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Monday, June 30, 2014

Vegan, Gluten-Free & Refined Sugar-Free 4th of July Menu!

Hey y'all! ♡

I wanted to give you, my friends, some ideas for vegan, gluten-free and refined sugar-free snacks, dips, sides, main meals, and desserts to bring to a party or serve to guests for the 4th of July! I was pretty amped to create a menu full of delicious & creative plant-based items designed to impress. Holidays always get my creative juices flowing now that I'm a vegan.

The vegan lifestyle has really helped to bring forth my creative side. Up until that point, I had just come to accept that that side of me was non-existent or maybe just buried deep down with a key to unlock it that had dropped to the bottom of the ocean floor. My mom was so gifted in art and creating, so it always baffled me how I seemed to lack that quality, but the truth is, I have always been creative, we all are, I just had to find my outlet, which just so happens to be cooking and food. Cooking/baking, recipe development, food photography, food styling, food presentation... they are all truly an art. But I digress...

Anyway... some of these recipes are mine but I'm also going to provide you guys with some recipes from other bloggers, too. They are all certified crowd-pleasers, no need to fear! :-)

4th of July is a day to celebrate freedom with family, friends, food, and fireworks (check out that alliteration!). That doesn't mean you have to slip into a food coma from eating junk though. These delicious options will keep you energized, satisfied and still healthy. Imagine that! :-P I hope you all find something that tickles your fancy below to help you celebrate cruelty-free style!

* indicates recipe sourced from another blogger.


Top left to right: Watermelon Mango Smoothie • Black Bean, Quinoa & Veggie Salad • Sweet Potato Fries
Middle left to right: Black Bean & Quinoa Veggie Burger • Nachos with Cashew "Cheese" & Tempeh Crumbles • Avocado Enchiladas
Bottom left to right: Almond Butter Brownies • Key Lime Pie Bars • Chocolate Cupcakes with Coconut Icing



Beverages
Watermelon Mango Smoothie
Fresh Orange Banana Lime Daiquiri* (Kathy Patalsky) --adult beverage; use raw coconut nectar instead of agave syrup
Naturally Flavored Water* (Nancy Creative)

Snacks/Dips
Guacamole* (Budget Savvy Diva)
Buffalo Cauliflower Bites & Ranch Dip* (Nutrition Stripped)
Queso* (Detoxinista)
Raw Red Bell Pepper Dip* (Kimberly Snyder via The Wooden Spoon Diaries)
Brown Rice Tortilla Chips* (Kimberly Snyder)

Sides

Black Bean, Quinoa & Veggie Salad with Tangy-Sweet Dressing
Sweet Potato Fries
Asparagus Pesto Pasta Salad* (Fat Free Vegan)
Snappy Crunchy Coleslaw* (Gluten-Free Goddess) --use raw coconut nectar instead of agave

Mains
Black Bean & Quinoa Veggie Burgers
Nachos with Cashew "Cheese" & Tempeh Crumbles
Tex-Mex Style Quinoa Salad --you could also stuff this filling in a tortilla & add some cashew "cheese" sauce on top, yum!
Avocado Enchiladas 
Grilled Veggie Skewers* (Love & Lemons)
Ultimate Green Taco Wraps with Lentil-Walnut Taco Meat* (Oh She Glows)

Dessert
Almond Butter Brownies
• Blueberries & Strawberries with Whipped Coconut Cream
Raw Strawberry Shortcake "Nice Cream"
Chocolate Cupcakes with Coconut Icing
Nutty for Nutella Milkshake* (Vegan à la Mode)
Triple Berry Raw Cheesecake* (Spabettie) --use raw coconut nectar or pure maple syrup instead of agave
Key Lime Pie Bars* (Kimberly Snyder)
Chocolate Chip Cookies* (Healthy Crush)
Light Summer Berry Yogurt Pie* (Chocolate Covered Katie)

"For to be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others." Nelson Mandela

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