Tag Archives: Fourth of July cookout

This Fourth of July grill without guilt!

Black Bean Veggie Burger Credit PETA

Black bean veggie burger! Yum, yum!!!

By Heather Moore

Declare your independence from unhealthy animal-based foods this July 4, and all summer long, with a cool vegan cookout.

Charred meats can form cancer-causing chemicals, called heterocyclic amines or HCAs.

Undercooked meats can cause food poisoning — and both cause animal suffering — so it’s best to BBQ veggie burgers and other healthy, humane foods.

Vegetables and vegan meats taste great on the grill, and they’re better for you than animal-based foods, because they’re cholesterol-free and generally low in saturated fat, and they don’t form harmful carcinogens – even when they’re grilled beyond recognition!

If you’re looking for something simple, try grilling Gardein’s great-tasting beefless burgers, Boca’s original vegan burgers, Amy’s All-American veggie burgers, or any other ready-made vegan burger that’s suitable for the BBQ.

Just baste the burgers with barbecue sauce (many store-bought brands are vegan) before grilling to keep them moist. Since vegan meats are precooked, you only need to grill them for a few minutes.

If you’re feeling more ambitious, try this recipe:

Tropical Veggie Burgers

1 cup green lentils, rinsed
1/4 cup brown rice
2 cups vegetable broth
Water sufficient to cover the lentils and rice
Salt, to taste
1 1/2 Tbsp. margarine
1 onion, chopped
4 tsp. curry powder
1/3 cup shredded carrot
2 Tbsp. Sauvignon Blanc
2 Tbsp. hot sauce
1/2-3/4 cup panko
4 garlic cloves, minced
4 tsp. minced fresh ginger
1/2 tsp. ground allspice
1 tsp. cumin

·         Put the lentils and rice in a saucepan with the vegetable broth, adding enough water to cover by about 2 inches. Season with the salt and bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, until the lentils and rice are tender, about 30 minutes. Drain any excess liquid and place the lentils and rice in a large bowl. Let cool.

·         Meanwhile, melt the margarine in a skillet over medium heat and sauté the onion until tender, about 4 minutes. Stir in the curry powder and cook until aromatic, about 1 minute. Cool slightly and then add to the lentils and rice.

·         Stir in the remaining ingredients and season with the salt. Form into patties and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
·         Grill for 5 to 10 minutes on each side, until grill marks appear and the patties are hot.

To assemble:

1 can pineapple rings, drained
1 red onion, thinly sliced
1 Tbsp. margarine
Kaiser rolls
Lettuce
Vegan mayonnaise

·         Slice the pineapple rings in half to make a thinner ring. Grill until caramelized, about 5 minutes on each side.

·         Grill the onion until lightly browned.

·         Spread the margarine over the rolls and grill until lightly browned.

·         Place the veggie burgers on the buns and top with the pineapple, onions, lettuce, and vegan mayonnaise.

Makes 6 to 8 servings

Roast Your Vegetables!

You may also want to grill corn on the cob, potatoes, pineapples, eggplant, asparagus, or other fruits and veggies.

Roasting fruits and vegetables over charcoal caramelizes their natural sugars, and brings out their flavor. Cut all the vegetables the same size so that they cook evenly, and use a wire-mesh grilling screen so that soft foods won’t fall into the fire.

No Grill? No Worries!

Don’t despair if you don’t have a grill—PETA has a solution for that, too. Just visit PETA.org for free summertime recipes for pasta salad, potato salad, mint watermelonade, and more. PETA also has a variety of veggie burger recipes that don’t call for a BBQ, including these spicy black bean burgers:

Black Bean Veggie Burgers

2 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 cup diced red onion
1/2 cup diced bell pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
1 jalapeño, minced
2 cups black beans
1/2 cup corn
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1/2 tsp. cumin
2 Tbsp. chopped cilantro
1 tsp. salt
1/2 cup flour

·         In a saucepan over medium heat, add 1 tablespoonful of the olive oil and sauté the onion, bell pepper, garlic, and jalapeño for 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.

·         In a mixing bowl, mash the black beans, then add the sautéed vegetables, the corn, and the breadcrumbs and mix well. Season with the cumin, cilantro, and salt and mix again.

·         Shape into 6 patties, then coat each in flour.

·         Place a pan over medium-high heat and add the remaining tablespoonful of oil. Cook each patty for about 5 minutes on each side, or until lightly browned.

Makes 6 small patties