Vegan Fourth of July Menu

The Physicians Committee

Food for Life

Vegan Fourth of July Menu

Potato salad

PCRM would like to share these healthful Fourth of July barbecue and picnic recipes that avoid the carcinogens that form when meat is barbecued. We have a variety of high-fiber, low-fat recipes that can be added to any of your meals. The key is to incorporate fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables into your recipes and to keep your recipes simple. Tips like using vegetable broth in place of oil or creamed cashews in place of dairy products in soups make for tasty, yet healthy versions of traditional favorites. For more tips like this, click here.


Blue Corn Chip Salad

Portobello Fajitas

Balsamic Zucchini Sandwiches

Potato Salad

Mango Lime Sorbet

Blue Corn Chip Salad

Blue corn chips are a feast for the eye and the taste buds.

Makes 2 servings

4 cups baked blue corn chips (other colored corn chips can be substituted)

1 small head red-leaf lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces

16 ounces cooked black beans, rinsed

1 cup salsa

3 roasted red peppers, sliced into strips about 2" long by 1/2 " thick

1 Roma tomato, diced

1/4 cup pepitas (green pumpkin seeds; optional)

Place the corn chips on the plates first, followed by the lettuce, then the beans, then the tomatoes, then the salsa, and top it off with the sliced roasted red peppers. If you decide to add pepitas, make them the final ingredients you place on the salad.

Per serving (1/2 recipe): 239 calories, 10 g protein, 39 g carbohydrate, 16 g sugar, 2 g total fat, 9% calories from fat, 15 g fiber, 340 mg sodium

Recipe from Jason Wyrick found in 21-Day Weight Loss Kickstart: Boost Metabolism, Lower Cholesterol, and Dramatically Improve Your Health by Neal Barnard, M.D.

Portobello Fajitas

Portobello mushrooms

Portobellos are thick and juicy, with lots of flavor, making them a satisfying alternative to meat. If you cook them separately from the other veggies in this recipe, you can even sear them on high heat and make them a bit crispy!

Makes 2 servings

1/2 onion, thinly sliced

splash of water (about 3 tablespoons)

2 large portobello caps, thickly sliced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 large roasted red pepper, sliced

3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

corn or whole wheat flour tortillas

salsa or lime wedges

Over medium-high heat, sauté the onion until it turns a rich, dark, brown color. Add a splash of water and quickly stir. The liquid will evaporate in just a few seconds. Reduce the heat to medium. Add the portobellos and garlic and sauté until the mushrooms glisten and lose their raw, whitish look. Add the cumin and chili powder; sauté for 15 to 30 more seconds. Remove the pan from the heat. Immediately add the roasted red peppers and cilantro.

Serve with tortillas as well as salsa or lime wedges.

To make it simpler, once the onion is browned, reduce the heat to medium. Add the splash of water and then all the other ingredients (except for the tortillas and toppings). Make sure that a very thin layer (about 1/8 inch) of water stays in the pan while everything cooks. As soon as the mushrooms are done, the fajitas are ready to serve.

For a gourmet touch, turn the heat to high once the onions just start to brown. Add the portobellos and sear them until you see some of the outer bits start to crisp. Turn the heat down to medium and proceed with the above recipe. Use a nut-brown ale instead of water. Alternatively, you can grill the portobellos over mesquite wood and add them at the very end of the recipe.

Per serving (1/2 recipe): 286 calories, 10 g protein, 60 g carbohydrate, 5 g sugar, 3 g total fat, 10% calories from fat, 5 g fiber, 668 mg sodium

Recipe from Jason Wyrick found in 21-Day Weight Loss Kickstart: Boost Metabolism, Lower Cholesterol, and Dramatically Improve Your Health by Neal Barnard, M.D.

Balsamic Zucchini Sandwiches


This quick sandwich combines the flavors of fresh zucchini sautéed in balsamic vinegar with the creaminess of roasted red pepper and cannellini bean spread.

