ROCKET YOUR WAY TO A DELICIOUS STAR-STUDDED 4TH
To avoid the big, noisy crowds of a fireworks show, we decided to challenge our friends to create big splashy displays on the food table instead of viewing exploding rockets in the sky. We hope our virtual July 4th party will inspire potlucks across the whole country and in continents across the globe.
What we love about our summer potlucks are the delicious surprises that arrive one-by-one as our potluckers come together to share their tasty, summer-focused contributions.
We think July 4th may be the perfect, high-spirited occasion to invite friends to the official firing up of the BBQ, roasting fresh ears of corn in the husk, and skewering bright colored fresh veggies for the grill. In the late afternoon, we, too, will be tossing some tasty vegan vittles on the barbecue and serving up a host of delicious salads and side dishes full of summer veggies and fresh flavors. And we simply can't wait to taste our delicious, soon-to-arrive potluck surprises our friends have created.
We'll even make some indulgent, homemade vegan ice cream using recipes from Jeff Rogers' Vegan Ice Cream, an awesome collection of rich and super-easy vegan ice cream recipes that come out great every time.
Although we're currently celebrating our nation's Independence Day with patriotic zest and colorful foods that put the spotlight on the red, white, and blue, these recipes are ideal not only for July 4, but also for other festive celebrations all summer long.
And now, we'd like you to meet some our friends who find the kitchen an ever-inspiring niche. We're delighted to show off the gorgeous, sumptuous, and innovative dishes they've created for the patriotic occasion.
LAURA THEODORE FEATURES
"HUNGRY GUY" BURGERS AND PARFAITS FOR JULY 4TH!
Laura Theodore is an award-winning jazz singer, songwriter, and actor who became interested in vegetarian cooking over 20 years ago. She is the on-camera host and co-producer of the Jazzy Vegetarian Cooking Show on a PBS show in its third season of dishing up gorgeous plant-based recipes. Laura also hosts Jazzy Vegetarian Radio on Blogtalkradio, a weekly podcast where she shares tips, recipes, and celebrity interviews with a touch of upbeat jazzy music to give it verve.
Laura is the author of three exceptional cookbooks: Jazzy Vegetarian, Jazzy Vegetarian Classics, and Vegan-ease that feature recipes from the Jazzy Vegetarian Television Show. Her cookbooks are truly a feast for the eyes with their blast of full-color photos, jazzy tips, and menu plans.
To discover more information about Laura's television show, radio podcasts, recipes, and cookbooks visit The Jazzy Vegetarian.
Here are the 3 links related to the television show airing on CREATE!
LAURA SAYS, "On July 4th, everybody loves a tasty and easy-to-prepare vegan burger (yep, even omnivores)! This mighty burger is big on taste, but has only 5-ingredients! The quick prep makes it a real standout for serving at a summertime party meal.
"I created this burger because my husband always complained that I did not make our veggie burgers BIG enough! So the "Hungry Guy" Burger was born. Packed with hearty black beans, spicy salsa and rolled oats, these five-ingredient wonders are delicious, hearty and filling too.
"Now everyone's happy on July 4th!"
"HUNGRY GUY" BURGERS FOR JULY 4TH
Makes 6 burgers / Ease Factor 1
2/3 cup (160 ml) plus 2 heaping tablespoons prepared salsa, plus more as needed (see Chef's Notes)
3 slices whole-grain bread, torn into chunks
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
2/3 cup (160 ml) rolled oats
Photos courtesy of Annie Oliverio.
Amount per serving, based on 6 servings/burgers:
RED, WHITE, AND BLUE PARFAITS
Makes 4 to 6 Servings
These jazzylicious parfaits are the perfect way to serve farm fresh strawberries and blueberries. A delectable cashew cream is layered between layers of luscious berries, garnished with a gluten-free cookie on top. The red, white and blue theme of this dessert is excellent for a July 4th party. Delightful!
