Signed into existence in 1894 by Grover Cleveland, Labor Day is a U.S national holiday that honors the American labor movement and the contribution that workers make to their country. As Labor day is on the first Monday in September, the weekend proceeding becomes a 3-day weekend, known as Labor Weekend. This holiday lacks set traditions, except firing up the BBQ to commence degustation and relaxing, or consumers maxing their credit cards at the Labor Day sales.

Traditional barbeques can revolve around food from meat and other animal products, so if you’re planning to round up friends, family and neighbours for a smoky and celebratory meal this Labor Weekend, here’s a guide with some of the top plant-based recipes for your barbeque! From appetisers to sides, mains, drinks, desserts, salads, dips and sauces, your indulgent weekend food-inspo is well covered.

 

The Ultimate Recipe Guide to Vegan Eats This Labor Day Weekend


Appetizers

1. Grilled Summer Stacks Smoky with Almond Cream

These somewhat fancy looking stacks are actually rather simple to make, versatile, and go down smokingly at outdoor events and BBQs.

2. Baked Sweet Potato Tots with Chipotle Aioli

Sweet potatoes, or ‘kumara’, can lower stress levels and are a versatile, delicious ingredient in many dishes. Paired with sundried tomato aioli – this is a winning combination that is a bit too easy to devour.

3. Vegan Cheese Balls

It is common to spend holidays standing around chatting and enjoying a snack platter of cheese and crackers, this recipe makes those festivities a plant-based possibility. Fair warning: even cheese-loving friends will be scoffing this down.

 Mains

1. Grilled Tofu Sandwich

Is a true ve-be-que ever complete without some form of tofu? Grilled soy-based products and grilled vegetables can be just the perfect alternative to grilled meats.

2. Roasted Red Beet Burgers With Creamy Harissa Mayo

Burgers are a staple at many social events, especially barbeques. Grilled patties are easy to make and always go down a hit! Why not make your next burger a plant-based one?

3. Sweet Potato Pizza Mexicana

Is there anything that sweet potatoes can’t do? Believe it or not, this pizza is actually exorbitantly healthy and brings an abundance of flavour. The perfect way to balance an indulgent weekend with a healthy dish that isn’t a bowl of leaves. Your tastebuds will thank you!

 

Sides

1. Sticky BBQ Chocolate Tofu Skewers

bbq tofu skewers

A delicious mix of sweet, spicy, and savoury, this recipe is perfect for vegans, gluten-free and anyone who is a fan of fantastic flavours and textures.

2. Nut Cheese

Not to toot our own horn, but these cultured nut cheese recipes are some of the best out there. How can you go wrong with nut cheese when they are so versatile? Why not create a cheeseboard with continental flavours and textures, and pair with some delicious vegan wine. Fancy!

3. Chilli and Garlic Hasselback Potatoes

You simply can’t go wrong with this recipe’s spin on everyone’s favourite; roast potatoes. They sell themselves.

 

Dips

1. Cheesy Soyrizo Bean Dip

What goes better with Mexican lagers and margaritas than a bean dip, and nachos? Perfect for parties, finger food and BBQs as an addictive appetizer or pre-dinner snack. Also works well on top of potatoes!

2. Squash Queso Dip

From being served as an appetizer, on a platter with crackers or sports TV snack, this dip won’t last long around guests and has the flavour of smoky ‘mac and cheese’, with a sneaky Mexican flair!

3. Buffalo Cauliflower Dip

What’s better than dipping vegetable sticks, crackers, okay – your fingers, into a bowl of creamy dip on your day off? This spicy buffalo dipping sauce with a blue cheese layer may mislead you by the name, but is actually entirely plant-based!

Salads

1. Sweet and Spicy Mango Salad

Proving that salads can be the furthest thing from boring, this particularly delicious recipe has a combination of sweet things and a sneaky, yet perfect hit of spice too.

2. Spiced Chickpea Coconut Salad

This is a light and healthy salad, with an inviting combination of sweet and savory. Goes down sweetly with some BBQ tofu skewers or grilled veggies, such as corn on the cob, char-grilled capsicum and grilled asparagus spears.

3. Tofu Tomato Salad

Got some spare tofu and tomatoes? This salad is a hit with tomato and mozzarella salad fanatics, and perfect at barbeques or served during lunches.

 

 Sauces

 1. Five-Minute Mayonnaise

Got 5 minutes while the BBQ warms up? Whip up a batch of this soy-free, egg-free, vegan mayonnaise! Closely rivalling the store-brought option ‘Vegenaise’, this creamy, homemade mayo sauce is perfect with a wide range of recipes, ‘slaws and salads.

2. Enchilada Sauce

If you’re going for a Mexican theme, or wanting a homemade enchilada sauce, look no further than this versatile and forgiving recipe which slathers well on burgers, tacos, chips, nachos and other dishes that need some heat.

3. BBQ Tahini Sauce

Made from creativity and whole foods, this recipe can be made to taste or followed strictly, but is versatile so don’t worry if this your first time making a sauce from scratch. Thankfully, it would be more difficult to get a sauce wrong than to get it exactly right.

 Desserts

1. Decadent Triple Layer Caramel Slice

Just a heads up, you won’t be able to stop at one slice… Requiring no, or minimal, culinary experience, this decadent triple layer raw slice has the perfect balance of coconut base to ooey-gooey caramel and is finished with a rich, dark chocolate layer.

2. Perfectly Sticky Pecan Pie

You don’t have to miss out on this popular American favourite, for anyone craving a sticky toffee treat, this ridiculously rich pecan pie is well worth it.

3. Sugar Cookies

Quite possibly the first plate to be cleaned of food, sugar cookies are popular and the perfect sweet ending to a hearty meal or long summers day. But, would you believe this recipe is vegan, soy-free and gluten-free? Don’t forget crunchy and delicious…

 Drinks

1. Refreshing Watermelon Crush

Watermelon Crush // a refreshing watermelon crush drink for those hot summer days

If it’s summer and hot, hot, hot, there is no better way to cool down and replenish those sweated-out electrolytes than a refreshing, sweet drink such as this one! This is simple to make, requires only watermelon, ice and a blender, and is bursting with nutrients and flavour.

2. Mango Lassi

Traditional mango lassis have milk or yoghurt components, but worry not, this recipe is completely vegan-friendly and is the perfect alternative to dairy-based mango lassis. Healthy has never tasted so sweet…

3. Healthy Pina Colada

If you like Pina Coladas and being caught in the rain, but want a healthy, vegan alternative without the pre-made mixes, this is just the recipe for you. Plus, is any BBQ or celebration really a party, without some form of alcohol? (consume responsibly please)

 

So, stay safe and try one recipe, or try them all, we won’t judge! It is a holiday after all…


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