Tag Archives: cravings

Baked BBQ Tofu with Red Cabbage Slaw plus another Giveaway Winner!

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If you’re in the United States, you may be aware that McRib is back at McDonald’s. Wait, don’t go anywhere! There is a vegan point to this post! I used to be one of the many who love the McRib. It’s tasty stuff! Tasty, nasty, unhealthy stuff! Now that it’s back and I see the ads and the signs or read tweets about it, I MUST FEED MY MCRIB CRAVING! VEGAN STYLE!

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The Baked BBQ Tofu requires only two ingredients: 1 block of firm or extra firm tofu, cubed, and about 1/3 cup of your favorite barbecue sauce. Just mix it all together and let it sit for at least 10 minutes.

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I baked the tofu in my toaster oven at 350 degrees for 10 minutes, turned the pieces over and coated with some more BBQ sauce, and then baked for another 7 minutes.

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I made some red cabbage slaw to accompany the tofu. I mixed shredded red cabbage with 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp lime juice, about a tsp of balsamic vinegar, and seasoned with salt and pepper. I mixed it all up and let it sit in the fridge while the tofu was baking.

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I ended up making BBQ tofu tacos since I had tortillas. I adorned the tofu with only some onion since McD’s only puts onions and pickles on the McRib. I would have added a pickle, too, but I think that would have been a little much with the slaw. The tacos and slaw were a great combination! I was worried that they wouldn’t mesh well but the flavors were great. I did add some more BBQ sauce to the tacos for extra flavor.

Now, onto this week’s giveaway winner… our randomly selected prizewinner is theveganpennypincher! Whoohoo! Readers, be sure to visit theveganpennypincher blog. It’s excellent!

If you haven’t already, go here to enter our December giveaway. There are still two more chances to win a Bubble & Bee lotion stick as well as enter to win a TofuXpress. Yay! –Melissa

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Did someone say hot dogs?

I grew up eating processed meats. I would happily eat hot dogs or bologna for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Gross, I know, but my Mom was a food chemist at a meat company and bringing home the product was a benefit of the job. She also analyzed vegan hot dogs and sausages, but would never bring that weird stuff home. She recently mentioned how annoying it was to test vegan “meats” because there was no cholesterol. I could sort of explain why, but she’s the chemist and my layperson translation doesn’t quite make sense to even me right now.

I have been really hesitant to try vegan hot dogs. I’m sure part of it is the annoyance that my mother displayed whenever she had to analyze them. Other than that, I guess I’ve been worried that they won’t taste like the real thing. I decided to take a chance when I saw Field Roast frankfurters at the store.

I’ll admit that I was attracted to Field Roast based solely on the packaging. The hot dogs are individually cased so you get a link of sausages; none of this smushing 8 or 10 links into one space. They also have a variety of interesting flavors like Mexican Chipotle and Smoked Apple Sage. The Frankfurter style look like hot dogs, they smell like hot dogs, they’re easy to cook, and they taste like hot dogs… mostly. They’re spiced really well with a good smoky flavor but a bit too salty for my taste. I wouldn’t say that they taste vegan so much as that they taste like a fancier brand of hot dog (a classy hot dog, if there is such a thing). They have a very solid texture, not chewy or grainy or crumbly.They go really well with ketchup. I tried them with mustard as well, but I found that the saltiness didn’t mix well with the mustard.They are not gluten-free, but they are soy-free.

You can prepare the sausages by boiling or grilling or browning: I opted to brown them since the instructions for boiling called for them to remain in their casing and I wasn’t comfortable boiling the product in its plasticky casing.

Hey, check these guys out! I cut up a handful of these tomatoes from the garden and mixed them with some onion to go with my hot dogs.

The verdict: these frankfurters are good. Not quite wicked good, but good. They’re definitely a great substitute if you find yourself craving a hot dog. I do want to try the other products that Field Roast has to offer, but I came to a conclusion after this meal: I don’t miss hot dogs!

Stay tuned… I have a whole package of this stuff and I am planning to use the rest of it to recreate a couple of my favorite hot dog dishes! –Melissa

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Turning… Vegetarian?

Uh oh. I feel like a bit of a fraud. I’ve been eating a lot of cheese lately. It’s just so easy. And cheesy!

My first step in turning vegan was to quit dairy. This was not difficult at all, especially when I saw non-dairy on the label of my coffee creamer. I was never a big fan of milk or sour cream, I could live without cream cheese, and dropping butter wasn’t so hard. Since I was still eating meat, it was easy to avoid cheese options.

As I transitioned into dropping meat from my diet, I still found it easy. I started drinking my coffee with just a bit of sweetener, I frequented the salad bar at work, and the worst thing I ate was a french fry to satisfy my craving for something deep-fried. I did let myself have two non-vegan food items, guilt-free: a slice of pizza once a week, and a Snickers bar.

The blog has helped me be an honest vegan in that it has motivated me to cook, veganize my favorites, and try out new foods. But, sometimes, being a vegan really sucks. Don’t get me wrong: I feel great and I don’t miss meat. It can just be really frustrating when I go to a restaurant (even a vegetarian restaurant) where my only options are steamed broccoli or a plain baked potato. Even Red Robin is more vegan-friendly than some other “healthy” spots I have visited.

The kicker came this past weekend when I was out of town. I was lucky. My hosts graciously accommodated me by making sure there were tofu and veggies for me to eat. But when we went out… there’s nothing worse than craving pho or Chinese noodle soup and knowing that, even if I get it without meat, it won’t be vegan. It also sucks to go to a really expansive buffet and have no vegan options besides raw veggies, fruit, and olives. I ended up having some very delicious and cheesy tortellini instead. I could say I felt guilty, but I honestly felt like somewhat of a rebel. Also, I was fricken hungry.

I’ve always been casual about being vegan in that I will still eat white bread or any breads that contain eggs, I won’t give myself too much of a hard time about something that’s in a meat-based broth, and I’ll let myself have ice cream or frozen yogurt when I’m out and about and want a treat. My behavior seems to raise the eyebrows of both vegans and non-vegans: I’m either vegan or I’m not. I don’t think that’s entirely fair. I just don’t want to ever feel like I’m depriving myself. And I especially don’t want to starve myself or eat something gross when I’m in a tight spot and have little to no vegan options.

So, what’s the solution? I can label myself as a vegetarian instead of a vegan. But I don’t want to do that, either. I guess all I can say is that I’m still turning veganese. I’m not totally there yet, I’m trying to figure it out. Should I bring vegan snacks with me at all times? Should I assign someone to play the role of my food conscience and stop me from cheating? Do I need to step up and declare my vegan-ness every time I step into a restaurant? I don’t know. In the end, I may decide that I’ll never be 100% vegan, and that has to be OK. Anyone who isn’t OK with that is just not cool. Oh, dairy cheese… why can’t I quit you?!

What’s your one non-vegan food that you can’t seem to quit? Anything? I’d love it if you would confess your non-vegan cravings and share how you overcame them. –Melissa

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