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I made pasta salad, potato salad, and let’s go with “assembled” a pie for Independence Day.

The pasta salad:

  • box of pasta (shell, bow ties, whatever)
  • can or jar of artichoke hearts
  • can or jar of olives
  • grape or cherry tomatoes
  • can of garbanzo beans
  • red, yellow, and green bell peppers
  • fresh broccoli (steamed lightly and chilled)
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • garlic
  • either olive oil, balsamic and herbs or a vegan dressing you like (Kraft balsamic was on sale so that’s what I went with this time)

Cook up the pasta according to the time on the box. Put your colander in a pot of ice water and dip the pasta out into it the last minute of cooking. Rinse and set in the fridge or on a counter. Look, just put it somewhere.

Cut up the peppers and onions and garlic. Cut up the artichokes and olives if you want to. Cut up the tomatoes if you want to.

Drain the beans.

Put it all in a big bowl. Mix it up with the black pepper and enough dressing to taste, but not so much it looks like a soup.

Serve.

The potato salad:

  • red potatoes
  • vegenaise
  • fresh dill
  • “salad sprinkle” (or your own random bunch of herbs)
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • fresh lemon
  • red wine vinaigrette dressing (or red wine vinegar & olive oil)

Cut up the potatoes into bite-sized pieces. Boil until cooked, but firm. You know, potato-salad texture. Chill them like you did the pasta — scoop out into cold water, rinse, stick in fridge until ready.

Chop up some fresh dill. Put that with a glop of vegenaise, several shakes of the sprinkle, a little (very little) red wine vinaigrette dressing, and the black pepper on top of the chilled potatoes and mix it all up. Squeeze half a lemon on it and mix again lightly.

Serve.

Patriotic Fruit Tart Pie: 

This recipe is also great if you have friends with dairy or egg issues because it contains none of either. It would also work with other flags, you’d just have to arrange the fruit differently or pick different fruit — kiwi fruit and oranges for Ireland, for example.

  • apple
  • sugar (vegan if you wish)
  • 1-2 lemons
  • vegan whipped cream (I used Rice Whip)
  • strawberries
  • blueberries
  • pie crust (I bought a whole wheat one from Whole Foods that was dairy free, but you could make your own if you had time)

Cut up apple and put in a pot with about a cup of water and maybe a quarter cup of sugar. (I don’t always measure things.) Boil until the apple is soft enough to mash so it resembles apple sauce. Squeeze the juice of a lemon in and stir it all up. If it’s too “wet” let it simmer until it cooks off some of the excess water.

Put your apple mush in the bottom of the pie crust and bake. (Follow the crust directions or just keep an eye on it until it looks appropriately browned on the edges.)

Slice up your strawberries and arrange in rows. Put a few handfuls of blueberries in the corner. Squirt with a little lemon juice (think “mist” more than “shower”). Fill in with your rice whip.

Serve.

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