Makes 2 servings

2 zucchini, cut lengthwise into 1/2"-thick strips

4 cloves garlic, sliced

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1 cup rinsed white kidney beans (cannellini beans)

1 large roasted red pepper

2 whole wheat sandwich rolls (mini baguettes or bolillo rolls)

6–8 fresh basil leaves

1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper

Over medium-high heat, sauté the zucchini strips for about 1 minute (do not overcrowd the pan). Reduce the heat to medium. Add the garlic and balsamic vinegar and stir immediately. Sauté this for about 30 seconds and remove from the heat. Puree the white beans and roasted red pepper. Toast the buns. Spread the pureed beans on the bottom bun, then add the basil, then the zucchini, and finish off with a garnish of black pepper.

To make it simpler, instead of making the roasted red pepper and white bean spread, simply use a commercial roasted red pepper hummus.

For a gourmet touch, instead of sautéing the zucchini slices, toss them in the balsamic vinegar and then grill them over mesquite wood.

Per serving (1/2 recipe): 380 calories, 19 g protein, 76 g carbohydrate, 11 g sugar, 2 g total fat, 5% calories from fat, 14 g fiber, 465 mg sodium

Recipe from Jason Wyrick found in 21-Day Weight Loss Kickstart: Boost Metabolism, Lower Cholesterol, and Dramatically Improve Your Health by Neal Barnard, M.D.

Potato Salad

Potato Salad

2 medium potatoes, peeled (if desired) and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 2 1/2 cups)

1/2 cup diced sweet onion

1/2 cup diced celery

1/2 small red bell pepper, finely diced

1/4 cup minced fresh parsley

1 teaspoon dried dill weed

1/4 cup fat-free or low-fat soy based mayonnaise

1 tablespoon seasoned rice vinegar

1 1/2 teaspoon mustard

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

Steam the potatoes until just barely tender when pierced with a knife, about 10 minutes. Do not overcook. Transfer to a large bowl and add the onion, celery, bell pepper, parsley, and dill weed.

In a separate bowl, combine the mayonnaise, vinegar, mustard, salt, and pepper. Mix well. Add to the potato mixture and toss gently until evenly distributed. Chill thoroughly before serving.

Stored in a covered container in the refrigerator, leftover Potato Salad will keep for up to three days.

Per serving: 135 calories; 3.8 g fat; 0.5 g saturated fat; 25.1% calories from fat; 0 mg cholesterol; 2.9 g protein; 23.7 g carbohydrate; 4.7 g sugar; 3.4 g fiber; 289 mg sodium; 46 mg calcium; 2.3 mg iron; 36.4 mg vitamin C; 394 mcg beta-carotene; 1.1 mg vitamin E

Recipe from The Cancer Survivor’s Guide

Mango Lime Sorbet


This dessert is a silky smooth sorbet inspired by the lush flavors of Thailand.

Makes 6 servings

2 cups pureed partially frozen mango

1/2 cup agave nectar

juice of 2 limes

This recipe works best if the mango is frozen, and then allowed to thaw for about 15 minutes. Once it has partially thawed, puree the mango along with the agave and lime juice. Pour the puree into a shallow glass or metal bowl and then place it in the freezer. After 30 minutes, stir the puree, then repeat every 15 minutes thereafter until you are ready to serve.

To make it simpler, use store-bought frozen mango to avoid peeling and deseeding several fresh mangoes.

Note: The freezing process accentuates tartness and reduces the sweet flavor. That means the puree should be slightly less tart and slightly sweeter than you expect the final product to be.

Per serving: 139 calories, 0.5 g protein, 35 g carbohydrate, 33 g sugar, 0.2 g total fat, 1% calories from fat, 2 g fiber, 2 mg sodium

Recipe from Jason Wyrick found in 21-Day Weight Loss Kickstart: Boost Metabolism, Lower Cholesterol, and Dramatically Improve Your Health by Neal Barnard, M.D.



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