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Veggie-fy your Fourth of July!

Not diggin’ hamburgers and hot dogs? Do your BBQ the healthy way—and go all-out veggie for your meal. Here’s how…

Need a quick nibble for the big ‘cue? Forget chicken wings and, instead, make super-easy (and fancy-looking!) Caprese Bites. Here’s how.

10-15 cherry or grape tomatoes
10-15 mini mozzarella balls (they’re about the size of grapes and you can buy them in the deli section of the grocery store OR buy fresh mozzarella and cut it into small cubes)
Salt and pepper
Olive oil (optional)
A few fresh basil leaves

Start by washing/drying the tomatoes/basil. Cut the basil into small squares (think: slightly smaller than a postage stamp). Take a piece of the cut basil and carefully put it on a toothpick. Then, slide on a mozzarella ball and a tomato. Viola, one bite! Keep going until you run out. Sprinkle the bites with a li’l salt and pepper and lightly drizzle with olive oil. Serve ’em up!

The Main Course
More than likely, everyone around ya is gonna be chowing down burgers and dogs. Ask the chef du jour to pop on a black bean burger or tofu dog for you (they’re pretty inexpensive at the grocery store and cooking instructions are on the box). Throw it on the grill ‘til it’s heated all the way through and then…add your fave toppings. Here are our suggestions:

Chili Dogs
After your not-dog has been cooked, top it with these classics:
Vegetarian chili (you can buy it in a can and heat it up on the stove)
Shredded cheddar cheese
Chopped onions

So good, you won’t miss the meat!

OK, OK, we know. Fourth of July is all about America. But this is too darn yummy to pass up.

Top your black bean burger with:
Jack cheese
Shredded lettuce
Salsa or pico de gallo

Enjoy it with a couple of tortilla chips on the side—yum!

Celebrate the good ol’ U.S. of A. with a veggie burger topped with ingredients that are as American as apple pie!

Grill up a veggie burger or dog and top it with:
BBQ sauce
American cheese
Sauteed Vidalia onions

Yummy, right?

Happy Fourth of July!
-Katie Abbondanza

BY GL ON 7/3/2009 7:00:00 AM


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