Tag Archives: picnic
For three of four of my college years, I served as an Resident Assistant – essentially, babysitting drunk 20-year-olds in exchange for free room and board. The job was certainly trying, and I came away with a lot of funny (well, only because I’m looking back on it) stories regarding college life.
The hands-down best part of being an RA though, was being on campus the night before a holiday break. When students had gone home for Thanksgiving and the rest of the dorms were empty, we RAs would throw a little on-campus get-together of our own. For my senior year, we decided on a BYON rule: Bring You Own Nuggets. A new vegan at the time, I brought the only meatless dish to our Thanksgiving nugget table.
We had some Sweet Baby Ray’s original barbecue sauce in the fridge, but a quick glance at the back label showed high fructose corn syrup to be the very first ingredient listed. Since homemade barbecue sauce is stupid easy to make, I figured it couldn’t hurt to throw something together while the tofu was baking.
The tofu nuggets are delicious and simple, but the real star here is the blackberry barbecue sauce. Blackberry preserves add unexpected sweetness to the classic tang of ketchup and vinegar, and a good sprinkling of cayenne pepper sneaks up at the end to remind you that this ain’t your mama’s barbecue sauce.
I ate this batch for lunch with a generous slathering of the barbecue sauce and was full until dinner. Bring these to your next BYON party (or any party, really) and watch how quickly they get gobbled up!
12 oz. extra-firm tofu, pressed
1/4 cup plain breadcrumbs
Spices, to taste: garlic powder, paprika, Italian seasoning
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Slice tofu into desired size and shapes (use cookie cutters to add an extra sum’ sum’). Freeze and thaw the tofu before pressing for maximum chewy nugget results.
2. Spray nuggets with nonstick spray and toss with the breadcrumbs and spices*. Make sure all nuggets are evenly coated before arranging them on a greased baking sheet.
3. Bake for 25-30 minutes, flipping halfway through until nuggets are brown and crispy.
Nutrition per Serving: 306 calories, 16g fat, 5g carbohydrates, 29g protein.
*After measuring the leftovers, I had only used a tiny bit of the breading. Save the rest of the breading for your next nugget adventure.
Blackberry Barbecue Sauce
3 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon sugar-free blackberry preserves (raspberry would be good too!)
1 tablespoon spicy brown mustard
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon garlic powderBrown sugar to taste, optional
Cayenne pepper to taste, optional
1. Combine ingredients well.
Nutrition per Serving: 35 calories, 10g carbohydrates
Today, I returned from a heavenly vacation in Long Beach Island, NJ with Curtis and his parents. We stayed in a little yellow house a mere three lots from the beach, explored the island on bicycles and demolished nearly everything on the menu at Living on the Veg. It was a much-needed week of rest and relaxation.
As with all good things, our seven-day escape came to an end this morning, and I returned home itching to get into the kitchen. Feeling sluggish from the delicious, albeit heavy, meals consumed throughout the trip, I found myself craving the fresh, light foods that I am used to eating on a daily basis. Even though the Olde City Sandwiches (essentially a vegan cheese steak) I devoured were fantastic and worth every calorie, I found it interesting to see how at the end of the week, I was almost turned off of denser, heavier foods.
The combination of ginger and garlic in this dish packs big flavor while still remaining light and fresh. Over a bed of spinach-flecked quinoa, this meal made me feel full – not stuffed.
I happen to love garlic, so my sauce has an authoritative garlic presence in it – let’s just say it’s a good thing I’m not kissing anyone tonight. If you aren’t so keen on garlic, cut it down to 1-2 cloves.
1 block extra firm tofu, pressed and sliced
1/3 cup tamari or soy sauce
1/4 – 1/3 cup sugar-free maple syrup
1.5 inches fresh ginger, microplaned
3 cloves garlic, microplaned
1 tsp sriracha, optional
1. In a shallow dish, combine the soy sauce, maple syrup, fresh ginger, garlic and sriracha. Place the tofu slices in a flat layer. Lid the container, shake to coat and allow to marinate for at least two hours.
2. Spray a frying pan well with non-stick spray. Shake excess marinade off tofu slices and cook until golden brown on both sides.
3. Top with remaining marinade. Serve with quinoa or brown rice.
Nutrition Information per Serving: 175 calories, 8g fat, 9g carbohydrates, 18g protein
My 17-year-old brother doesn’t make requests very often (I’m pretty sure the kid could subsist on nothing but chicken nuggets and white rice), so when he asked for sugar cookies over the weekend, I was happy to oblige.
These cookies are little pillows of soft, buttery sweetness, and are best enjoyed with a tall glass of ice-cold almond milk. Be sure to store them in a plastic container or sandwich bag to keep them from hardening up. If they do get a little crunchy, throw a slice of bread inside with them – the bread will harden and the cookies will soften right up.
Adapted from Chocolate-Covered Katie
Makes about 28 cookies
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup non-dairy milk
3/4 cup Olivio Coconut Spread (or your favorite vegan butter)
Sanding Crystals or sprinkles, optional
1. Combine all dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
2. In a microwave-safe cup, melt the vegan butter. Add vanilla and non-dairy milk, then add to the dry ingredients. Mix well.
3. Roll batter into tablespoon-sized balls and drop onto a well-greased cookie sheet. Sprinkle tops with sanding crystals or sprinkles if desired, and refrigerate for a few minutes until dough is cold.
4. Bake cookies in a 325° oven for 9-12 minutes. They will look a little underdone when first out of the oven, but as they sit, they will set nicely.
Nutrition per Cookie: 105 calories, 4g fat, 14g carbohydrates, 1g protein.