Besides the fireworks, the grilled veggie burgers and hanging out with friends by the pool, celebrating the 4th without red , white and blue themed snacks is a no no! When else do you get to eat and drink that most glorious combo of patriotic colors? I’ve complied a few tips to add a little “green” to your 4th as well as some recipes that will complement the boatloads of bbq and beer you may be consuming throughout this festive weekend:
- Plan ahead on where you will be spending the 4th and see if you can carpool with friends. Check online for the nearest fireworks site and either take a romantic stroll or bike there to save gas, parking frustration and to burn off the days grub!
- Make smarter drinking choices like juices with organic liquor, organic wines and beers and most of all, drink responsibly.
- Opt to make a healthy dish to bring to the festivities. Pre-packaged sides and snacks are full of preservatives and unpronounceable ingredients. If you can’t cook, bring organic bagged lettuce, organic dressing, a big bowl and you’ve brought a healthy side everyone will appreciate ; )
- And try one of these vegan friendly treats:
Herbed Couscous with Tomatoes
1 1/2 cups reduced-sodium veggie broth or water
1 cup whole-wheat couscous
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil or infused oil
1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
2 tablespoons minced fresh tarragon, parsley or thyme
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Bring broth (or water) to a boil in a medium saucepan; add couscous, olive oil (or infused oil), tomatoes and tarragon (or parsley or thyme). Stir, remove from the heat, cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Uncover, fluff with a fork and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Red, White, and Blueberry Freezee
1 c Vegan Whipping cream
1/2 c Frozen blueberries
1 ds Lemon juice
1 x Sugar to taste
Small Strawberries for garnish
Mix together the whipping cream, blueberries, lemon juice, and sugar in a blender.
Top with a few strawberries. If you would like to spike it, a little rum should do the trick!
- Soy butter, soy margarine or vegan baker’s spray
- One package (2 layer size) of vegan white cake mix (plus ingredients to make the cake — listed on the box)
- One package (4 serving size) red vegan jello
- 1 cup boiling water
- 1/2 cup cold water
- 3 1/2 cups (8 ounce container) vegan Hip Whip or other vegan whipped topping, thawed
- 1 pint strawberries, washed and sliced
- 1 cup blueberries, washed
- 1 cup vegan miniature marshmallows
Grease 13 x 9 pan with margarine and dust lightly with flour. Prepare and cook cake mix according to package directions. Cool cake for fifteen minutes. Use large fork to make holes in the cake about every 1/2 inch. Pour jello into mixing bowl. Add the cup of boiling water and use scraper to thoroughly mix it until the jello is completely dissolved. Use the measuring cup to scoop out the jello and pour it over the cake. (It will run down into the holes, making the cake have pretty red stripes.) Put the cake into the refrigerator and let it chill for 3 to 4 hours. Use this time to cover your tray with aluminum foil if you wish. Once the cake is on the tray, you can decorate the sides of tray with star stickers. Put about one inch of warm water in the kitchen sink. Take pan out of refrigerator and dip just the bottom (don’t let the water come up over the sides) into the water for about ten seconds. Put the large tray on top of the cake and hold on tightly! Turn the cake over so that the tray is on bottom and the pan is on top. Take the pan off. The cake should be resting on the tray. Frost the sides and top with whipped topping. Arrange the strawberries, blueberries, and marshmallows on the cake so that it looks like a flag. (You should have rows of red and white stripes and the blue “background” of blueberries in the upper left hand corner. Put your flag cake into the refrigerator until you are ready to serve it!
Have a very happy and safe 4th!!