Off the Menu

Healthy (and Easy!) Recipes to Bring to a 4th of July Picnic

You’ll kill the potluck game with these recipes.

By: Meagan Wilson

If we’re being honest, every summer, potlucks and barbecues bring an entirely new level of social anxiety. Not the most pressing kind, but the oh-my-god-no-one’s-eating-my-Niçoise-salad variety is real, and we feel it. Even if you’re not the domestic, entertaining-at-home type, you’re suddenly faced with the pressure to have the one dish the crowds can’t stop picking at. Something everyone can tell you actually made, but isn’t all over Pinterest yet to the point where you’ve already eaten it twice this week. You know, the type of dish people throw bathing-suit-related caution to the wind (and rightly so) for the sake of having another bite? Yeah, that. That’s what you’re up against.

Luckily, potluck ennui is easy to shake when you have a preview of Dig Inn’s summer menu in your back pocket (or more accurately, inbox). Here, they share the recipes for two of their latest and greatest (which are also vegan, reasonably easy to make, and beautiful when plated): the Cantaloupe Fantastic and Summer Vegetable Poke. Take that, spinach dip.

 

Cantaloupe Fantastic

Serves 12

INGREDIENTS:

SALAD
3 cantaloupes, peeled and cut into large pieces
1⁄4 cup citrus dressing (see below)
1 1⁄2 cups purslane, washed and dried
1⁄3 cup cilantro, chopped

DRESSING
1 serrano pepper
2 tsp lemon zest
2 tsp lime zest
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp lime juice
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1⁄2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp sea salt

 

SALAD:

1. Separate the tough purslane stems from the leaves using a kitchen knife. Set the leaves aside, and roughly chop the tough stems.

2. In a large bowl, mix together cut cantaloupe, citrus dressing, cilantro, purslane leaves, and chopped purslane stems.

3. Transfer to a serving dish.

 

DRESSING:

1. Remove top from the serrano pepper. Cut pepper in half, remove the seeds, and mince in a mortar and pestle or food processor.

2. Whisk all ingredients together in a bowl.

 

Summer Vegetable Poke

Serves 10

INGREDIENTS:

3 medium-size Japanese Murasaki sweet potatoes, cooked and cut into bite-size pieces
2 large chioggia beets, cooked, peeled, and cut into bite-size pieces
5 Persian cucumbers, cut into bite-size pieces
1 cup carrots, thinly sliced
1⁄2 cup hijiki, salted and rehydrated
3/4 cup white soy sauce or tamari

 

FOR THE SWEETS + BEETS:

2 lbs whole chioggia beets
2 lbs Japanese sweet potatoes
1⁄2 cup olive oil
3 cups water
1 tsp sea salt

 

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400°F.

2. Scrub chioggia beets and Japanese sweet potatoes.

3. Toss vegetables with olive oil and sea salt and transfer to a deep roasting pan.

4. Add 3 cups water and cover pan with lid.

5. Cook vegetables in hot oven for 60-90 minutes, or until they’re tender when poked with a sharp knife or fork. Time will vary depending on the size of the vegetables.

6. Remove vegetables from the roasting pan and cool.

 

FOR THE HIJIKI:

1⁄2 cup hijiki, dehydrated (you can buy this from most Asian grocers)
1⁄4 tsp sea salt
1 cup hot water

 

Directions:

1. Stir dehydrated hijiki and sea salt together. Pour the hot water over the salted hijiki and soak for at least 10 minutes.

2. After the hijiki has soaked, strain the rehydrated hijiki, and discard any soaking liquid that is left over.

3. Set hijiki aside until ready to mix.

 

TO SERVE POKE:

Very gently toss all ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. Transfer to serving dish.

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