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Food for the Fourth
When you think of July 4th food, what comes to mind? Traditionally, it’s all about the dogs, burgers, chicken & ribs, baked beans, corn on the cob, beer, apple pie, and red, white & blue desserts. And that is what I will normally make for my friends who have celebrated with us in the past. But, I am a pescatarian and I have vegetarian friends which means coming up with mains that we can enjoy.
There are plenty of ways to enjoy the 4th with your carnivore friends. In addition to traditional July 4th food, for myself and my vegan friends, I will include:
Burgers – I like a lot of plant-based burgers including Impossible Burger and Beyond Burger. Just prep it like you would the meat burgers you are making and I will top it with vegan cheese and all the condiments. My go-to vegan cheese is from Violife.
BBQ Pineapple Shrimp Kabobs – I worked for a barbecue restaurant chain for 13 years and one of the top sellers was pineapple and barbecue shrimp skewers. When I first was learning the menu with a normal twenty-something palate, I thought it sounded pretty terrible. But this sweet and spicy and citrusy recipe became one of my favorites. I have since changed it up a bit to suit my taste.
- Shrimp: I prefer to use the large or extra-large shrimp, peeled and deveined with the tail on
- Pineapple: Fresh pineapple only. A pricier timesaver is to use the pre-cut kind in the produce section.
- Soy Sauce: I prefer to use Tamari sauce which is gluten-free.
- Honey or Maple Syrup- Honey is my go-to but lately, I have been also using a maple syrup substitute called Lakanto which is sugar-free and sweetened with monk fruit.
- Vegetables: Personally, I love grilled veggies so I will add red peppers and red onions to the skewers.
Marinate the kabobs for about an hour and then grill on medium or about 400 degrees. I use metal skewers but if you are using wood, soak them in water for at least half-hour so they do not burn.
Your July 4th food options should include some tasty sides.
Baked Beans: If I had the time, I would consider making a Greek spin on these that we had on our trip to Greece. Theirs were called Gigantes Plaki and are made with fava beans. They were amazing. One of these days I will attempt to replicate the recipe. The Canned vegetarian beans will have to suffice.
Caprese Skewers: Using cherry tomatoes, basil leaves, mozzarella balls(I even add blueberries, make your skewers, and then drizzle them with a balsamic reduction. If you are pressed for time, you can also just buy a balsamic glaze.
Cherry Tomato Caesar Salad: I love this recipe from Melissa Clark. You simply whisk together 2 cloves garlic, 1/4 tsp. sea salt, 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice, 3/4 tsp Worcestershire sauce and 3 tbs. extra virgin olive oil. You could grill the romaine lettuce leaves but I do not. Spread the thinly sliced romaine on a platter, drizzle with the dressing and scatter halved cherry tomatoes and coarsely chopped anchovies on top. Add grated or shaved parmesan cheese on top. I love shaved parmesan and have been using the Violife vegan parmesan ( get it at Sprouts). Drizzle with more dressing and grind black pepper.
Corn on the Cob: Corn is in season and has been especially sweet. We wrap ours in foil with some vegan butter (either Miyokos or Earth Balance). For a spicer kick, we do like adding Trader Joe’s Elote seasoning.
Fruit Salad: No barbecue is complete without fresh fruit. Sometimes just slicing up watermelon, strawberries and blueberries works with whipped cream because it fits the red, white, and blue.
I’ve never been into baking until this past year. I definitely want to test out some newer desserts like this Skillet Blueberry Bourbon Pandowdy.
If you have an over 21 crowd, then beer is a must. I also like to put out some wine. I know it is a vibrant orange and not red, but it’s close. As a refreshing summer drink, Aperol Spritz is a fun and easy drink to make.
Photo by Aperol IG
If you are really into keeping your July 4th food red, white, and blue, check out these drinks for a red, white, and boozy 4th.