1 1/2 cups (360 ml) raw cashews, soaked (see note)
1/4 (60 ml) cup raw unsweetened shredded dried coconut, soaked (see note)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup (180 ml) filtered or spring water plus more as needed
1 to 2 tablespoons maple syrup, to taste, optional
2 vegan cookies, any variety, (optional) for garnish
Put all of the Cashew-Coconut Cream ingredients in the blender and process until smooth. Add more water if needed to reach a "whipped cream" consistency, as desired. Taste and add more optional maple syrup, if desired. Refrigerate for 2 to 4 hours, or until thoroughly chilled.
Meanwhile, de-stem, then slice or dice the raspberries or strawberries and put them in a small bowl, reserving 4 whole berries for garnish. Put the blueberries in another small bowl. Cover and refrigerate the berries for 2 to 4 hours, so they are thoroughly chilled before assembling the parfaits.
Cut the cookies in half and set aside.
The parfaits are best assembled right before serving (see note). To assemble, put a heaping tablespoon of the Cashew-Coconut Cream in the bottom each of 4 tall parfait glasses. Top with one-fourth of the diced strawberries, (reserving 4 pieces for garnish). Top with another heaping tablespoon of the Cashew-Coconut Cream. Top with one-fourth of the blueberries, (reserving 4 blueberries for garnish). Spoon the remaining Cashew-Coconut Cream over the top of the parfaits, dividing it evenly among the four glasses. Garnish with one raspberry or strawberry, one blueberry, the cookie halves and a mint sprig. Serve immediately.
SHARON PALMER SERVES
AVOCADO SALSA ON THE 4TH!
Sharon Palmer, RD is the Plant-Powered Dietitian. Her passion for food, nutrition, and writing during 16 years in the nutrition profession has inspired her to write over 850 articles that have appeared in Better Homes & Gardens, Oxygen, Prevention, Los Angeles Times, Cooking Smart, and Today's Dietitian. She blogs daily at the Plant Powered Blog and is advisor for the Oldways Vegetarian Network and Today's Dietitian. In 2013 she received the Loma Linda University Distinguished Alumnus Award. Sharon is also the author of The Plant-Powered Diet and Plant-Powered for Life.
Be sure to visit Sharon's Plant-Powered Dietitian website for lots more recipes and informative articles.
Explore her daily blog posts at her Plant-Powered Blog
SHARON SAYS, "I love a good veggie-rich salsa dip for whole grain crackers, corn or bean chips, and veggies. And this avocado salsa is packed with extra goodies: corn, red onion, cilantro, black olives, and jalapenos. It's not only delicious, but it's beautiful to boot. Set out a bowl at a party and watch it disappear!"
Makes 10 servings
2 medium ripe yet firm avocados, diced
1 medium red bell pepper, diced
1/2 red onion, diced
1 1/2 cups (360 ml) frozen sweet corn, thawed
1 (2.25 ounce/64g) can black olives, sliced, drained
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 jalapeno pepper, finely diced
1/4 cup (60 ml) chopped cilantro or parsley
1 lemon, juiced
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Black pepper and sea salt as desired
AMRITA WELCOMES GUESTS
WITH VEGAN RICE PAPER ROLLS
WITH HOISIN PEANUT DIPPING SAUCE
Vegan blogger Amrita Bala was born in Singapore and currently lives in Melbourne, Australia. After many years as a vegetarian, she became vegan 3 years ago and credits her love of animals as inspiration. She's a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu London, a creator of innovative recipes, and calls herself a crazy cat lady. Amrita has a ball with her 4 cats named Bingo, Pudding, Richard Parker, and Ebichu.
For more of her delicious recipes and eye-catching food photos, visit Amrita's website, Crazy Vegan Kitchen
Amrita is also active on Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter #crazyvegankitchen
AMRITA SAYS, " These rice paper rolls make the perfect hot weather appetizer because there's no need to heat up the stove. They're filled with cooling vegetables, and the rolls are easy to serve because they can be eaten out of hand. Guests love the delightful crunch of fresh veggies and the fun of dipping the rolls into such a flavorful sauce that makes these pure fun to eat."
