Summer Barbecue

With temperatures in the 90’s this weekend, we got together with friends for an evening BBQ in the park. Barbecue is great for an omnivore/herbivore crowd because everyone sticks what they want on the grill: veggie burger, tofu dog, tempeh, tofu or meat kebobs, hamburgers, sausage, bratwurst, etc. However, the sides are a little trickier. Mayonnaise-laden potato or pasta salads are popular picnic accompaniments,and while one could swap the regular mayo for vegan mayo, a hot summer day calls for something lighter.

This coleslaw features oil and vinegar instead of mayo, and is flavorful and crunchy enough that no one will notice it’s dairy-free. Lemon bars are a classic American dessert, and even though they are a beast to bake on a sweltering day, a tingly bite of lemon in while soaking up the sun outdoors is oh-so-refreshing. Throw some protein and ears of corn on the grill, and you’ve got yourself a BBQ, my friend.

Asian Coleslaw (adapted from Foodista)

Asian Coleslaw

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon chili sesame oil
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 cups red cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
  • 1 small red onion, minced
  • 1 cup almonds or peanuts
  1. Place cabbage, onion and cilantro in a large bowl. In a small bowl, combine oils, lemon juice, vinegars, sugar, and salt; toss. Let stand at room temperature for 1 hour.
  2. Taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary. Just before serving, add almond or peanuts.

Lemon Bars (adapted from Isa Chandra Moskowitz)

Lemon bar

Crust:

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 3/4 cup non-hydrogenated margarine

Filling:

  • 1 1/3 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon agar agar powder
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon turmeric
  • 2/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons arrowroot powder
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest (from two large lemons)
  • 1/4 cup soy milk or almond milk
  1. Cut margarine into flour, powdered sugar and corn starch until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Press into the bottom of a greased 13″ x 9″ and chill for 30 minutes. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, put the agar agar and water in a saucepan and set aside for 15 minutes. Mix the lemon juice and arrowroot powder.
  3. Heat the agar agar mixture; let boil for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the sugar and turmeric, stirring until completely dissolved. Add the lemon juice and arrow root powder mixture, zest, and soy or almond milk. Heat for 5 minutes or until thickened.
  4. Pour liquid mixture into crust; let cool for 20-30 minutes, then chill for 2 hours. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.
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