Vegan Fourth of July Menu

The Physicians Committee

Vegan 4th of July Menu

Vegan Fourth of July Menu


Looking for delicious plant-based recipes to kick off your Fourth of July celebration? We’ve got you covered with everything from potato salad and veggie burgers to mango lime sorbet! Brightening up your plate with these health-promoting foods—and skipping the hot dogs and cheeseburgers—is something to celebrate!


Black Bean Cakes with Mango Salsa
Balsamic Zucchini Sandwiches
Barbecue-Style Portobellos
Blue Corn Chip Salad
Potato Salad

Mango Lime Sorbet

Black Bean Cakes with Mango Salsa

Black Bean Cakes with Mango Salsa

For the Black Bean Cakes:

1/2 cup hot or mild salsa
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 15-ounce cans black beans, drained
1 1/2 cups dry bread crumbs, divided
1/4 cup finely chopped green onions
salt, to taste
black pepper, to taste
nonstick cooking spray

For the Mango Salsa:

2 ripe mangos, peeled and cubed
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
1/4 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
2 tablespoons finely chopped green onions
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons sugar or agave nectar
pinch cayenne pepper

1. Combine salsa, cumin, and black beans in a food processor until smooth. Add one cup bread crumbs, green onions, salt, and black pepper.

2. Divide the mixture into small patties, roughly 1/8 cup each. Dredge in remaining 1/2 cup bread crumbs. Set the patties on a tray and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

3. While Black Bean Cakes chill, combine all Mango Salsa ingredients and refrigerate until serving time.

4. Heat a nonstick, large skillet over medium heat. Using cooking spray throughout the sauté process, sauté the cakes for about three minutes per side, watching carefully. Remove to a baking sheet and place in a 200 F oven until all cakes are prepared. Serve the cakes with salsa.

Per serving (1/4 of recipe):
462 calories
3.7 g fat
0.7 g saturated fat
6.9% calories from fat
0 mg cholesterol
18.9 g protein
91.7 g carbohydrate    20.7 g sugar
20.2 g fiber
1200 mg sodium
213 mg calcium
6.5 mg iron
47.9 mg vitamin C
759 mcg beta-carotene
1.9 mg vitamin E

Source: Get Healthy, Go Vegan Cookbook by Neal Barnard, M.D.

Balsamic Zucchini Sandwiches

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.

Barbecue-Style Portobellos

Barbecua-Style Portobellos

Large meaty portobello mushrooms make a delicious meal when they're simmered in a spicy sauce and served with polenta, brown rice, pasta, or French bread.

Makes 2 servings

2 large portobello mushrooms
1/2 cup vegetable juice
1/4 cup apple juice concentrate
1/2 cup roasted red peppers
1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon seasoned rice vinegar
2 teaspoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Clean mushrooms and remove stems. Cut into 1/2-inch strips.

Combine vegetable juice, apple juice concentrate, red peppers, soy sauce, vinegar, chili powder, garlic powder, and black pepper in a blender. Process until smooth, then transfer mixture to a nonstick skillet and heat until bubbly.

Add mushroom strips, turning to coat evenly with sauce. Cover and cook over medium-high heat, turning occasionally, until mushrooms are tender, about 10 minutes. Serve immediately.

Recipe from Healthy Eating for Life to Prevent and Treat Cancer by Vesanto Melina, M.S., R.D.; recipe by Jennifer Raymond, M.S., R.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

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.

Mango Lime Sorbet

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.