Tuesday, July 3, 2007

An Almost No Cooking Truly Independent Day

Here are some easy tips for an inclusive, no-muss, no-fuss kinda BBQ:

  • I suppose most grillers have their own methods for firing up burgers and stuff so I won't reinvent the wheel here. Obviously, the easiest burger solution for vegetarians are frozen veggie burgers. My all-time favorites for a few years now have been Morningstar Farms Grillers Prime, which are entirely vegetarian, though not vegan because they contain egg whites. Though the portion isn't huge and meaty, the taste is. My meat-loving grandfather even enjoyed them. The vegan Morningstar Farms burgers tastes like turds but I enjoy the vegan Amy's Organic All-American burgers. Rather than being mushy, like some veggie burgers, they have a crunchy, nutty, smokiness to them, no doubt due to the walnuts and natural hickory-smoked flavor they contain. I like to enjoy them with some American or cheddar cheese and slices of avocado and red onion.
  • The Baker makes delicious honey whole wheat rolls, that go great with any burger. Though the rolls are not entirely vegan, some of the company's sliced breads are.
  • I love cheese more than your average mouse. If I were vegan, I'd probably forgo non-dairy cheese because the ones I've tried taste awful. I don't even do lower fat cheese and I'm a veteran dieter. It's full-fat or nothing. Cabot Cheese has great cheddars made from non-animal derived rennet. For an oozy, slightly neon experience, I love Horizon Organic American Cheese slices, which also uses microbial as opposed to animal-derived rennet. I picked up some 100% vegan cheese slices by Galaxy Foods for Brian, which he enjoyed on a veggie burger. I was, however, too chicken to try it out due to its slightly brown-tinge. I've heard more than a few times that Sheese is pretty damn close to the real thing. They even have gouda, one of my absolute favorite cheeses. Be on the look out for cheeses that label themselves as soy or non-dairy cheese. That doesn't mean they are vegan. They may still contain casein and other substances derived from animal's milk.
  • There are other things to grill besides burgers and hot dogs. Epicurious has quite a few grilled tofu recipes. And as if I haven't talked about cheese enough, there's grilled halloumi. Halloumi tastes like very salty mozzarella but when you grill it, it doesn't entirely melt. The outside turns a lovely, grilled brown while the inside turns a bit soft. It's a meaty cheese, wonderful with sauteed or grilled onions and red peppers. The brand I pick up at Wegmans also contains non-animal derived rennet.
  • Why eat at all? Just drink margaritas all day:
  • Pomegranate Margarita, serves two
    2 cups
    pomegranate juice
    ½ cup lime juice
    2 tablespoons orange liqueur
    ½ cup
    lime, halved
    Margarita salt

    1. Pour
    pomegranate juice
    into an ice cube tray and freeze until solid, at least two
    2. Combine
    lime juice, orange liqueur, and tequila in a blender.
    Blend at high speed and
    gradually drop in all but two juice ice cubes. Blend
    until slushy.
    3. Run one
    half of lime over both serving glasses. Dip rim
    of glasses into a dish of
    margarita salt.
    4. Place one pomegranate ice
    cube in each glass. Pour
    margarita mixture into each glass and serve.

    Adapted from Mix a Marvelous Margarita, which was like a dollar at Target.

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