Monday, September 27, 2010

A Great Vegetarian Barbecue Dish

Eating vegetarian meat substitutes is a great way to reduce the cholesterol in your diet dramatically and many of the products produced by such companies as Worthington Foods, Loma Linda Foods and Boca offer vegetarian alternatives for a variety of meat products.  I'm in the hospital with a kidney stone and because of the surgery I had yesterday, I haven't eaten much all weekend and I'm starving.  When I get really hungry I crave a really unique vegetarian meal that is my wife's specialty.

Miss Sheila trained under two of the finest cooks I ever knew of--my grandmother and hers. She can hold her own with either of them and, although I would never have told either of them, she outdoes them on many things. Her original idea for barbecue Tender-bits(TM) is everybody's favorite for celebratory meals in the King household. Since Sheila has made me promise to outlive her, I made her teach me how to make her signature dish.

Barbecue Tender-Bits
Original Recipe by Sheila King

- Ingredients -
  1. 2 Cans Loma Linda Tender-bits
  2. Flour
  3. Seasoned Salt
  4. Oil
  5. Bulls-Eye or KC Masterpiece BBQ Sauce
- Instructions -
  1. Remove the top and bottom from both Tender-bit cans and press from the can. Drain the Tender-bits and halve or quarter each "bit" as you prefer.  I like mine larger, Sheila likes 'em quartered.
  2. Put a quarter to half cup of flour in a large mixing bowl and toss in the Tender-bits.  Dust them thoroughly and lightly season with seasoned salt.
  3. Just cover the bottom of a large frying pan or electric skillet in canola oil and heat..
  4. Place floured "bits" into the oil and cook stirring twice till the outsides are crisp and turn golden brown.
  5. Pour a bottle of barbecue sauce over the Tender-Bits and remaining oil.  With the flour that got into the oil along with the Tender-bits, the barbecue sauce will make a delicious gravy that will cover the vege-meat.  When the gravy begins to bubble, turn the heat down to keep the dish warm while you cook the rest of the meal.  This allows the Tender-bits to marinate in the barbecue gravy.
Setting:  These are our favorite side dishes to go along with Barbecue Tender-Bits

  1. Mama's Southern Mashed Potatoes with a little garlic, butter and cream cheese
  2. Broccoli with a bit of melted Velveeta Cheese
  3. Salad finely chopped with Ranch Dressing
  4. Honeymama's Whole Wheat Dinner Rolls (so good they don't even need butter)
  5. Peach Cobbler with Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream
Where to Buy:
Barbecued Tender-Bits as God intended
This meal illustrates why all vegetarians are not emaciated skeletons. Many of us are quite substantial individuals.  Tender-Bits are a vegan meat substitute (for what meat I am not sure).  They work really well in Chinese dishes, however, though they aren't much like chicken.  They make a nice neutral meat-like garnish for spicy dishes and tangy sauces.  You can order them by the case on, from Loma Linda or or any regional Seventh Day Adventist book store or vegetarian food store (found in most Adventist college towns). 

Next time we make up a batch, I'll take a picture and post it here.  Till then, bon appetit.

* Did and done. As you can see even just half a can makes up a nice sized batch for two.  When we have the kids and their families over, Sheila makes two or three cans and when it's all done, there are never any leftovers.