The 4th of July is just around the corner. And since the vaccine rollout has been continuously progressing, some states are easing the COVID-19 lockdowns. That means a looser travel restriction.
If you’re thinking of celebrating the holidays with your loved ones, chances are you’re planning something special for them to enjoy. The problem is that the holidays often feature foods that are loaded with fat, grease, and carbs.
Fortunately, there are other choices out there that aren’t just healthy, but they delight the taste buds as well. So if you’re fine breaking traditions and replacing them with healthier ones, here are five 4th of July vegetarian recipes you can prepare for the coming holiday. We’ll also look at healthy beverages to wash down these delicious meals.
1. Chickpea Biryani
Chickpea Biryani is a completely vegan recipe originating from India. It’s made using several spices that add to its authenticity, rich flavor, and tantalizing aroma.
Here are its ingredients:
- Basmati rice
- Green chili
- Garam masala
- Red chili
- Yellow onions
- Wash and soak the basmati rice for 20 minutes. Drain it afterward and set it aside.
- Then, cook the yellow onions until they turn golden brown (around five minutes over medium-high heat) to act as a base for the dish’s flavor.
- Remove half the cooked onions and reserve it as a garnish later.
- Add the garlic, ginger, chickpeas, green chili, turmeric, garam masala, 1 tablespoon of salt, and 1 and 1/2 cup of water.
- Thoroughly mix it all in the pot.
- Simmer the rice in the liquid for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Once done, open the pot and add the chopped cilantro and the remaining onions you set aside earlier.
2. Vegan Tacos
Vegan tacos are easy to prepare. That’s why it’s been a staple healthy 4th of July recipe for some vegetarian advocates for years.
Prepare these ingredients if you’re interested in serving this one on July 4th:
- Thinly sliced red onions
- Distilled vinegar
- Apple cider vinegar
- Honey or maple syrup
- 2 avocados
- Lime juice
- 1 small Jalapeno
- 2 cloves of garlic
- Chili powder
- 2 cans of pinto beans
- Olive oil
- Corn tortillas
- First, place the onions in a mason jar.
- Pour the water, vinegar, maple syrup, salt, and pepper flakes into a small saucepan.
- When it starts to simmer, pour the combined liquid into the mason jar.
- Tightly packed the onions in the mason jar and remove any air bubbles. Set it aside for 30 minutes and you got yourself some pickled onions.
- Scoop the avocado into a blender and add water, salt, lime juice, cilantro, and jalapeno
- Blend until the ingredients turn into a smooth and creamy consistency. If the paste turns too thick, add a bit of water. Now you got your avocado dip.s
- Next, place the olive oil over medium heat until it lightly simmers.
- Add salt and onion until it softens and turns golden brown, around 5 or 6 minutes is good enough.
- Mix in the cumin, garlic, and chili powder.
- Stir for 30 seconds and add the canned beans – already drained, of course.
- Stir and cover for five minutes then mash at least half of the beans.
- Continue stirring for five minutes then remove the saucepan from the heat.
- Add cilantro and lime juice. Taste until you reach your desired flavor.
- If the consistency is a bit dry, add a bit of water to soften the mashed beans.
- Warm your tortillas over low to medium heat and stack them on a plate.
- Spread the mashed beans on the tortilla topped with pickled onions and avocado dip.
- Add more garnish of your choosing.
3. Black Bean Burgers
Another yummy and healthy 4th of July recipe is the black bean burger. And since burgers are pretty much a constant presence during this holiday, adding this one to your table is a no-brainer.
Prepare these ingredients:
- 2 cans of black beans (drained and dried)
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 3/4 cup bell pepper
- 1 cup yellow onion
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 cup bread crumbs or oat flour
- 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 Tablespoons ketchup or mayo
- pinch salt and pepper
- Flax seeds
- Burger bun, preferably whole wheat
- Spread the black beans on a baking sheet and leave them in the oven for 15 minutes at 325°F (163°C). This is to eliminate the moisture that will turn the bean burger into mush.
- Next, prepare the flax eggs by mixing 1 tablespoon of flax seeds and 3 tablespoons of water. Stir and let the mixture set in for five minutes and you’re done. This will be your bind that will hold everything together.
- Sauté the onion, garlic, olive oil, and pepper on medium heat for five minutes. Blot out the moisture afterward and mix in with the rest of the ingredients.
- Add the cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, paprika, Worcestershire, ketchup or mayo, salt, pepper, and flax eggs into a large bowl.
- Start forming the patty. The ratio should be 1/3 cup mixture in each piece.
- Bake at 375°F (191°C) for 10 minutes on each side or grill them on medium-high heat between 350°F (177°C) and 400°F (204°C).
- Assemble the burger and add in your preferred toppings. If you’re on a low-carb diet, replace the bun with lettuce instead.
4. Strawberry lemonade
Your healthy fourth of July recipe will not be complete without a refreshing beverage to cool you down. And what better way to wash all your nutritious meals than a strawberry lemonade.
Here’s what to prepare:
- 1 cup water
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons strawberry puree
- 1 teaspoon rose water
- 4 teaspoon cane sugar
- 10 mint leaves
- ice cubes
- Start by making the puree by blending a few strawberries in about 15 to 20 seconds.
- Then, simply add the puree with the rest of the ingredients in a glass, stir, and you’re done.
5. Granola Parfaits
To top everything off, you might want to add some granola parfaits to impress your guests. What’s great about this 4th of July vegan dessert is that you can arrange it so it looks like the American flag.
Assemble this desert by preparing:
- fresh blueberries
- fresh raspberries
- 2 13.5 cans of full-fat canned coconut cream
- 2 cups old fashioned gluten-free oats
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 1/2 cup syrup
- 1/4 cup almond butter
- Start by placing the full-fat canned coconut cream in the fridge overnight.
- Preheat a large sheet pan in the oven for 325 degrees.
- Mix the oats, chopped pecans, and cinnamon in a bowl.
- Mix the syrup and almond butter in a separate container.
- Combine both the dry and liquid ingredients.
- Spread the mixture in the preheated pan and bake for 15 minutes.
- Remove the granola, stir to even it all out, and bake for another 10 minutes.
- Once done, let it rest for 10 minutes.
- Afterward, layer everything in a serving glass, with the granola on the bottom.
- Add the coconut cream right after then the blueberries and raspberries. Just remember to mix in only the thick cream and leave out the watery mixture at the bottom of the can.
Prepare a Healthy Feast for Friends & Family
Keep your healthy habits on track even during holidays. Get started with SmartPlate today and eat your favorite 4th of July meals at the right amount.