Healthy vegan BBQ recipes for the 4th of July

Healthy vegan BBQ recipes for the 4th of July

With the 4th of July just days away, it's time to fire up the grills for an Independence Day BBQ. Great food, friends and family are the perfect way to celebrate this national holiday. The typical BBQ is filled with meats like ribs, steak, burgers, chicken and fish slathered in a number of rubs and sauces. While these are fan favorites, they leave out vegans and vegetarians. It's time for us non-meat eaters to enjoy BBQs just as much as our meat-eating counterparts. There are plenty of ways to get a delicious protein meal without consuming meat. Check out these grilled recipes from Food.com and the Food Network for a scrumptious and healthy way to celebrate the fourth and please your veg-focused palate:

Chili Lime Grilled Tofu Steaks
Summer is all about staying fresh and light – and these tofu steaks are the perfect way to do so. They're healthy, but they don't taste it – they're packed with plenty of zesty flavor.

Here's what you'll need:

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 thinly sliced jalapeno (optional)
  • 1 cup sweet chili sauce
  • peanut oil – for grilling purposes
  • 1 14-16 ounce package extra firm tofu, drained

Directions:

Take your tofu and slice it in half lengthwise, then cut each half into two long strips, about half an inch thick. Next, mix the remaining ingredients in a small bowl. Lay out the tofu strips in a large shallow pan and pour the marinade over, turning each piece to fully coat. Marinade for at least one pour, or as long as overnight. Finally, heat oil in a nonstick pan over high heat and sear the tofu on each side until browned and heated – about 2 to 3 minutes per side.

Grilled Eggplant Salad
Salads serve as the perfect side dish for any Fourth of July BBQ. They're light, delicious and pair well with any main dish. Try out this one-of-a-kind salad recipe from the Food Network that doesn't come with any unhealthy, thick dressings:

Here's what you'll need:

  • 1 avocado, halved, pitted and chopped
  • 1 large red onion, cut into rounds
  • 1 Italian eggplant, cut into 1-inch thick slices
  • Canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Honey
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped oregano leaves
  • Olive oil
  • Parsley sprigs
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • Fresh salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Take your eggplant and brush it with canola oil before placing on the grill. Cook the eggplant until soft and grill the onions so that they have a slight char. Take off the grill and let cool, then chop and add them to a serving bowl with the avocado.

Grab a small bowl and whisk together the Dijon, red wine vinegar and oregano. Add olive oil and honey to taste and blend. Season with salt and pepper. Add the dressing to the eggplant mixture and toss until everything is evenly coated. Garnish with lemon zest and parsley sprigs. Serve the salad in chilled bowls for a crisp and healthy summer meal.

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