Delicious Vegan Menu for a Labor Day Cookout

Labor Day marks the last official holiday weekend of the summer. More than three-quarters of American families own at least one barbecue grill and most summers-end celebrations this weekend will include an outdoor get together.

Fruits, vegetables and legumes are some of the most luscious and colorful of foods and certainly the most healthful.

Every plant-based meal you eat will reduce toxic emissions into the air and ground water as well as the level of saturated fat and cholesterol in your bloodstream.

Grilling is a great way to entertain and an opportunity to grill fresh vegetables and fruits that are bursting with flavor this time of year. Thick slices of eggplant, zucchini and ears of corn brushed with olive oil and fresh herbs are enticing and easy.

Busy cooks appreciate time saving meal options and marinated tofu and tempeh kebabs are set up in the marinade in advance. The salads can be put together quickly and the dressings are also whipped up quickly in a small blender.  

Salsas are easy and always a crowd pleaser and you can mix up a chunky avocado salsa in minutes. Perfect with corn chips and a great way to keep guests engaged and mingling while the rest of the feast is being prepared.

Include beans in your salads and side dishes for healthful complex carbohydrates that provide sustained energy. Versatile legumes such as pinto beans and garbanzos are packed with protein, very low in fat and cholesterol free.  Beans have a low glycemic index and that makes them an excellent choice for everyone, diabetics and health conscious eaters alike.1  

Celebrate this weekend with a hearty and delicious barbecue before fall rolls in and we say goodbye to fun in the sun. Choose organic ingredients from tofu and tempeh to legumes and fresh spinach, strawberries and herbs.  Look for fruit-sweetened organic BBQ sauce and check the label to avoid additives.

Fire up the grill and invite a crowd to celebrate the planet with great food that supports a healthy planet and a healthy you!

BBQ Tempeh Kebabs

Grilled Marinated Tofu on the Barbie

Hearty Summer Salad with Raspberry Walnut Dressing

3 Fresh Herb Salads with Pomegranate Vinaigrette

Chunky Avocado Salsa

Enlightened Hawaiian Baked Beans

Marie Oser is a best-selling author, writer/producer and host of VegTV, Follow Marie on Twitter:

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1. McIntosh M, Miller C. A diet containing food rich in soluble and insoluble fiber improves glycemic control and reduces hyperlipidemia among patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Nutr Rev 2001 Feb;59(2):52-5 2001