VEGAN RICE PAPER ROLLS
WITH HOISIN PEANUT DIPPING SAUCE
Makes 5 large rolls, or serves 10 when cut in half
1 large carrot, julienned
1 small cucumber, julienned
1/2 an avocado, cut into slices
Small bunch Thai basil
2 ounces (56g) tofu, cut into strips (we use Satay flavored Tofu)
1/2 cup (120 ml) mixed salad leaves
1 red chilli, seeded and cut into thin strips
Hoisin Peanut Dipping Sauce
1 tablespoon crunchy peanut butter
1 teaspoon Tamari
3 tablespoons water
Combine ingredients and whisk till smooth.
FAYE AND YAKIR LEVY TREAT
THEIR GUESTS TO AJVAR,
A BALKAN GRILLED EGGPLANT AND RED PEPPER DIP
Faye and Yakir Levy write the main culinary column of the Jerusalem Post.
Faye Levy is the author of cookbooks in three languages (English, Hebrew and French) --23 so far -- including the award-winning Faye Levy's International Vegetable Cookbook.
Her most recent titles are Healthy Cooking for the Jewish Home, Feast from the Mideast and 1,000 Jewish Recipes. Some of her other books are the award winning Classic Cooking Techniques, Chocolate Sensations, and the three-volume Fresh from France series.
The Levys have written for the Los Angeles Times. Faye has also written for other major newspapers throughout the U.S., and for Gourmet Magazine, Bon Appetit, Chocolatier, and Vegetarian Times.
Faye studied cooking in Paris at Ecole de Cuisine La Varenne. Initially she signed up for six weeks but being in Paris was so much fun, the Levys figured they would stay a little longer so that Faye could continue studying. Six years later, after Faye had earned the position of La Varenne's cookbook editor, they finally left this stopover on their trip from Israel to the United States.
The Levys love learning about culinary cultures by traveling, by visiting festivals, and by shopping at ethnic markets.
FAYE AND YAKIR SAY, "When we're grilling, we like to have eggplants and peppers on hand to put on the grill so we can make this dish. It has such good flavor from the grilled peppers and eggplant that it needs very little oil. For hot ajvar, grill and mince one or two chiles, preferably red, and stir into the mixture. Serve with fresh flatbread."
AJVAR, A BALKAN
GRILLED EGGPLANT AND RED PEPPER DIP
Serves 6 to 8 as an appetizer
5 red bell peppers (about 2 pounds/1 kilo)
1 to 2 garlic cloves, minced (1 to 2 teaspoons), divided, to taste
1 or 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or more to taste, plus additional olive oil for drizzling
1 tablespoon wine vinegar or fresh lemon juice, or to taste
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Cayenne pepper to taste (optional)
Chopped Italian parsley, for garnish
Olives, for garnish (optional)
ANNIE OLIVERIO DISHES UP
SEITAN HOT DOGS AND CHOCOLATE EARL GREY SHAKE
Plant-fueled since 2011, Annie Oliverio writes, runs, and cooks in the heart of Cattle Country. An enthusiastic "home chef," Annie started her blog, An Unrefined Vegan, to share her passion for creating cruelty-free, unprocessed, whole food recipes that are delicious, healthful, and simple to prepare. Annie's dishes contain little or no oil and her desserts are sweetened with fruit, dates, or stevia. It's all about nurturing body, brain, and conscience.
Through her project, Virtual Vegan Potluck, she invites both vegan and non-vegan bloggers to share a twice-yearly online potluck, demonstrating how food can bring people together. Annie's cookbook Crave, Eat, Heal: Plant-Based, Whole-Food Recipes to Satisfy Every Craving shows her skilled hand with the camera. She has been fortunate to have as participants, cookbook authors Kathy Hester, Robin Robertson, Natalie Slater, Ellen Jaffe Jones, and Bryanna Clark Grogan.
Read more about that event on her website, Virtual Vegan Potluck. Annie is also a recipe contributor to One Green Planet and a featured chef on Raw Food Recipes. In addition to creating delicious, innovative recipes, Annie is the go-to professional photographer for bloggers and several well-known cookbook authors like Laura Theodore, Robin Robertson, Kathy Hester, and Somer McGowan. To enhance her exceptional photos, she combs antique shops to collect items like tarnished flatware, faded fabrics, and vintage Pyrex.
