Monday, September 16, 2013

Delicious Tofu Sloppy Joes (J/K, LOL)

A lot of you* have been wondering (a) where I've been; (b) why the hell you're still following a blog that is, like, NEVER updated; and (c) if I'm still doing the Swank Diet. Folks, I have answers to all of those excellent questions.

(a) Right here on my ass thinking I really, really need to post something.
(b) Okay, actually I don't have an answer for this one.
(c) YES! Yes, I am.

* Okay, just my sister.

To address (c), just the other night, my dear husband decided to make Sloppy Joes for dinner. Fortunately, I had purchased a ground-beef substitute (GBS) called Smart Ground VEGGIE PROTEIN CRUMBLES (VPC). You read that right, CRUMBLES. Sounds kind of fun, right? Wait, I think I have a picture:
You know when Wee Squeaky makes an appearance that things are bound to go badly. 
By now, my husband and I are old pros at the protein substitutes. Tofurkey sausage? To-FASTIC sausage! Fake bacon? Fake Bac-OLICIOUS! You get the idea; I'll stop now. Anyway, back to the Sloppy Joes. I was fully prepared to, yes, enjoy this meal. Once you get used to the no-meat business, it's really not so bad. I never was a big meat eater anyway, and I still can eat fish and chicken breast, so for the rare meal when only a GBS will do, I'm okay with the tofu-ish stuff. BUT, I wasn't so foolish to think this might not turn out as spectacularly as I was hoping. So I grabbed Wee Squeaky and my camera to document the meal prep.

"Ha ha! This is going to SUCK!"
The makers of the VPC are very clever. You don't get to see the, er, crumbles until you open the box. Then you notice what looks like a brain vacuum sealed into plastic. My first misgivings about this meal happened during this photo. 
Unsealing the brain crumbles.
My husband was undeterred. 

"Come on!" he urged cheerfully. "I'm sure it'll taste better than it looks!" 
Okay, seriously, something about that stray crumble grossed me out.
The hunk of brain/fake meat proved to be a bit...TOUGH. Husband worked valiantly to smash it into submission. While my husband was stabbing the VPC, I was alternately laughing and trying to avoid looking at what was now sizzling away in the pan. My eyes fell upon the box the VPC came in. I noticed THIS:
"Hungry for more?" Ummmm, no. 
The picture is a bit blurry, because at this point I was laughing pretty hard. Hungry for more, my ass! I'm not even hungry for THIS! 

"Now, Ms. CrankyPants," you might be thinking. "Aren't you jumping the gun here? Didn't you just get through trumpeting about all the fake protein you are eating with relish?" 

Yes, yes, I did. And I admit, when we added the tomato sauce, things did look better. See for yourselves:
Well, in spite of Wee Squeaky there next to the pan, I thought it looked edible. We loaded the...stuff onto our nicely toasted bread and added a delightful ear of corn. Just like ma used to make! Tell me this doesn't make your mouth water: 
Oops! Sorry, that's a piece of CAT POO on the carpet.
Deploying the TOFU SLOPPY JOES!
So. The burning question that you already know the answer to: how'd they taste? See the CAT POO picture, above. Okay, not that bad. But...not so great, either. However, much like the fake sausage and fake bacon, it's just a matter of preparing it in such a way that it's surrounded by other, better-tasting stuff. Before you know it, I'll be extolling the virtues of VPC! But that night, I kind of felt like Capt. Nap, when he is hoping there's more to his dinner than the can of cat food he's just been given.
"Surely you jest?"
Ha ha! Can't really blame old Capt. Nap. At least we had corn. 

p.s. YES, I know the font is a huge mess in this post. Something's funky with Blogger.