How I survived Memorial Day – A vegetarian/vegan survival guide

May 29, 2012

This past (three!) day weekend Brandon and I joined a group of some of our best friends and headed north to a cabin in Pennsylvania.    We had a great time just sitting around and relaxing.  We also managed to get in some activity, heading out for a 45 mile bike ride with some friends.    At the halfway point there was a hike up to the top of what’s called the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon.

We didn’t go the whole way up (there were a LOT of steps) but enjoyed the views for the small part of the straight up, 1.5 mile hike 😉

Ice cream cones for the gang!

And of course, what’s a bike ride with friends without stopping at the strategically placed ice cream shop along the way??  3 miles from home, it was a tasty treat to end our ride with.

I opted for what appears to be the world’s largest cone of rainbow sherbert, ever.

All of the exercise was helpful, especially since for the rest of the weekend we opted to sit around and enjoy some good ol’ fashion cookouts.  Being a vegetarian is foreign enough to these guys, so I didn’t want to send them packing with the idea of Vegan meals.  In actuality the weekend was a great chance to start conversations about how I go about replacing the meat, eggs and dairy in my meals with other foods, in a healthy and satisfying way.   While they didn’t forgo their meat and cheese weekend, they were supportive of my decisions, respectful of how they prepared certain dishes so that I could eat them also and genuinely curious about all of the things I brought to the table.    Each meal I left my plate empty and feeling stuffed to the gills, but thanks to some healthier choices, I felt great all weekend.  Here’s how I did it:


                     Them                                                                               Me

Breakfast:      Tasty-kakes and coffee                                                                         banana with pb and a blueberry bagel (with the PB also) we picked up at the grocery store along the way.

 Lunch:            Firemen’s Chicken BBQ                                                                        this pasta recipe from (, fruit salad and some chips with an avocado, corn and bean salsa I whipped together.

Dinner:            BBQ Beef Brisket, Ribs, Corn on the cobb                               Round two of lunch, with a Naked Chick’n cutlet smothered in homemade BBQ sauce and some corn on the cobb.

                               Italian  pasta salad

Dessert:           Smores                                                                                                                Some vegan chocolate cookie bars I found – they weren’t the best, but satisfied a sweet craving around the fire!


Breakfast:      Scrambled eggs, toast, bacon                                                           Tofu scramble with Salsa, toast with PB and some more fruit salad

Dinner:            Burgers, Dogs, and the rest of it!                                                   I nabbed a veggie burger and veggie dog (both Vegan!  Its amazing how they sneak cheese into everything! Yikes…), plus snacked on all the offerings at the table that were available 🙂 Yum!


Breakfast:    Pancakes and Sausage                                                                           Some homemade strawberry bread bites (read:  failed cupcake experiment) with syrup, fruit salad and a banana with PB. Yum!

It was pretty easy, once the menu was determined for the rest of the group to figure out how I was going to stick to my food preferences and not make the group feel like there was any extra hassle or fancy cooking involved, just simple and delicious BBQ food for a holiday weekend with friends! 🙂

How was everyone’s weekend??  Ever have your dietary preferences clash with the lifestyle of your friends and family?  Were they supportive?


2 Responses to “How I survived Memorial Day – A vegetarian/vegan survival guide”

  1. Dominick S. Says:

    Never had this problem…I think I gave myself Gout in one weekend.

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