Memorial Day can be a bit of a tense holiday for vegans and vegetarians. With the smell of grilled burgers and hot dogs filling the air all over America, we might feel a little left out or uncomfortable. Whether you’re hosting a vegan Memorial Day cookout this year, or would like to have a few satisfying dishes to offer your vegan guests, here are some great ideas for making your holiday get together vegan friendly!
1. Store Bought Veggie Burgers
Store bought veggie burgers are an easy way to appease your vegan guests. Some popular veggie burgers you can find at the store are Boca burgers and Gardein. Just make sure to check the label for “vegan”, or make sure the ingredients do not contain dairy or egg products, as some veggie burgers are vegetarian but not vegan.
2. Tofurky Sausages
Another great meat alternative for your vegan guests is Tofurky sausages! Kielbasas in particular make a great, satisfying treat. Be sure to supply plenty of toppings too, like sauerkraut, onions, and relish. Just make sure that whatever vegan foods you are grilling have their own, clean section of the grill if you’re also grilling meat, to prevent contamination, or wrap the vegan food in foil on the grill to keep it clean and meat-free.
3. Smart Dogs
Smart dogs make a great alternative to your typical hot dog. However, smart dogs tend to cook better boiled in water as opposed to on the hot grill. Have ketchup and mustard ready along with other toppings, and make sure that your hot dog buns are also free of dairy, eggs, and honey.
4. Homemade Veggie Burgers
If you have the time, homemade veggie burgers make a wonderful vegan food dish for a holiday gathering, and can be a lot easier to make than you would think! A great place to start is with homemade black bean burgers. Fancy it up by topping with grilled pineapple rings and salsa or barbecue sauce.
5. Veggie Kabobs
If you grill veggie kabobs at your cookout, your veg guests are sure to really appreciate it! Skewer your favorite veggies, like zucchini, onions, and peppers and cook them over the grill, turning occasionally until the vegetables are soft and browned.
6. Grilled Tofu or Seitan
Tofu and seitan (or “wheat meat”) are also great for grilling. Buy marinated tofu at the store, or press and marinate it yourself, and then cook it on the grill for a few minutes. You can do the same with seitan for a savory, satisfying veggie protein.
7. Grilled Pineapple
Who doesn’t love grilled pineapple?! Just cut the pineapple into long, thick strips and grill it for a smokey sweet side dish. Surprisingly, grilled watermelon slices are just as good!
8. Corn on the Cob
Corn on the cob, on the grill, is a classic Memorial Day side. Make it vegan by brushing with olive oil or vegan margarine, and sprinkling with salt and pepper. You can also make it festive with a squeeze of lime juice and a sprinkling of chili powder.
9. Fruit Salad
Fruit salad is another easy vegan side to offer. Pick up a mixed fruit bowl at your local grocery store, or make your own by combining fresh grapes, cut melon, strawberries and slices apples.
10. Fresh Juice or Lemonade
Any of your vegan guests are sure to love fresh fruit juice or lemonade at your Memorial Day cookout. Homemade iced tea is another favorite.
11. Pasta Salad
Pasta salad is another classic dish that is surprisingly easy to make vegan! Just dress rotini pasta with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, and a little agave nectar and add veggies like cherry tomatoes, zucchini, and onions.
12. Chips and Dip
Chips and dip make a great snack for your vegan holiday guests. Homemade guacamole or salsa and tortilla chips are easy and delicious. Hummus and pita chips are another favorite. If your guests prefer potato chips, consider making your own sour cream and onion chip dip! It’s super easy: just pick up a container of Tofutti sour cream and mix in a packet of french onion dip mix from the store.