Monday, November 8, 2010

Crispy "UnChicken" Craving

Yes I realize I am a reading teacher who should know better than to add random prefixes to the names of various meats but I could think of no better title for today's post. Today I had a fierce and persistent craving for what can only be described as Crispy "UnChicken."

You see, it all started on Saturday...

I was returning from the annual special education teacher conference in Houston and found myself faced with a vegan's worst nightmare: airport dining. Luckily, I found a place called "Healthy Bistro" in one of the terminals (mind you it was not anywhere NEAR our gate and involved me running down many a moving walkway to get my food and still make our flight). Anyway, the so called healthy bistro did not have ANY vegetarian options but I was able to put together a ho-hum meal with their brown rice and steamed veggie sides.

When I got back to our gate (sweaty and disheveled from the Terminal Marathon), my coworkers and I had a few minutes to gobble our food before boarding the plane back to New Jersey. I was not particularly happy about my dinner selection and felt even more sorry for myself when one of my fellow teachers whipped out a Wendy's crispy chicken sandwich right across the aisle. These were my absolute FAVORITE before my adventures in clean eating began and I'll admit, I am still not completely immune to the powers of Value Meal Number 7. I munched on my brown rice but secretly wished I was the one holding the toxic but DREAMY fast food dinner...

When I awoke this morning, I knew that at least part of my day off (thank you Veteran's Day Observance) would be spent trying to find a way to satisfy my craving for something crispy and fried.

I spent the morning doing some work on the couch. While I did manage to get in some apple cider oats and a quick trip to the gym, the UnChicken recipe was never far from my mind.

Apple Cider Oats

1 small red apples
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
1 cup apple cider
1 cup old fashioned oats
1 cup almond milk

1. Slice apples into 1/2 inch chunks. Heat apple chunks in medium sauce pan with cider and pie spice until apples begin to soften (approximately 5 minutes).

2. Add oats and milk. Simmer 3-4 minutes. Top with nut butter of choice ; )

By the time dinner rolled around, I had a game plan.
Crispy UnChicken

1 block extra firm tofu (pressed and drained)
3 cups sweet and crunchy whole grain cereal of choice
1/4 cup spelt flour
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Egg substitute powder
Cooking oil of choice (I used olive oil because that is what we had)

1. Slice tofu into 1/4 inch thick strips. Sprinkle strips with sea salt.

2. Use a food processor to grind cereal. Mix cereal with flour and cayenne pepper.

3. Coat tofu strips with egg susbtitute mixture (prepare mixture according to package directions).

3. Toss sticky tofu strips in cereal/flour mixture.

4. "Fry" in a small amount of hot oil for 2-3 minutes on each side.

Mmmmm... crispy!

My plate = Crispy UnChicken with green beans and homemade mashed taters
While I know I will still sometimes dream of my old Value Meal pal, this meal was delicious (way better than the airport brown rice and steamed veggies). Plus, my body felt healthy and nourished after eating- a far cry from the nastiness I used to feel after scarfing my fast food favorite.

No comments:

Post a Comment