How to Have a Vegan 4th of July

Juicy Portobello Mushroom Burgers with Pesto recipe

Portobello Mushroom Burger with Pesto
Photo: The Kitchn


The biggest holiday of the summer is undoubtedly the 4th of July. It’s a great time to go outside, watch some fireworks, and break out the grill. While Independence Day was once thought of as a holiday for meaty burgers and hot dogs, it’s become popular to mix things up with grilled veggies and non-meat items. We’ve put together some recipes to help you offer your customers a vegan 4th of July.

Something Festive

Fruit is a great way to keep things festive and colorful. Blueberries, strawberries, and white peaches add fun touches of color, plus they are versatile enough to work in a dessert, a fruit salad, or a cocktail. Here’s are a few simple recipes to help keep things red, white, and blue.

Watermelon Fruit Salad Basket (This is a simple recipe you can use to talk up watermelon sales!)

Watermelon Mint Frosé (Contains alcohol)

The Grill

Bell peppers, corn, portobello mushrooms, and extra firm tofu are all great ways to make the grill vegan friendly. More than replacements for meat, they offer their own unique flavors and meal possibilities. We’ve listed a few fun and simple vegan recipes below to make sure everyone feels welcome around the grill this year.

Grilled Fruit Kabob

Juicy Portobello Mushroom Burgers with Pesto (This recipe has ads)


While the grill is often the star of the show on the 4th of July, it’s important to have good sides. A pasta salad or a potato dish are solid ways to balance out the heavier flavors of grill-based food. Here are a few simple dishes that can round out your vegan 4th of July.

Mediterranean Style Potatoes with Arugula

Mango Avocado Pasta Salad (This recipe calls for honey; there are many honey substitutes, including maple syrup, brown sugar, or molasses)

We hope you keep these recipes in mind for your customers who want a vegetarian or vegan menu this 4th of July.


Merchandising Corner

Pad Your Margins with UTILITY, CHOICE, & #2 Grades

Introducing #2, Utility, and Choice grade produce into some of your displays is a great way to pad your margin. It will also help growers move all their produce, and will allow you to offer customers a better price. Below are just a few items to consider mixing into your current displays.

  • #2 Avocados are a great addition to blend into any avocado display, and Las Palmalitas has good supply of #2 fruit. Some fruit will have discoloration from sunburn, turning patches of the skin yellowish; there may also be scarring from fruit rubbing against a branch. These are only cosmetic issues for the most part, and customers can be guided through these minor defects. ‘Off grade’ produce has a substantially lower cost that you can use to pad your margin or pass onto the customer.
  • Choice Bell Peppers are another great product to offer your customers. The #1 L/XL bells are beautiful, and all tend to be perfect and uniform in size. But what if you just want one small one? For the most part, bells are sold by the pound, so having different sizes is beneficial for the customer that may not want a big pepper. Customers may be perfectly happy with a slightly smaller or misshapen bell pepper for a lower price.
  • Other items to consider are Plains Cucumbers, Baker Potatoes, as well as Medium and Jumbo Sweet potatoes. Anything sold by the pound is the perfect product to mix things up.


Weather Watch

  • Tropical storm Celia will affect pineapple supply from Southern Mexico.
  • The recent heat waves in Northern California caused plants to have rapid growth spurts and may affect the quality of broccoli crowns. We know that strawberry and lettuce plants do not like sustained high temperatures, either.
  • Farm crews can only work during very early mornings when temperatures are cooler in orchards and fields. Limited harvesting hours will limit supply for fruit, melon and vegetables.


New and Exciting

FigsCucumber: Armenian cucumbers are here. Slender, long and curly, they have a crisp and juicy quality, with a sweet flavor. Surprisingly, they’re technically not cucumbers, and are botanically classified as melons. (The same botanical family includes melon, squash, cucumber and pumpkin.)

* Fig (right): Black Mission figs and Adriatic figs are here, but they’re going fast! Uniquely sweet with a creamy texture, the Black Mission fig has dark purple-brown skin, pink-red flesh, and is sure to satisfy. The Adriatic fig has green skin with deep red flesh and a flavor like strawberry jam!

Sweet Carnival Grape* Grape (left): New varieties of “High Flavor Profile” specialty grapes are here! Although the cotton candy variety is somewhat familiar, there are many new varieties emerging on the market, all seedless, with different skin color, size, and shapes. Ask your account manager for guidance. None of them are genetically modified, just old-fashioned hybrid plant breeding to maximize sugar and flavor!

Papaya: Great supply of papaya has just landed, and we’re excited for the deliciously sweet fruit.

Pluot: Smooth-skinned like a plum with the sweetness of an apricot, pluots are here, and they’re delicious. We have the Sangria, Ebony Rose, and Flavorcrisp varieties.

Red Plum: Yummy Rosas will be starting soon. Also known as Candy Rosa plums, they are famed for their sweet, fruity flavor, disease resistance, high yields, and extended shelf-life.



Bi-Color CornBell Pepper: Steady supply on orange and yellow bell peppers, with red choice bells at promotable pricing.

Celery: Celery supply is improving, with more 30s than 24s available.

* Corn (right): Delicious bi-color corn is increasing in supply and has promotable pricing!

Melon: Cantaloupe prices are trending down as volume becomes available. Honeydew prices are also improving.

Pear: Strong supply of Autumn Bartlett and Red D’anjou with California Bartletts starting around mid-late July!

Stonefruit: Yellow nectarines and peaches both have promotable pricing and offer a wonderfully complex balance between sweet and acidic!

Seedless WatermelonStrawberry: Peak of the season, these strawberries are super sweet with a great color. Plus, our strawberries are priced to move!

* Watermelon (left): Mini watermelons and seedless watermelon bins from Rundle Family Farm are both available now.

Yellow Onion: Great supply from Rundle, with sharp pricing!



Artichoke: We just got what we expect to be our last shipment of artichoke for the season.


Brussels sprout

Cherry: Tight supply continues with elevated prices

Cucumber: Limited across the board, with prices going up on 36s

Mango: Tommy and Ataulfo mangoes have low availability. The transition to Nayarit has been slow to ramp up.

Meyer lemon

Pink lady Apple: Domestic is extremely limited.

Royal Blenheim: Will be winding down soon


Done for the Season

Pomegranate arils

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