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Meatless 4th of July barbecue

Nothing calls out 'summer' like the smell of a charcoal grill on a warm day but for many vegans, a grill means roasting meat and, for them, an empty stomach.

As more Americans become health-conscious, they are beginning to select vegetarian options, cutting out meat doesn't mean the 4th of July barbecue must suffer. Try these ideas for a brilliant vegan-style Independence Day.

Forget pre-packaged veggie burgers - they're quite unoriginal and expensive. Slice up firm tofu into large chunks and grill these to serve with peanut sauce, cucumber, sprouts and lettuce for a refreshing sandwich.

Try making Quorn kebabs by marinating Quorn chunks and roughly chopped veggies in a spicy sauce. Slide onto skewers and pop on the grill.

Another suggestion is to go Greek and grill large slices of eggplant dipped in olive oil and herbs. Serve with potato salad, made with soy mayonnaise and a seasonal salad.

For a meatless chicken salad, stir up Tempeh chunks with a spot of tarragon, soy mayonnaise, chopped celery, avocado and salt or pepper to taste.

Good side dishes include hummus and finger-sized veggies, chips and homemade salsa and maybe a spicy bean relish.

Don't forget watermelon and homemade lemonade for the perfect seasonal touch.

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