Being meat-free on 4th of July!

Published July 2, 2011 by ABadKitten

It’s Independence Day weekend! That means vacation (except for me and a few other unlucky people…), barbeque, family/friends, booze, and fireworks. I love it all, even the barbeque. Being vegetarian, my friends and family always get slightly awkward when inviting me to a barbecue because they have no idea what to make me. It’s usually salad, the sides and “Please, just let me know what you’d like. I’ll make it for you! ” Even though I don’t eat meat, I’m fairly easy to please when it comes to a barbeque. Plus, my choices are pretty tasty so I’m not the only one who indulges in my healthy foods!

It’s very easy being a vegetarian around the holidays. It’s also very healthy.

*Veggie Burgers (Default #1)*

These are the normal default for any barbecue or festivity I end up attending. Morning Star Farms is my favorite brand and other people seem to enjoy it as an alternative to meat burgers, too.

Grillers Prime Nutrition Facts (Serving Size: 1 patty):                                      

Calories: 170

Fat: 9g

Cholesterol: 0g

Sodium: 390mg

Potassium: 160mg

Total Carbs: 4g

Protein: 17g


*Veggie Dogs (Default #2)*

Otherwise known as tofu dogs, I actually prefer these. I go for Smart Dogs or a kind specifically called Tofu Dogs because they’re healthier and I think they taste the best fresh off the grill.

Smart Dogs Nutrition Facts (Serving size: 1 link):

Calories: 45

Total Fat: 0g

Cholesterol: 0mg

Sodium: 290mg

Total Carbs: 3g

Protein: 8g


*Grilled Pineapple and Coconut*


Now it gets more fun. I found this recipe online a while ago and it’s to die for.


  • 2 tbsp honey or agave nectar
  • 2 tbsp dark rum
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 4 or 5 slices fresh pineapple
  • 1 cup flaked coconut


Whisk together the honey (or agave nectar), rum and lemon juice in a wide dish. Add the pineapple and coat well. Allow the pineapple to marinate for at least one hour in the refrigerator.

Lightly grease your grill and fire up to a medium heat.

Coat the pineapple with coconut on both sides, pressing the coconut into the pineapple to get it to stick.

Grill on both sides for about 8 to 10 minutes.



*Grilled Artichokes*

For anyone who loves these tasty things, this is a must try!


  • 2 lemons
  • 4 large (3-3 1/2 pounds) artichokes
  • 1 tablespoon(s) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon(s) salt
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste


  1. To prepare artichokes: Fill a Dutch oven with water; add the juice of 1 lemon. Trim leaves from the top of an artichoke. Remove the outer layer(s) of leaves from the stem end and snip all remaining spiky tips from the outer leaves. Trim an inch off the bottom of the stem and use a vegetable peeler to remove the fibrous outer layer. As each artichoke is prepared, drop it into the lemon water to prevent it from turning brown.
  2. When all the artichokes are prepared, cover the pan and bring to a boil. Boil until the base of the stem can be pierced with a fork, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and let stand until cool enough to handle, about 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, preheat grill to medium. Slice the artichokes in half lengthwise. Scoop out the choke and first few inner layers in the center until the bottom is revealed. Brush each half with oiland sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill the artichokes until tender and lightly charred, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a serving platter, squeeze half a lemon over them and garnish with the remaining lemon half cut into 4 wedges. Serve warm, at room temperature, or chilled.

    Variation: For boiled artichokes, add 5 minutes to the cooking time in Step 2. Serve whole or cut in half and scoop out the chokes.


*Grilled Eggplant and Portobello Sandwich*

This is one of my favorite recipes from this website and one that I’ve made for myself and some friends quite a few times.


  • 1 clove(s) (small) garlic, chopped
  • 1/4 cup(s) low-fat mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon(s) lemon juice
  • 1 medium (about 1 pound) eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2 large portobello mushroom caps, gills removed (see Tips & Techniques)
  • Canola or olive oil cooking spray
  • 1/2 teaspoon(s) salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon(s) freshly ground pepper
  • 8 slice(s) whole-wheat sandwich bread, lightly grilled or toasted
  • 2 cup(s) arugula or spinach, stemmed and chopped if large
  • 1 large tomato, sliced


  1. Preheat grill to medium-high.
  2. Mash garlic into a paste on a cutting board with the back of a spoon. Combine with mayonnaise and lemon juice in a small bowl. Set aside.
  3. Coat both sides of eggplant rounds and mushroom caps with cooking spray and season with salt and pepper. Grill the vegetables, turning once, until tender and browned on both sides: 2 to 3 minutes per side for eggplant, 3 to 4 minutes for mushrooms. When cool enough to handle, slice the mushrooms.
  4. Spread 1 1/2 teaspoons of the garlic mayonnaise on each piece of bread. Layer the eggplant, mushrooms, arugula (or spinach), and tomato slices onto 4 slices of bread and top with the remaining bread.

    Carb Servings: 2 starch, 2 vegetable, 1/2 fat. Carbohydrate Servings: 2. Nutrition Bonus: Potassium (22% daily value), Folate (20% dv), Magnesium & Vitamin C (18% dv).


If you end up heading over to the website I’ve been linking, check it out! They have amazing recipes on there!!



There are millions upon millions of different and healthy  meatless recipes out there and you don’t have to be vegetarian to try them! They’re healthy and delicious and extremely fun to make. If you feel like trying something different this year, bring along a few of these dishes and watch your friends and family devour them.


What yummy recipes do you bring to your 4th of July bash?

Happy 4th of July everyone!




(Image Source)





2 comments on “Being meat-free on 4th of July!

  • Just learned of a veggie hot dog called “leanies”.  Very close in taste and texture to real ones. Paige might even like them.    As for grillers give me the california turkey or any of them besides the regular and prime.  The black bean ones have a nice spicey kick…..

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