4th of July Summer Picnic

Enjoy a great picnic with the following recipes plus some of these additions: 

  • Corn on the Cob
  • Rice salad
  • Fresh green salad 
  • Grain burgers
  • Baked yams
  • Steamed green veggies 
  • Vegan not-dogs
  • Brownies
  • Watermelon

Millet “Non-Potato” Salad

I adored potato salad but potatoes trigger my joint pain! Here is a delicious version with millet, a whole grain beneficial for the pancreas and spleen, thus to help heal blood sugar and prevent diabetes. Make the day before or early in the day to allow millet to cool and marinate completely. You can prepare the mayo recipe below or use commercial vegan mayonnaise. Enjoy millet often!

  • 2 cups millet, rinsed twice, drained in a fine strainer
  • 4 ½ cups water
  • 4 pinches sea salt
  • 1 cup yellow onion, minced
  • 2 cucumbers, seeds removed, dice
  • 4 stalks celery, minced
  • ½ cup fresh parsley or dill, minced

 Tofu Mayo: (You may also use prepared Veggenaise to taste)

  • 1 pound soft tofu*
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 1 tablespoon brown rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons umeboshi vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons brown rice syrup
  • 1 tablespoon fresh dill, minced
  • Pre-boiled water

*If you use water-packed fresh tofu, boil first for three minutes. Place all ingredients in a food processor. Slowly add boiled water until a creamy consistency is achieved. Taste and adjust seasoning. Let cool.



Place the millet and water in a pot and let soak for eight hours. (Soaking is optional but recommended for digestion.) Add salt, bring to boil; reduce heat to low and cover. Simmer for 20 minutes or until all water is absorbed. Place immediately into a rinsed flat  dish. Smooth out the top with a damp spatula. Cover with a top to let set and cool.

Let millet cool completely. Cut millet into one-inch cubes. Place millet cubes in a large mixing bowl. Add minced vegetables and vegan mayo. Stir. Let marinate at least for one hour or overnight.  

Thanks to Marquita and Warren Wepman for introducing me to their style of this scrumptious dish.


 Boston Baked Beans 

This hardy bean dish, savory and sweet, is one of the most popular dishes in America! Named after the historic city of The American Revolution, these beans, sweetened with baked onions and natural grain sweetener and spiked with mustard, are served often at picnics. We love them on the Fourth of July, especially. Here are recipes for pressure cooked and boiled beans. They are delicious any time of year!

  • 2 cups navy beans
  • 1 strip kombu, 2”, rinsed, soaked and cut into small pieces
  • 4 cups spring water (added twice)
  • 1 cup yellow or white onion, minced (more added later)
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 2 cups yellow or white onions, minced
  • 4 teaspoons yellow prepared mustard
  • 1 cup brown rice syrup or barley malt sweetener 
  • Oil for pan

Sort through the beans (discard stones or broken beans;) wash well and soak in 4 cups water for 8 hours or overnight. Discard the soak water and place navy beans with 4 cups of fresh water in a pressure cooker or heavy pot; boil and skim off any foam; add the kombu and 1 cup minced onions.

PRESSURE COOKING METHOD: Close the lid; bring to pressure, and pressure cook on medium-low for 20 minutes. Let pressure come down, open pot, and add sea salt. Cook 5 minutes more.

BOILING METHOD: Add the lid. Bring to boil; reduce heat to low boil/simmer; and cook until the beans are mostly tender, about one hour. Check every 20 minutes to make sure the water is slightly above the beans. Do not over-cook. Beans should be whole, not mushy. Open lid, add the sea salt and cook 5 more minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350º. Drain beans, reserving the bean cooking water. The kombu should be in small pieces or you may remove and eat later. Measure out 2 cups of the bean cooking water. (Save any leftover cooking water for a soup or sauce later.) Gently stir the 2 cups bean cooking liquid into the beans with the 2 cups minced onions, mustard and rice syrup or barley malt;-stir thoroughly.

Oil a 12"x 9" baking dish with olive oil or sunflower oil. Add the bean mixture. Cover and bake 45 minutes until the onions are tender and beans are bubbling. Don’t over-cook! Keep beans whole, not mushy.

Open baking pan cover and evaporate any excess liquid. Check every 5 minutes. Allow the top to slightly brown/caramelize. Remove pan from oven and let sit to cool for 20 minutes. Serve warm or room temperature. So good! They will be a hit! Cover tightly if transporting to a picnic!!

BEANS ARE HIGH IN VEGAN PROTEIN AND GOOD for the Heart, Kidneys, Bladder, Sex Organs, Brain, Virility, Strength, and Stamina. They are beloved around the world. Lino says men need beans every day! If beans give you gas, take a digestive enzyme just before eating - it really does the trick! However, our cooking method reduces flatulence in most people.



If you have been looking for a delicious, easy vanilla vegan cake, you have found it! This recipe makes one 9-inch round cake. Double the recipe for a two layer cake or sheet cake. Bake this sugar-free delight for any special occasion. For gluten-free cake, you may substitute gluten-free flour. Adding raspberries, strawberries, and blueberries on top of the white icing makes it a special cake for the 4th!

  • 1 3/4 cups wholewheat pastry or non-gluten flour (use dry-measure cup)
  • 1 teaspoon non-aluminum baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/3 cup sunflower oil (use liquid-measure cup for liquids)
  • 3/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 2 Tablespoons vanilla
  • 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar

Preheat oven to 375º Oil and flour a 9-inch round cake pan(s.) (Double the recipe if you want a two-layer cake or sheet cake.) Sift together dry ingredients in a bowl. In another bowl, whisk together wet ingredients until well blended. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix well. Pour batter into prepared cake pan(s.)

Bake at 375 degrees for 30-40 minutes. A cake tester/skewer/toothpick should come out clean when inserted in the center. Remove from oven and let cake cool for 10 minutes, then invert carefully onto a wire rack. Let cool before frosting.



I developed a delicious and easy vegan icing that is smooth, creamy, and naturally sweet. I use a small blender, but any mixer or blender should work well. Adding in the fine almond flour (ground up almonds) gives thickness and body to the silken tofu. It can even be piped! Cool it and enjoy.

  • 1 package (organic Mori-Nu Silken tofu - 12.3 oz. box)
  • 3 Level Tablespoons fine100% pure almond flour
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • ½ teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup or brown rice syrup

Mori-Nu is already pre-heated so cooking is not necessary. Cut open the tofu package and drain out excess water for 10 minutes. Place into a blender with all ingredients. Blend well until very creamy. Chill in the refrigerator for one hour. Blend again. Taste and adjust flavors as you desire.


4th of July Cake Toppings: Design as you wish.

  • Blueberries
  • Strawberries
  • Raspberries
  • Flag Design
  • Small Flags
  • Edible Flowers

Berry Topping: Using berries, etc, create a flag design or a lovely berry montage. Small US Flags can also heighten the holiday appeal. We are celebrating freedom of expression so be creative!

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