Fourth of July is right around the corner and summer barbecues have started in full force.
I have always been a big fan of barbecues for many reasons.
- I like food.
- I like spending time with family and friends.
- I like spending time outdoors.
- I love summertime!
After becoming a vegetarian (also, an occasional pescatarian when out to eat), I always struggled with finding good vegetarian barbecue options. Having been a vegetarian for about four years, I have found some tasty alternatives to a steak or hot dog on the grill. I thought that I would share some easy and tasty barbecue options for July 4th – for those vegetarian or meat eaters alike!
PORTOBELLO MUSHROOM WITH GOAT CHEESE AND COUSCOUS SALAD
Prepare as many portobello mushroom caps as you like by taking off the stems and scooping the dark gills out with a spoon. I like to marinate my mushrooms in balsamic vinegar but only for 20-30 minutes. You can prepare the goat cheese and couscous salad up to a couple of days ahead of time. It is super easy and delicious! I like to have a tablespoon of goat cheese to a cup of cooked couscous ratio. I also add a sesame ginger dressing to the mix that gives it a nice flavor but feel free to play around – it really is a blank canvas!
When ready, grill each cap for approximately 10 minutes and top with goat cheese and couscous salad. Serve immediately.
GRILLED ROMAINE LETTUCE
This is my go to recipe whenever a grill is involved. It may seem a little strange but trust me, grilled lettuce is great!
Simply spray a couple of cleaned leaves of romaine lettuce with olive oil (if you don’t have a spray, lightly brush the leaves with the oil). Sprinkle each leave with sea salt and pepper. Grill each leave until both sides are a bit charred. Feel free to eat these suckers alone or dip in your choice of dressing (BLC likes ranch while I prefer Frank’s Red Hot Ketchup).
CHEESY GRILLED STREET CORN
Another easy one! For this recipe, clean the husk off the corn cobs but keep the stems intact. I like to use a wedge of laughing cow cheese because it is easy to spread and coat the corn with it. Sprinkle each ear with salt, pepper, lime juice and chili powder. Wrap each corn in aluminum foil and throw on the grill for about 30 minutes, spinning with tongs occasionally so that the corn is cooked evenly.
Press a block of tofu to expel excess liquid. Slice the block into sticks. Spray with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder. I usually bake these on a cookie sheet in the oven until they brown slightly but I think it would work just as well on a sheet of aluminum foil (so they don’t fall through the grates) on the grill! Haven’t tried it that way – but will report back!
Serve with ketchup or dipping sauce of your choice!
VEGGIE BURGER SALAD
I love all of the fresh toppings for summertime burgers. I also love ketchup and mustard. So I thought, why not mix it all together?
A tip for cooking veggie burgers on the grill is to bake the burger in the oven for approximately 15 minutes or so prior to grilling it.
Once the veggie burger is cooked, I cut or crumble it onto a bed of lettuce, tomatoes, onions, shredded carrots, really any salad toppings your little heart desires (tofu dogs are a welcome addition)! I add Frank Red Hot Ketchup and spicy horseradish mustard (that I am obsessed with from Trader Joe’s) and mix everything together. Don’t knock it till you try it!
Sunshine Burgers are organic, vegan and gluten-free burgers that come in a variety of different flavors – I had the opportunity to try the Southwest and the Garden Herb flavors.
I’m a big fan of veggie burgers, in general, but these were just so versatile! I have eaten both flavors with my veggie burger salad and they both add something a little different. They are easy to crumble so you can add them to many different types of recipes (I want to try them in tacos or eggs!) The Southwest flavor adds a bit of a kick – so of course, that was my favorite!
I am also a big advocate of an ingredient list that is short, sweet and recognizable. Sunshine Burgers does a great job at that!
Southwest contains: Organic ground raw sunflower seeds, organic cooked brown rice, organic carrots, organic cooked black beans, organic paprika, organic cumin, organic onion, organic garlic, organic green pepper, sea salt, organic cilantro, organic jalapeno pepper.
How is that for a straight-forward ingredient list? I know they’ve won be over!
Be sure to try this dish out because you really get that burger taste, it is super fresh, healthy and easy!
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Sunshine Burger’s Philosophy:
“Sunshine Burgers offer a nutritious alternative for anyone seeking a healthful, flavorful diet. Made from simple, wholesome organically grown ingredients including sunflower seeds and brown rice, all flavors of Sunshine Burgers are free of gluten, wheat, soy, corn, oats, dairy, eggs, tree nuts and peanuts. Sunshine Burgers are produced without the use of toxic, synthetic pesticides or fertilizers, and all our products are Non-GMO Project Verified. In fact, Sunshine Burger was the first Veggie Burger to become Non-GMO Project Verified.”
Plus, as a special Fourth of July treat – one reader will receive FREE product coupons for Sunshine Burgers! Be sure to enter below:
If you just can’t wait, sign up for Sunshine Burgers’ e-newsletter to receive coupons for a discount on some burgers!
*I received Sunshine Burger product to review without monetary compensation. All opinions are my own. I was given the opportunity to review through the Sweat Pink Ambassador community.