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Perfect Meal For 4th of July Celebrations

Vegan Kebab

Summer has been a bit slow to arrive in the Pacific Northwest this year, to say the least! But I am not complaining because while the rest of the country has been feeling the heat and drought quite early, lawns and meadows here are gloriously green, and our lakes and rivers are full! But I digress… we have inherited a nice BBQ and after having replaced most of the inside parts that touched food, and so we have been experimenting with fun recipes.

Let’s be honest, Fourth of July and summer BBQ in general can be a bit dicey for vegetarians and vegans. After all, most celebrations tend to center around some form of charred animal flesh! Luckily, there are so many plant-based products like Impossible burgers, veggie hot dogs, vegan ham and of course grilled vegetables. The idea is to find great summer dishes that can be made quickly, with a few ingredients, with a nice mix of fresh and grilled.


Vegetable kebabYou can use a combination of marinated tofu, or your favorite plant-based meat, and vegetables. Growing up in France, with limited outdoor space, we never did barbecue. I do have a vague recollection of attending a few summer events where whole pigs were cooked in a ground pit for hours! No wonder my recollection is vague! BBQ is after all a very meat-oriented American tradition!

So why bother? Well, because roasted vegetables are so darn good! And when it is hot, it is kind of nice to cook outside. We also lucked out, because our BBQ has a separate burner on the side that comes really handy to cook grain while veggies are being roasted!

Best vegetables for kebabs:
Mushrooms, zucchini, peppers, onions, squash, fennel.
You can also use root vegetables but they need to be blanched first. We love potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, beets, etc.

By the way, you may want to make extra roasted vegies so that you can make paninis with grilled veggies the next day for lunch!

Useful BBQ tools

Even as a barbecue newbie, I have experienced my fair share of dropping food through the grill. As a result, I tested a few cool tools that are really nice to have around. Some saved me time, added safety to working around a hot grill, and all were affordable and easy to clean.

Take wood or metal skewers for instance. If you use bamboo skewers, you will want to soak them first in warm water for 15-30 minutes, otherwise, they will burn with your food and it can get quite messy! So if you have some around the house, use them but when you are done with them, invest in some metal skewers. You won’t regret it!

Kabob baskets

Kebab basketsIf you are not attached to impaling your food, these baskets are great! Skip the skewers altogether! I am not sure what these are called (I found a brand new set at our local Goodwill) but they are really cool! If you don’t like to lose pieces while they are grilling, these narrow baskets will do the job! They have a nice wood handle that won’t heat up.  We used them for grilling asparagus,

Grilling Pouches
BBQ pouchesThese pouches are awesome, they can hold marinated slices, cubes, you name it, while they roast. You can brush more sauce while they cook. If you are sharing a BBQ grill, you can easily keep your food separate. Someone doesn’t like peppers? No problem, make them a separate pouch! When ready, just open the pouch and pour. Rinse under warm water and you are good to go! Easy enough.

Teriyaki  glaze

The sauce or glaze you use to flavor the kebab, and roasted vegetables makes all the difference. One of the easiest is homemade teriyaki sauce. It has a wonderful balance of salty and sweet. One of the advantages of making it from scratch is that you can control the level of sweetness. You can also add some chili if you like it spicy.

¼ cup soy sauce
1 cup water
4-5 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp agave syrup
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp Minced ginger
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tbsp cornstarch + 2 tbsp water

Make the cornstarch slurry by mixing the cornstarch with 2 tbsp water.
Whisk all the ingredients and simmer for a few minutes until the sauce starts to thicken.
Add the cornstarch slurry and continue to whisk until you obtain the perfect thickness.
Pour in a glass jar and refrigerate until needed.

Grilled corn on the cobb 

Grilled corn on the cobbCorn on the cobb is a great addition to any barbecue. You can use a mix of spices like cayenne, garlic, and lime, into oil or vegan butter and brush generously before grilling. It only needs 10 minutes to cook.




If you want something really refreshing as a starter, look no further than gazpacho. It is such a wonderful quick cold soup that is colorful and so good for you too! Get your blender out for this one!

Virgin Mojito

Virgin Mojito cocktail
Mojito cocktail on dark stone table

This is one of our favorite go-to drinks on any hot summer day. There is something so refreshing about combining cucumber, fresh mint, simple syrup, and lots of ice. I also like to blend the cucumber and add some grapes for added sweetness.
Make sure to peel the cucumber before blending it otherwise the drink could be a little bitter but you can always add more sweetener!



There you have it, a perfect meal for 4th of July celebration!


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