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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 usually make for my friends who have celebrated with us. I am a pescatarian and 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 learned the menu with a normal twenty-something palate, I thought it sounded terrible. But this sweet, 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; lately, I have also been using a maple syrup substitute called Lakanto, which is sugar-free and sweetened with monk fruit.
- Vegetables: Personally, I love grilled veggies, including red peppers and red onions.
Marinate the kabobs for about an hour and then grill on medium or 400 degrees. I use metal skewers, but if you use 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, and 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 buy a balsamic glaze.
Cherry Tomato Caesar Salad: I love this recipe from Melissa Clark. You whisk together two 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. Spread the thinly sliced romaine on a platter, drizzle with the dressing, and scatter halved cherry tomatoes and coarsely chopped anchovies. Add grated or shaved parmesan cheese on top. I love shaved parmesan and have used 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 our foil with vegan butter (Miyokos or Earth Balance). We like adding Trader Joe’s Elote seasoning for a spicier kick.
Watermelon Mango Salsa
I made this recipe from The Modern Nonna, and it was delicious. Served with chips, it is the perfect side to serve.
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 want to test some newer desserts like this Skillet Blueberry Bourbon Pandowdy.
When you think of cookouts, what sounds better than these chocolate-covered s’mores from Life & Sprinkles? The ones in this Instagram reel were for movie night but can easily be adapted for the Fourth of July.
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, not red, but it’s close. As a refreshing summer drink, Aperol Spritz is a fun and easy drink to make. Or try this Frosted Watermelon Rosemary Frosé from Half-Baked Harvest.
Photo by Aperol IG
Check out these other drinks for a red, white, and boozy 4th.