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how to survive the summer bbq

 If you're vegan, vegetarian, or trying to decrease your meat consumption, what do you do at the old BBQ? Summer is when everyone asks us veggies, what can you possibly can survive on? "What do you do for protein?", they say as the sides of their mouths drip with the grease they just consumed. We won't mention to them about how gross they're about to feel an hour later after that giant hamburger, hotdog, and ribs they just ate, along with a slice of pie and the bag of chips. Instead, I say, join the party and teach them by serving up some healthy, plant-based, protein filled dishes, minus the saturated fat and cholesterol!To enjoy any gathering, I always bring along a few dishes that I know will feed & satisfy me, and my meat-loving friends and family. While I don't expect to convert all to a healthier lifestyle, I do always try to provide people with options. And guess what? People always thank me for bring the veggies! The color, the flavor, the textures of plant-based foods always delight the senses. When it's fresh from the garden, nothing can top it. And when placed on a table filled with brown foods, mine stand out! What can I say, except, would you like some more?I have picked a few easy to make and bring items that will delight any skeptic. Please follow my blog, for more seasonal dishes, as we move from springtime to the summer party season. All of my recipes are gluten free, most being oil-free as well. If you don't have time to prepare something, a basic salad, or fresh veggies to toss on the grill are a great addition too! Grilling veggies like asparagus, zucchini, eggplant, broccoli, are great additions to any meal. I like to marinade them in a ginger miso dressing or flavored balsamic vinegar, sprinkled with a little salt and pepper. No need for oil. Below are a few salads, apps, main dishes, and desserts to bring along.

Buckwheat Tabbouleh

Chipotle Brussels Sprout Slaw

Arugala Lentil Salad (replace the grapefruit with fresh seasonal berries)

Chipotle Hummus (yes, I really like chipotle powder!-shown in photo above with Tabbouleh)

Springtime Tahini Quinoa Salad With Fresh Asparagus

Miso Marinaded Tofu Shish Kabobs (it's an oldy, but a goody, so forgive the old name and the photo quality)

Black Bean Enchiladas or Black Bean Filling

Raw Strawberry Tart (shown at top)

Dark Chocolate Truffles (best served straight from the freezer)

Sesame Eggplant Salsa (my photography has improved so much since last summer? Check out the link and let me know)

So the next time cousin Tim makes fun of your veggie lifestyle, use it as a teachable moment. Discuss how much plants have made an impact on your life, and serve him up a spoonful of your delicious hummus!Be well, and BBQ onward! Remember, the grill can be used for things other than meat!

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