Cookout Ready Recipes for Memorial Day

Memorial Day is quickly approaching and if you're like many vegans, you already know that you won't  have much to eat at most of the Memorial Day cookouts. If you're lucky, you go to a vegetarian cookout!

If you're not vegetarian but expect some vegetarian guests, make a few of these dishes so they will have something to eat. You'll enjoy them too; I promise!

We'll start the week with the often overlooked side dishes. Baked beans and corn are expected. Potato salad is too, but I'll give you a vegan version that stacks up against the traditional mayo-based version.

5 Crowd Pleasing Sides

  1. Potato Salad with Herbed Dijon Vinaigrette
  2. Betty's Marinated Vegetable Salad
  3. Marinated Roasted/Grilled Vegetables
  4. Israeli Couscous Salad
  5. Black Bean and Corn Salad

Potato Salad with Herbed Dijon Vinaigrette

Source: Vegan Yum Yum

I believe I enjoy this version more than the mayo version. Of course you could make the traditional potato salad using Vegenaise, but if you want to try something different, this is a great recipe.

Serves 2-4 (You might want to double this)

1 1/2 to 2 lbs New potatoes, halved


1/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 tsp White Wine Vinegar
1/2 tsp Fresh Black Pepper
2 tsp Dijon Mustard
1/4 Packed Cup Parsley, chopped
1/8 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
1/2 tsp Paprika
1/4 tsp Sugar

  1. Whisk together the ingredients for the dressing by hand or use a food processor or blender. You could even put everything in a jar and shake it.
  2. Set aside the dressing until you are ready to use it.
  3. Boil the potatoes in well-salted water until tender but not falling apart.
  4. Let the potatoes cool, but not all the way.
  5. When the potatoes are still hot/warm, but cool enough to handle, mix them with the dressing.
  6. Let them sit for several minutes before serving to allow the flavors to blend, or refrigerate until you're ready to serve them.

Betty's Marinated Vegetable Salad

I'm not sure where this recipe originated, but my mother used to make it for every family holiday. Everyone loved it, but I never wanted to try it because it looked strange to me. Can you believe that I was once a picky eater?!

Once I finally gave it a try, I understood what all the hoopla was about. I became a fan. Now I carry on the tradition and make it for family holidays.

Notes: I always drain and rinse my canned beans and vegetables. Use 15/16 ounce cans of vegetables. If you think this is going to be popular or you want to keep some for yourself, double the recipe. I always end up adding more vinegar after it's marinated overnight. Adjust it to your taste.

1/4 cup cooking oil
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
3/4 cup vinegar
3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon water
1 can tiny green peas (le Sueur Very Young Small Early Peas)
1 can tiny/midget butter beans (Baby Lima Beans, I've only found these at Food Lion)
1 can white shoepeg corn
1 can french style green beans
1 green pepper chopped
1 onion chopped
1 cup diced celery

  1. Combine the first 6 ingredients.
  2. Bring to a boil and simmer for 7 minutes.
  3. Allow the vinegar mixture to cool.
  4. Drain vegetables and pour cooled mixture over them.
  5. Refrigerate overnight.


Marinated Roasted/Grilled Vegetables

Source: The 30-Day Vegan Challenge by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau (Marinated Portobello Mushroom Steaks recipe, adapted)

The original Marinated Portobello recipe calls for 8-12 mushrooms, but you can substitute them for whatever vegetables you like. The recipe provides instructions for roasting the vegetables. I don't see why you couldn't also grill them. Colleen's marinade is simple yet extremely flavorful.

Vegetables You could use bell peppers, zucchini, mushrooms, yellow squash, onions, tomatoes, eggplant.


¼ cup water
½ cup balsamic vinegar
¼ cup soy sauce
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried oregano
⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper
small amount of oil for tossing right before roasting

  1. Cut your vegetables in 1/4 inch slices.
  2. Mix the ingredients for the marinade until combined.
  3. Add the vegetables to the marinade, making sure that they are all covered. I've had good luck with using a large Ziploc bag to marinate vegetables.
  4. Marinate the vegetables for 30 minutes.
  5. Remove the vegetables from the marinade and place them in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. You may want to cover the baking sheet with foil to make clean up easier.
  6. Preheat the oven to 450.
  7. Toss the vegetables with a small amount of oil.
  8. Once the oven is preheated, roast the vegetables for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.
  9. The vegetables are done when they are tender and browned.

Israeli Couscous Salad

Source: Food and Wine Magazine (adapted)

I've been on a hunt for this particular type of couscous since I ate it last summer from a food cart. I finally found it at Big Lots, of all places. A huge bag!  I simplified this recipe quite a bit and may end up tweaking it a little more in the future. I think mango would be a delightful addition!

The original recipe called for caraway seeds, scallions, mint and onion. You may want to use these ingredients for your version. I chose not to.

Note: Some couscous cooks faster than others. Read the instructions on your package. However, I found that the amount of water listed on my package was not adequate and I ended up with burned couscous on the bottom of the pan. Just a word of caution. It doesn't hurt to add more water; you can always drain it.

8 servings

1 cup Israeli Couscous
2 cups water
2 cups fresh or thawed frozen corn kernels
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
2 jalapeños, seeded and minced
2 cucumbers, finely chopped
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup canola oil
4 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons agave nectar
Zest and juice of 4 limes

  1. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil in a saucepan.
  2. Add the couscous, bring it back to a boil and cover.
  3. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes until the couscous has absorbed the water.
  4. Drain the couscous, if there is extra water in the saucepan.
  5. Add chopped vegetables and the beans to a bowl.
  6. In a bowl, whisk together the lime juice, canola oil, vinegar, agave nectar and lime zest.
  7. Add the dressing to the couscous and toss to coat.
  8. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Note about the video: I realized after I produced the video that the salad needed more dressing and another jalapeño pepper. I've adjusted the recipe above.


Black Bean and Corn Salad

This recipe was part of the 7 Side Dishes that Just Might Steal the Show series.

Source: Divas Can Cook (adapted)

16 oz frozen corn, thawed
15 oz black beans, rinsed and drained
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 small red onion, diced
1 pint grape tomatoes, diced
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
2-3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped or 2-3 teaspoons of dried cilantro
1 avocado, diced (optional)

Chili Lime Dressing

3 tablespoons fresh lime juice (3 limes)
1 tablespoon canola or olive oil
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon cumin

  1. Add beans and vegetables to a large bowl and stir to combine.
  2. Mix the chili lime dressing ingredients together in a small bowl.
  3. Add the dressing to the salad and toss to combine.
  4. Refrigerate for at least an hour and serve.

If using avocado, drizzle it with lime juice before serving