July 4th is almost here! Here are my top 10 ideas for a healthy Independence Day. All of the recipe posts below are from this blog. They are vegan and meat-less dishes that won't ruin your diet.
1) Host an outdoor party for the family.
2) Have a picnic and get family and friends together for a vegan barbecue. Grilling foods is much less fattening than frying. Add lots of vegetables to the menu, like raw salads and veggie kebabs. For dessert, watermelon is the perfect all-natural treat. Also try these delicious recipes below:
3) Make Frankie’s Vegan Spare Ribs - This recipe sounds tasty, and not too complicated. The meat substitute is seitan. It does call for a food processor, and about an hour of total baking time, which is not too bad. There is a BBQ sauce recipe that goes with the ribs.
4) Make Carolina-style Barbecue Sandwiches - From Vegetarian Times, this one I would like to try, but it calls for a lot of cider vinegar - try reducing it to 1/4 cup. The sauce is supposed to be tangy, and mustardy. The sandwich uses seitan as the protein source. (If you want the sweeter Kansas City BBQ sauce, here is a recipe for Big Al’s K.C. sauce.)
5) Make eco-friendly arts and crafts with family and friends.
6) Try Sweet and Spicy Barbecue Tofu - A simple but appealing recipe for comes from About.com. The only issue I see is the call for 3/4 cup brown sugar. That seems like too much, and could be reduced to maybe 1/4. Marinating takes 2 hours, but everything else is quick.
7) Make Eggplant BBQ with Fresh Chive Vinaigrette - This recipe sounds the most original. It also doesn’t require much time. When can you say you last barbequed an eggplant?
8) Cook up Brazilian Beach Skewers - For people who do eat cheese, there is an intriguing recipe using Halloumi, which is a middle eastern cheese usually only made from goat and sheep milk. You can probably get it at a middle eastern grocery store, and some supermarkets might carry it. (A simple recipe once you have acquired the Halloumi.)
9) Grill BBQ Seitan Ribs - SusanV of the FatFree Vegan Kitchen blog has a recipe for ribs that sounds good, though it is not entirely fat free. This one requires you have your own sauce. She says it is easy to make, but the recipe requires something called liquid smoke.
10) Buy whole wheat bread and buns for your barbecue. They will give you more fiber and are much more more nutritious than empty carbohydrates. Also load up on fresh corn-on-the-cob. It is delicious alternative to the other white carbs.
OVERALL RATING (of a healthier 4th of July):