Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Katie Parker explains it all! Vegan/Tofu/Apple Pie!

Hello FTOACW fans! My name is Katie and I'm a childhood bestie of Chris. I'm so proud and amazed at what Chris has done with this blog, that I begged her to let me do a guest blog. Being the awesome person that she is, she gave in and let me do it. Thanks, Chris! :)  

Now, let's talk food. I don't know about you, but I always think about food. ALWAYS.  Kinda like they say men think about sex. Anyway, as much as I think about food, you'd think that I would be a good cook. I'm not. In fact, I kinda don't know how.  Before you start thinking that I come from a line of people who don't cook, or do it well, let me set the record straight. I come from a family of wonderful cooks. I've just always been more interested in the eating part. Someone else can prepare it and I'll devour it. Alas,  I don't  think that I'm a hopeless case.  I can boil water, follow instructions and put frozen entrees in the microwave with the best of them. I've even made-get ready for it- AWARD. WINNING. SALSA. Yeah, I know. Award winning  (okay, so it was just first place at my friends' annual salsa tasting party. I got a prize and there were like 70 entries. Big time for me). Now that I'm 38, I've decided to be a grown up and learn how to cook and do it well. Being completely honest, part of what's fueling my interest in cooking is that I'm in a local ultimate makeover contest. I'll spare you all the gory details of that, but I will tell you that we're on our own for the diet portion. I'm in it to win it, so I've been looking up healthy recipes to cook up. I was fortunate enough to find some delightful recipes for Vegan Sloppy Joes, Tofu Finger and Red Hot Apple Pie in a Mug.  All I can say is that all three were total yum! I know that you probably can't wait to make this for your family or yourself, so without further ado, here are the recipes! 

 Vegan Sloppy Joes: 

1 package (it's actually a box) of Boca Original Vegan Meatless Burger patties. I tried to find some meatless vegan crumbles, but was unable to (Morningstar crumbles are not vegan). You'll be crumbling the patties up, so 2 patties would possibly serve 4-6 people and 4 patties would serve 6-8 people.
Depending on how many  people you're cooking for, put either 2 patties or 4 patties into a non-stick skillet or microwave. Tip: It helps to crumble the patties if you break them up into pieces before you put them in your cooking device.

Stovetop: cook on medium heat until cooked through to 160F. As the patties, cook, take a fork and crumble them into tiny pieces. 

Mircowave: The Boca box says to only cook 1 patty at a time, but I've cooked more than one at a time before without incident. Follow the directions on the box for the time, but be sure that the patty is cooked to 160F. You can crumble after the patty is cooked. I used a fork to do this, but do what is easiest for you. 

Pour Manwich Sloppy Joe Sauce ( I used the original style) into skillet until heated

Viola! You're ready to serve your Vegan Sloppy Joes on your choice of bread! 

Tofu Fingers: 

1 pound firm tofu, sliced into wedges/fingers/strips, 1 cup Italian breadcrumbs (note: you will not need this many breadcrumbs, but using this much will ensure easier breading) 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Drain the water off of the tofu, rinse it, and set it in a colander to let excess water drain off. Spray a cookie sheet with non-stick cooking spray. Cut the tofu into 1/2 inch wedges/fingers/strips, and spray both sides of the tofu wedges with the cooking spray. 


Roll them in the breadcrumbs. Lay the wedges on the cookie sheet and give the tops one more spray. 

Bake for about 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.

Serve with dipping sauces (ketchup, honey-mustard, ranch, etc.). In my apartment oven, which is from 1985, I had to bake for close to 30 minutes to get them golden brown. 

Tip: I used some additional Italian seasoning for some additional flavor. 

Red Hot Apple Pie in a Mug 

  • 1 medium Fuji apple, cored and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 12 - 15 pieces Red Hots Cinnamon Flavored Candy
  • 1/2 sheet (2 crackers) low-fat cinnamon graham crackers
  • 2 tbsp. Fat Free Reddi-wip (or more!)
  • Dash cinnamon

Put apple cubes in a microwavable cup or mug.  Top with Red Hots -- the more you use, the hotter your pie in a mug will be. 

Cover and microwave for 2 minutes.

Stir well. Re-cover and microwave for an additional 1 - 2 minutes, until apple cubes are soft. Additional time may or may not be needed, depending on your specific microwave. Container will be HOT when removing from microwave, so please be careful.

Meanwhile, crush/crumble graham crackers in a manner that you see fit. I just used my clean hands to crumble; set aside. Once cup or mug is cool enough to handle, mix contents well. Allow to cool for about 10 minutes.Top with most of the crushed graham crackers followed by the whipped topping. Sprinkle with cinnamon.

I loved this receipe, but my can of Reddi-Whip was defective, so the "whip" was mush. Lol!

This was a yummy meal! It may be a "go-to" meal for me from now on. Easy to do. Although I will say that the Vegan Sloppy Joes make for great leftovers, the Tofu fingers do not. I ate the Hot Apple Pie in a Mug right up, so not sure how that fares as a leftover. 

Thanks Katie!  It is so fun to share in your personal transformation!  You are such a positive role model for women, young and old.   I am so honored you would want to write a post for my blog!  

Katie Parker is a breast cancer survivor, speaker and writer.  Katie was a 2011 Pink Together Ambassador, a breast cancer writer for the "Fight Like A Girl" website, blogs for the Pink Lotus Breast Cancer's, "Breast Cancer 101" blog and is a volunteer speaker for the American Cancer Society. 

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