Visit Annie's website for more of her stunning photography and delicious recipes at An Unrefined Vegan,
ANNIE SAYS, "Just in time for BBQ season! Next time you're invited to a picnic or cook-out, bring your own cruelty-free seitan hot dogs that taste oh-so-close to the "real" thing!"
VEGAN SEITAN HOT DOGS--OIL-FREE
1 vegan, beef-flavored bouillon cube (such as Not-Beef Bouillon)
1 tablespoon. miso paste
1 cup (120 ml) vital wheat gluten
1/4 cup (60 ml) toasted wheat germ
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
3/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon marjoram
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon dried onion flakes
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon sweet onion, finely minced
2 cloves garlic, grated or finely minced
1 1/2 cups (360 ml) water
1 1/2 cups (360 ml) vegetable broth
1 tablespoon tamari or soy sauce
CHOCOLATE EARL GREY SHAKE
Cool and creamy without a hint of guilt, this rich chocolate Earl Grey (tea) shake tames your craving for something sweet and sinful.
2 bananas, cut into chunks and frozen
2 Tbsp. cacao or cocoa powder
1 Tbsp. chia seeds, finely ground*
2 to 3 ice cubes
5 to 8 drops vanilla-flavored liquid stevia (or your favorite sweetener, to taste)
Calories 153 * Fat 3g * Protein 3g * Carbs 36g
NANCY EISMAN WOWS HER GUESTS
WITH PATRIOTIC POTATO SALAD
NANCY SAYS, "For the 4th of July, Bastille Day (7/14), or any other occasion that calls for a special take on a familiar favorite, this potato salad delivers the red, white, and blue in a unique and tasty way.
Red ingredients include Melissa's Fire Roasted Red Bell Peppers, Steamed Red Kidney Beans, Baby Red Potatoes, and red onion.
For white there's Melissa's Cipolline Onions and the white flesh from those red potatoes.
A blue hue is represented by Melissa's Baby Purple (navy-ish blue) Potatoes, and blue "cheese" dressing made from Follow Your Heart dressing and crumbled tofu (more white).
This simple-to-assemble salad makes a beautiful presentation and can be easily modified to personal taste buds and/or sensitivities. And while it may not be quite as American as apple pie, Patriotic Potato Salad is a dish you'll be proud to serve at your party, bring to a potluck picnic, or to enjoy whenever a celebration calls for something special."
PATRIOTIC POTATO SALAD
Yield: 6 to 8 servings
1/2 package (1.5 pounds/680g) Melissa's Baby Red Potatoes, boiled until tender and cubed
3 red bell peppers chopped (Melissa's Fire Roasted Red Bell Peppers)
3/4 cup (180 ml) red onion, diced
1/2 cup (120 ml) Melissa's Cipolline Onions, diced
1 package (9 ounce/255g) Melissa's Steamed Red Kidney Beans
1/2 (12-ounce/340g) bottle Follow Your Heart Vegan Blue Cheese Dressing
TESS MASTERS OFFERS UP
A COOLING WATERMELON GAZPACHO
Tess Masters is a cookbook author and a presenter and recipe developer who collaborates with leading food, culinary, and lifestyle brands. Her newest cookbook, The Blender Girl Smoothies published by Ten Speed Press in 2015, turns the world of smoothies into a culinary delight. Her first book is The Blender Girl Cookbook.
Tess has been featured in the Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, InStyle, Prevention, Real Simple, Thrive, Vegetarian Times, Living Without, Allergic Living, and New Idea. Online publications include Today, Shape, Glamour, Food Network, Parents, and Chow.
Tess also has a performance career, has worked in film and television, and has done voiceovers for commercial campaigns, audio books, and popular video games characters. Have a ball visiting her Healthy Blender Recipes website. Visit Tess on Facebook at https://facebook.com/healthyblenderrecipes
TESS SAYS, "Watermelon gazpacho is the bomb!
"The name says it all. Gazpacho rocks, and this concoction delivers a surprising taste explosion with every spoonful. A happy blend of sweet and spicy, the flavors in this chilled first course or main mellow nicely with time. In fact, the change in flavor is quite pronounced. This is particularly true of the onion.
