Sometimes social situations, especially holidays, can be anxiety provoking if you eat a strict plant-based diet.
Thanksgiving and Christmas are centered around social gatherings and food is usually the focus. Turkey and ham are often the centerpieces of the dinner table.
Another celebratory time is the Fourth of July and summer weekends.
Some of the best times of summer involve cooking out with family and friends.
When attending one of these celebrations it may be a challenge to find something acceptable to eat, because almost every food item on the menu tends to be animal-based.
So what can you do?
Most — if not all — summer cook-out foods can be substituted with something else.
7 Tips for a Healthier Barbeque
In fact, your contributions to the menu will be so good your family and friends will look forward to what you bring.
Here are seven (7) quick tips for a tasty and healthy barbeque:
- Veggie trays
- Soy-based dressing
- Home-made dips
- Veggie burgers
- Vegan barbeque sauces
- Grilling veggies
- Fruit desserts
The ideal situation is to throw your own party –problem solved. I have done this many times with only one family member balking at the idea of a meatless barbeque.
Ideas & Recipes
When you throw your get-to-gether, traditional menu items e.g., macaroni salad and potato salad can be made with a soy-based dressing instead of mayonnaise. Relish trays and veggie trays are always a welcome sight and they can be brightened up even more with a dip or dressing.
Here’s a great dip you can make: a tofu-based sour cream mixed with some fresh avocado is really delicious and really simple.
This combination has always gotten me positive reviews!
Homemade hummus or even a good store brand is a great choice for veggies or chips. Another great complement to the meal is my spinach artichoke dip. This is also tofu-based and can be served hot or cold, excellent with crackers or toasty bread.
Veggie burgers, veggie dogs, veggie barbeque ribs and sprouted rolls can replace the standard fare. Any kind of mock meat with barbeque sauce is a winner too!
There are many vegan barbeque sauces on the market.
Experiment to find your favorite.
You can also get creative on the grill with veggies, including: portabello mushrooms, tomatoes, scallions, eggplant, zucchini, string beans, broccoli, pineapple, tofu and my favorite, red bell peppers.
Cooking methods include: oiling the grill and placing the food directly on it, wrapping in foil, or putting on skewers and placing directly on the grill or in a shallow pan. Food can be brushed with barbeque sauce, sprayed lightly with oil or prepared with your own concoction.
Serving corn on the cob?
It can be grilled too. Lightly spray with oil or trans-fat free margarine and wrap in foil.
How about dessert?
An easy dessert is a fruit and pudding parfait prepared in layers of red, white and blue. Start with a red berry (strawberries or raspberries) on the bottom, soy vanilla pudding in the middle and blueberries on top.
Continue to layer until parfait glass is delectably full!
Your cook-out will be tastier, healthier and certainly more memorable. The foods are lower in total fat, saturated fat and there is no cholesterol to be found.
Now all we need is for someone to come up with an alternative to deviled eggs!