Most of our 4th of July recipes can be made ahead, and stored in the fridge. Some, like the salads, can be made in parts, then thrown together.
Travelling Recipes: The simplest way is to store, transport and serve in the same containers. A cooler is handy, but a cardboard box lined with newspaper & old towels also works. Throw in frozen gel packs or a plastic container of ice cubes.
Don't try to make ALL the recipes listed below - that's way too much work! Pick 2 or 3 main dishes that go together and build your menu around those.
A classic 4th of July menu is potato salad, burgers and hot dogs (think tofu dogs & veggie burgers), corn on the cob, chips & dip, watermelon, cookies or bars, and lemonade.
A lite 4th of July menu could be naked veggie burgers, green salad, corn on the cob, watermelon, and chilled herbal tea with lemon slices. Plenty to eat, but not plenty of calories.
If you're vegan, or gluten free, or diabetic, and you think you won't be able to eat any of the food at the cookout, make a couple of filling dishes to bring so you know you'll get something to eat besides watermelon. Quinoa black bean salad comes to mind, but bring lots - I guaranteed you won't be the only one eating it!
If you're hosting, ask the other guests to contribute their favorite dishes. That's the easiest way to make sure everybody has something they like to eat.
How can veg & non-veg share a grill? The contamination of veggie foods with meat is a big issue for vegans, which non-veg often don't get. To avoid conflict, discuss and set the grill rules well ahead of time. Everyone should understand and agree on a no-meat area set aside for veggie use.
If there are mosty non-veg at your cookout, with a lot of grilling going on, one option is to bring a small hibachi, where you can peacefully & safely grill your veggie burgers. Or use the hibachi for the non-veg grill, if it's a mostly veg party.
Every holiday has its traditional dishes, often meat or dairy based, and there's usually one guest (not always non-veg), who is offended that you aren't eating the same as them. For help, read the Savvy Veg Report Veg and Non-Veg Eat Together.
Don't forget the extras: Lots of water, a big watermelon with a big knife to cut it, potato chips & cut-up raw veggies for dipping, burger fixings - mayo, ketchup, mustard, relish, lettuce, tomato, pickles, and re-useable dishes & utensils for a green cookout, plenty of napkins, and a garbage bag or compost bucket. Feel free to go the green route with real dishes, cutlery and napkins.
Happy 4th of July, and have a great summer! Savvy Vegetarian!