This holiday is so fun! I get to hang with all of my favorite people listening to music, laughing, grilling, soaking in the sunshine, and generally just tapping into gratitude. And yet I find myself frustrated by the 4th of July every year when it comes around again.
1) Fireworks are pretty, and I'll admit I'll love the pastime, but they're terrible for the environment and scare the shit out of thousands upon thousands of animals making July 4th the busiest day of the year at shelters. While we (us humans) are all mesmerized by the show, our furry companions across the country are in a total fucking panic from the sound of explosions and smells of burning embers. It makes sense if you think about it, so make sure to keep your pets inside and secure your house so they can't get out. You should also make sure they are tagged and microchipped.
2) Also, Trump.
3) Then, if you're a veggie like me, you're faced with the reality that 155 million hot dogs are consumed by Americans on this one fateful day every year (according to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council, cuz apparently that's a thing).
So, this year I've cooked up a simple, yet sophisticated hot dog alternative that is sure to impress even the staunchest of meat eaters. The most effective way to be a vegan at a BBQ is to bring LOTS AND LOTS OF EXTRAS. Cook all of it up and offer it to people. Forcing my beliefs on people hasn't worked, but sharing free food has. It always works.
The best news about July 4th, 2018 is that Beyond Meat is in such high demand they had to open a whole new plant to keep up, employing 250 new people. Also, the only reason I wound up with Field Roast (which I love, but uses palm oil) is because my store RAN OUT OF BEYOND MEAT. This. Is. Totally. Rad. Keep making noise, guys! The future is vegan.
- Beyond Meat Sausages (they were out so I used my second favorite, Field Roast Frankfurters)
- Garlic Powder
- BBQ baked beans (vegan friendly)
- Hot Dog Buns* (A note about bread. To be an effective vegan, in my opinion, it is best to make sure the bread doesn’t have any milk or butter…you can get really specific about mono-glycerides and such, but almost perfect is better than giving up on yourself. Also, if you whine a bunch about how hard it is to find perfectly vegan bread at your normal grocery store, you’re basically letting everyone know that eating vegan is difficult. And we know it ain’t, so chill).
- Get you vegan friendly hot dog buns ready by opening them so they lay flat. Put aside.
- Warm your veggie BBQ baked beans in a sauce pot over medium heat until warmed through. Turn stove off and cover until dogs are ready.
- In a saucepan heat up about 2 tablespoons of olive oil, add a dash of garlic powder and sauté your thinly sliced onions for about ten minutes until they are translucent and caramelized. Set aside.
- If you’re grilling add your hot dog to the grill and cook until charred to your liking, otherwise sauté for about two minutes on each side.
- Now it’s time to assemble: Bun, hot dog, bbq beans, onions, sauerkraut, and mustard.
Here's a quick tutorial showing you how easy these bad boys really are!
Music by TRG Banks, Bob Price.