Meatless BBQ: Vegan options for your July 4th celebration

    July 4th is just around the corner, which means it’s time to invite over some friends and fire up the grill. However, you want to make sure you’re having a cruelty-free holiday, complete with meat alternatives and vegan sides.

    Whether you’re trying to incorporate more meatless meals into your life or you want to cater to the needs of your non-meat-eating friends and family members, check out these vegan options for your 4th of July BBQ.

    Veggie burgers and dogs

    If you’re into the fake meat phenomenon, then grab some veggie burgers and dogs from your local grocery store. There are so many options out there, many of which are kosher. The veggie burgers include the Gardein Chipotle Black Bean Burger or the Ultimate Beefless Burger, the Gardenburger and Amy’s California Veggie Burger. Vegan sausage and hot dog products include Beyond Meat, Lightlife Vegan Smart Dogs Veggie Protein Links and Tofurky’s Original Sausage. When searching in the store, make sure that the burgers and dogs have a vegan label, because sometimes, they may include eggs or egg whites.

    Let’s say you’re trying to stay away from processed foods. You can always make your own veggie burgers with black beans, brown rice and cashews, or your own sausages with vital wheat gluten, white beans and vegetable stock. Whether you’re buying your fake meat products or making your own, don’t forget to pick up the organic ketchup, relish and mustard and vegan buns and rolls as well.

    Vegetable kabobs

    The thought of having food that looks and tastes like meat may not be appealing to you. If this is the case, then make your main dish vegetable kabobs instead. Grab some bamboo or wooden skewers, and cut up your favorite vegetables like mushrooms, zucchinis, tomatoes and red onions. Season them with basil, oregano and salt and pepper, and cook them on the grill with some olive oil for 15-20 minutes, or until they’re soft. Complement them with sides like hummus and Israeli salad and you’ll be on your way to a healthy vegan BBQ.

    Vegan side dishes and desserts

    You may still want to include a few more dishes, like sides and desserts, in your vegan BBQ. Corn on the cob and baked potatoes are super simple, nutritious sides you can make. You can also go for fancier sides like vegan macaroni salad, baked beans and vegan potato salad.

    For dessert, try out a fruit salad with seasonal fruits like strawberries, watermelon, cantaloupe and grapes. Pick up vegan ice cream from Trader Joe’s or go for a more decadent pint of vegan ice cream from Ben & Jerry’s. If you’re feeling up for the challenge, make a vegan American flag cake complete with vegan cream cheese, powdered sugar and fresh blueberries and strawberries. Who said vegan had to be boring?

    With these delicious vegan ideas for July 4th, you can a healthy and fun holiday with your loved ones. Happy 4th!

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    Kylie Ora Lobell is Jewess in Chief at Jewess, a Jewish women’s website, as well as a freelance writer for Aish, Chabad, The Jewish Journal of Los Angeles, and The Forward.