"Like a fabulous sangria (see page 174), this soup is better the next day. But, it's delicious a few hours after preparing, so don't feel like you have to wait beyond the three-hour chill."
Serves 8 as a starter, 6 as a main
2 cups (300g) diced tomato
1 cup (145g) peeled, seeded, and diced cucumber
1/2 cup (70g) diced red bell pepper
2 tablespoons diced red onion, plus more to taste
3 tablespoons finely chopped basil
3 tablespoons finely chopped mint
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice, plus more to taste
1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
2 teaspoons minced ginger
1/2 teaspoon minced green serrano chile, plus more to taste
1/2 tablespoon natural salt, plus more to taste
Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
Put the 4 cups of chopped watermelon into your blender and puree on high for 30 to 60 seconds, until liquefied. Pour into a serving bowl. Add the 6 cups of diced watermelon and all the remaining ingredients. Stir to combine well. Tweak flavors to taste (you may want more onion, lime juice, chile, or salt).
Cover and chill in the fridge for at least 3 hours, but preferably 12 to 24 hours to allow the flavors to fuse and the vibrant red color to develop.
Before serving, tweak flavors again (if it's too spicy, add some lime juice). Pass additional lime juice and salt at the table.
Recipe reprinted with permission from The Blender Girl by Tess Masters, copyright 2014. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc.
ZEL ALLEN OFFERS GUESTS PATRIOT'S PUNCH
AND EXPLODING FIRECRACKER SALAD
Zel Allen is the author of two cookbooks: Vegan for the Holidays: Celebration Feasts from Thanksgiving through New Year's Day and The Nut Gourmet, a vegan cookbook featuring 150 unique, totally nutty recipes. She's also the co-publisher of Vegetarians in Paradise, an online monthly vegan magazine, operating since January 1999. You can also find Zel at her NutGourmet Blog, a cozy niche for tons of nutty endeavors, articles, nut-based and nut-free recipes.
Zel loves the holiday season so much she blogs on holiday foods and recipes at her Vegan for the Holidays Blog. She contributes recipes to Vegan Health and Fitness Magazine. Her published articles on exotic dining can be found in Vegetarian Journal. Zel also teaches vegan cooking classes in the Los Angeles area. Enjoy her recipes and features on her website Vegetarians in Paradise she shares with her husband, Reuben. For a few nutty recipes and informative articles visit her Vegan NutGourmet Blog . For Zel's holiday season recipes make Vegan for the Holidays Blog a must!
ZEL SAYS, "What do we crave most on a steamy July 4th afternoon when the mercury climbs above the comfort zone? A cooling glass of iced Patriot's Punch, of course! And it's so easy to prepare you'll want to enjoy it throughout the hot summer season. Serve this creamy punch in 8-ounce (120 ml) glasses filled with ice cubes and top them off with plump blueberries and bright red berries."
CREAMY PATRIOT'S PUNCH
Yield: 1 1/2 quarts (1.4 liters) or 4 six-ounce (180 ml) servings
2 cups (240 ml) water
1 (14-ounce/368g) can coconut cream
5 tablespoons maple syrup or agave nectar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon imitation coconut extract
EXPLODING FIRECRACKER SALAD
We simply can't have an occasion as special as July 4th without a sumptuous firecracker of a salad and this one practically explodes with color in the bowl! To finish the salad with a proper dressing for the occasion, I've offered a thick and creamy spice-infused dressing, but for those spice wimps, you can simply leave out the chipotle chile powder. For the spice lovers, crank it up a notch!!!!
Yield: about 6 to 8 servings
1/2 head romaine lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces
1 3-inch (7.5 cm) wide wedge purple cabbage, chopped
After displaying the salad long enough give the eyes some visual excitement, toss it well and serve with Chipotle Lime Ranch Dressing on the side.
Yield: 2 1/4 cups (540 ml)
1/4 cup (60 ml) plus 2 tablespoons and 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
2 tablespoon nutritional yeast flakes
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
3/4 teaspoon onion powder
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon chipotle chile powder