can recall having at a celebration for Canada Day or Independence Day.
Veggie kebabs, melon + mint salads, and veggie burgers (we love Amy's Organics Sonoma Burgers) can also be great options to fill in the gaps where meatier options might otherwise be.
Incidentally, I whipped up a quick batch of this dressing the other night for a pea shoot salad and wanted to share as a twist-on-a-classic option for this weekend. It has a similar flavor and consistency to a traditional buttermilk ranch dressing, without the added junk and no dairy. (Check out the nutrition label from Hidden Valley to see what I mean.)
This veganized version also has a bit of a tang to it, which would make it a great stand-in for creamy horseradish sauce. (Try it with those grilled Portobellos and you won't know you're not having a steak!)
Enjoy your festivities - and feel great knowing you're doing something good for your body while you do!
- 1/2 cup tahini
- 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1/4 cup vegan parmesan*
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 tsp olive oil
- *Vegan Parmesan [makes more than you need for this recipe, but it's delicious - you'll find other uses for it, I promise!]
- 1/2 cup walnuts
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 1 tsp sea salt
- Combine vegan parm ingredients in food processor and blend to a fine, grainy texture. Reserve 1/4 cup for the dressing recipe and store the leftovers in a closed container in the fridge.
- Combine tahini, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, vegan parmesan, garlic, and olive oil in a food processor until smooth. Add a little more lemon juice to thin out if needed.
- Toss with salad or use as a dip or topping. Store excess in the fridge.