Hey guys! I think I'm a little late posting on this topic, considering yesterday was Independence Day, aka, America's #1 barbecue day, LOL. But I noticed posts by lots of vegan people I follow who were kind of down or nervous about going to a bbq without the intention to eat any of the burgers, hot dogs, cheese, or mayonnaise-based salads that are so popular. What else is there to eat, really? Well, I have tips!! :D
My #1 tip would be to definitely throw your own bbq if you can. That way you can invite all of your friends who you know will not make a huge fuss over there being no animal products and who actually might enjoy a more healthful variety of DELICIOUS food! You can grill things like portabello mushrooms to use in place of burger patties, or just cook up some good old Boca or other vegan burger patties. Smart dogs and tofu pups are my favorite kinds of vegan hot dogs, but if you're tired of the same old dogs, spice them up with the awesome vegan sausages from Tofurkey or Field Roast brands. They're really tasty!! :) Veggie kebabs are a great option too as both a side or an entree and they are completely customizable for each person.
If you're wanting some great sides, cook up some roasted corn on the grill and make sure to have lots of fresh, juicy watermelon available for everyone. I mean, what's 4th of July without watermelon?! SO GOOD! You can also make potato salad or macaroni salad easily by replacing regular mayonnaise with veganaise, usually found in the health food sections of several grocery stores, plus Whole Foods and Trader Joes, of course. Simple!
Okay, tip #2 is for those who are attending a bbq someone else is holding. Don't panic! Just go, be social, and know that some people may ask why there's no hamburger or hot dog on your plate, but it doesn't have to start world war three. First, if you can find watermelon slices or any other fruits, veggies, and/or a nice green salad to load on your plate, go for it! Tortilla chips and salsa or guacamole are usually served, plus corn on the cob is a classic bbq food, so just get it without butter and you've got yourself a nice looking plate! If there's only meat products being served, it's best to plan ahead and pack a little vegan meal in some tupperware to take with you just in case. Or, if the hosts are good friends of yours, kindly ask them before the bbq if you can bring some vegan patties or links to grill separately so you can just have your own without making it a big deal. There's lots of options! :)
The hardest part, I think, is not choosing what food to eat, it's the fear of dealing with some difficult questions people may throw at you for eating differently than they do. Just be your friendly self, answer respectfully, and as hard as it sounds, don't go into any deep discussions on animal cruelty or saving the planet. If the person is asking you about those things, tell them "Oh well that's actually a really great topic, but it's too much to explain right now. But I will definitely tell you another time soon. We'll talk!" Or something along those lines. It is important to get the word out about compassion, but in the mean time, eat your yummy vegan meal, and when people ask why just say "I'm just a healthy eater and I really like this food." If they persist, you can definitely tell them you're a vegan or on a plant-based diet. If they ask why about that, just say "I like to eat healthfully." Honestly, it's hard to argue against pursuit of good health. :)
Have a great time at your future bbqs and let me know your thoughts on this. Have you ever had experiences like this as a vegan? What did you do?
Love you guys, click back soon! <3