With tomorrow being the 4th, I thought this post would be a bit helpful. As we all know by now, we don’t have to give up a damn thing when we choose to go vegan except maybe the mindless killing of innocent sentient beings. But, again, you already knew that. So if you are new to veganism and feel like you are going to be out of place at the family BBQ bring some stuff with you. I know I hate making the host worry about what they “need” to provide for me so I try to bring something. Here’s a guide to some of my faves, which doesn’t mean there aren’t others out there.
HOTDOGS: Whole Foods own brand, 365 Everyday Value, makes a great vegan hot dog. I have had a few other brands before and within 30 seconds of being on a grill they swell up like a balloon and get really disgusting. Those one’s have a very synthetic flavor to them as well. I’m not really trying to replicate the taste and feel of a real hot dog, but if I were, this would be the dog that hits that mark! Bringing a pack of these to a BBQ will not only allow you to “fit in” but you never know, maybe someone might want to try one?!
BURGERS: There are tons and tons of burger to choose from, but if I were looking for the perfect BBQ burger to have at a cookout with friends and family it would be Beyond Meats Beast Burger. This burger is not only diesel size wise, it cooks up quick and has an amazing flavor. It’s got a hell of a lot less cholesterol as well. Actually it has 0 grams compared to the 70+ grams a heart clogging beef burger has. If your pals are worried about your protein you can assure them that this has as much as their 80% lean burger has and 100% less death.
SAUSAGES: That bun is looking awfully lonely (empty) with only some peppers and onions inside it. You can maybe add some mustard but it’s still missing something… hmmm! Tofurkey has you covered with a collection of sausage flavors. My favorite right now is the tomato and basil. It’s great for a ton of different dishes but I prefer it on a bun with all the ingredients above. It reminds of leaving a show and getting some grab at the vendor outside. Except these are better and I feel good after eating them, not like I swallowed a lead balloon.
A few days ago I published a recipe for a traditional New England Potato Salad, veganized of course. Not to toot my own horn, but it came out pretty damned good and had a very similar flavor. There are a couple minor tweaks I would make though. You can choose whatever type of potato you want, but for me the mayo choice is key. I’ve tried a bunch of different mayo companies but find that Just Mayo by Hampton Creek has the best flavor in a potato salad. Also, when making the recipe do try to wait and add the Dang coconut bacon until serve time as it does tend to get squishy rather than crunchy.
One of the most valuable tools for a decent vegan cookout is a basket to grill veggies. My wife picked up this amazing on that I’ve been using and absolutely love. The cut outs are tiny enough that food does not fall through but good enough that flame can make it in a give good color to the veggies. I like to toss zucchini, carrots, onions, summer squash and more in my basket, after tossing it in butter and spices first.
Oh and here’s a poor man’s pro-tip on mexican street corn! Cook that corn on the cob up and using a butter knife spread some Just Mayo chipotle on it, sprinkle some ancho chili powder and some fresh parsley (we have it growing wild in the yard). Boom! That sh!t is tasty AF!!
As night descends and you start to feel left out as everyone is making smores and roasting marshmallows remember that you packed your own. You can pick up a pack of Dandie’s or Trader Joe’s new vegan marshmallow! Ya, you can get in on that action too!!
What do you like to have for the 4th?