Considering most holidays are centered around sharing food with a bunch of other people, being vegan on Memorial Day usually means you'll spend the day assuring everyone that yes, you have enough to eat, and no, you don't feel like you're missing out on anything. Abstaining from animal products is becoming an increasingly popular lifestyle, but it's not so common that you can roll up to any old Memorial Day barbecue and assume you'll be able to eat anything other than the potato chips. The good news is that there are plenty of options out there for vegans to bring to the grill — food that even non-vegans will enjoy.
Although the summer solstice isn't until June, Memorial Day is considered the unofficial beginning of the season. Initially known as Decoration Day, Americans first started observing the holiday following the Civil War, and it was declared an official federal holiday in 1971. True to its name, Memorial Day is meant to honor members of the military who died in war. However, it's also become synonymous with barbecues, trips to beach, and all the other hallmarks of a summer bash.
Although grilling out is associated with cheeseburgers and endless racks of ribs, vegans don't have to sit back and pick at a half-wilted while everyone else chows down on charred animal carcasses. Here are 17 totally meat- and dairy-free ideas to bring to a barbecue in 2017.
1Chili Lime Corn On The Cob
Corn on the cob is already a grilling staple, so offer to bring it. You can stay simple with salt, pepper, and a little oil, or try this recipe for Chili Lime Grilled Corn from Love and Lemons. To make the sauce vegan, just use vegan mayo.
If you've been a vegan for a while, you're probably an expert at preparing tofu. Try this recipe for easy BBQ tofu from Oh She Glows, and you'll be a hit among the meatless crowd.
Mushroom burgers may not taste exactly like meat, but they're just as filling and delicious in their own way. Head over to Love and Lemons for a recipe for barbecue portobello mushroom sliders.
4Spicy Chickpea Burgers
For a different meatless burger option, try these spicy chickpea burgers from Oh She Glows. Sure, you could buy veggie burgers from the grocery store, but don't you want to be able to brag that you made your own?
5"Cheesy" Corn on the Cob
Nutritional yeast is popular in the vegan community for its cheese-like flavor. Follow these instructions from The Kitchn to make "cheesy" corn on the cob.
6BBQ Chickpea Sandwich
Sandwich lovers, this one's for you. Naturally Ella's BBQ chickpea sandwich recipe combines mashed chickpeas, homemade barbecue sauce, and tahini slaw into one delicious dish.
7Smoky Mac & Greens
Being vegan doesn't mean you have to give up comfort food. Head to Fo Reals Life, a vegan cooking blog, to try her recipe for smoky mac and greens.
Veggie kabobs are easy to grill and a perfect complement to whatever else you're making. You can use whatever ingredients you like, but if you're looking for inspiration, check out this recipe from Damn Delicious.
Replace the honey with agave in this recipe from How Sweet It Is to make it vegan, and you have a colorful side dish or dessert.
10Avocado Pasta Salad
No cookout is complete without pasta salad, so check out Fo Reals Life's oil-free version of the dish.
11Mango Sriracha Cauliflower Wings
Technically, Vegan Richa's recipe for baked cauliflower wings was created for the Super Bowl, but they can fit in anywhere. Bake them ahead of time and snack away as everyone else is busy grilling.
Cookouts are for snacking until you realize you're totally full right before everyone starts eating. If that sounds like your typical Memorial Day, try these spicy roasted cashews from Wallflower Kitchen.
Oh look, more kebabs! For something more substantial than the traditional vegetable version of the dish, head to Making Thyme for My Health for its fajita tofu kebabs recipe.
For something a little sweeter than your typical dip, try this strawberry mango salsa from Damn Delicious.
Don't forget to bring something to drink. There are plenty of fancy drink recipes out there, like the pineapple lemonade over on Damn Delicious.
You had to know hummus was going to make this list. As long as you have a food processor, you can make your own with Cookie and Kate's recipe for "Green Goddess" hummus.
Literally everyone loves guacamole. Therefore, everyone will love you for bringing some you made yourself. To learn how, head over to Closet Cooking.