July 4th Vegan BBQ
July 8, 2012 § 3 Comments
I was a bit surprised when my mom said she wanted to have people over for the fourth. It was only two months prior, May 4, that my dad died. Some people probably find this odd to have a party so soon. I did at first. But I have to say, having the house full of our close friends made it somehow feel like he was there. Afterall, there’s nothing my dad enjoyed more than a full house, BBQ going, and margaritas blending. So with the party looming, I set out to find what I was going to make.
Last year when July 4th rolled around, panic struck. I’d been vegan for a whole day. A whole day! July 4 was going to be the second day of my 30 day vegan challenge and I was determined to stick with my challenge and not let the July 4th spread get the better of me. I entered the party and had everyone telling me to start on the 5th so I could enjoy all the food that day. But I was determined to stick with it.
I remember I brought a salad – just in case there wasn’t anything else I could eat. Well, I ate that salad all afternoon at the party. It was literally the only thing there I could eat. So, when the 4th rolled around this year, I knew I needed a better game plan.
I did some research and settled on three items to bring. I also wanted to make recipes I’d never made before. I think we all get in a rut of making the same things over and over again so a little change would be good.
Scouring the web, I found Chef Chloe’s mexicali sliders. Holy moly these were tasty. Everyone at the party liked them and several told me they wanted the recipe. Not bad for sliders on the 4th at a meat-eaters party!
These sliders weren’t hard to make but they weren’t exactly easy either. The tricky part is they are quite delicate so forming the patties just takes a little patience. I promise it is worth it though! Coupled with the spicy mango sauce and cooling guac, it makes for the perfect bite. One note: this recipe makes about double the guac and mango sauce you need so you could definitely cut those in half if you wanted to, although extra guac at a party is never an issue.
The second item I brought was Colleen Patrick-Goudreau’s tantalizing thai slaw from The Vegan Table. This slaw was another winner! It’s a fun spin on the classic coleslaw you usually find at a BBQ. There’s a bit of heat with the addition of red pepper flakes, garlic, and ginger. And my favorite bites were those with peanuts so I may add more next time. (If you don’t own it yet, The Vegan Table is a definite winner!)
Lastly, I brought rellenitos. These are a Guatemalan specialty and something my husband fondly recalls from his home. They were quite messy to make, and I need to perfect the recipe a bit more before sharing here, but they’re essentially just black bean stuffed plantains. They’re a bit sweet and can be eaten like a dessert.
This spread sure did beat my lonely salad last year! And as my mom has adopted a no-dairy lifestyle, there was a bit more I could eat this year including cous cous, veggie pasta salad, and a marinated broccoli salad (my fav that I need to get the recipe for!).
What did you bring to your July 4th celebration? Any suggestions for vegan friendly BBQ’s?