Memorial Day BBQ

Like many other families, mine had a huge backyard BBQ to welcome the Unofficial Start of Summer. My contributions? Tofu Dogs and Watermelon Salad.

I became a vegetarian my junior year of high school, after my prom date took me to a fast food restaurant and ate 6 cheeseburgers before the dance. I was so grossed out that I simply vowed, “I’m never going to eat meat again.” Even though I haven’t seen or spoken to my date since high school, I’ve managed stay meat-free for 7 years.

That’s not to say that I haven’t craved certain foods, but BBQ is one of the menus where being vegetarian doesn’t bother me (or other cooks) too much. I love Boca burgers and am currently on a quest to find the best veggie dog – I’d love to hear some suggestions if anyone has a favorite! Saturday night I paired a Smart Dog (at least 100 calories less than a regular dog) with fresh onion, ketchup, mustard and a bit of cheddar cheese for a tasty treat.

Watermelon salad is one of my new favorite sides. Right before we started eating, I chopped up chunks of the fruit, placed them in a big bowl and layered crumbled reduced-fat feta cheese on top (probably about ¼ cup of feta per cup of watermelon). Earlier, I had picked a few fresh mint leaves, which I just learned how to prepare while working on the Food Preparation video project. I sprinkled the pieces on top, and added a few dashes of rock salt. You could also toss in a dash of olive oil and/or thinly sliced red onions, but I wanted to keep it simple. It was terrific – and a big crowd pleaser! Can’t wait to get some more watermelon and make it again.

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