Quick & Easy Spicy Drumsticks

It’s been a while since I brought up the pre-made vegan food products the Hubs and I occasionally buy online to pique or curiosity or just because we’re having a greasy, junk food craving that can’t be satisfied by firm tofu alone. But I’ve saved the best of the most recent batch for last. Vegan drumsticks, y’all!

Okay so there is a teeny tiny chance that maybe I’m over-selling these, but I’m not. Yes, they are a little bit greasy (15g of fat per 100 grams) but honestly that is a MAJOR part of the charm since we all know I keep my oil intake to a minimum when I can. I’m glad there were just a few in the package because they were THAT GOOD.

As you can see, I really tried my best to keep this meal what I like to call “sane” in calories. The entire package of vegan drumsticks was 250 grams, with each drumstick weighing in at 50 grams a piece. We had 2.5 each and when combined with the corn on the cob and the herb baked potatoes, the meal was delicious, satisfying and calorie friendly.

The packaging wasn’t much to look at but I appreciate that about Vantastic since vegan products can be a bit higher priced than their animal-based counterparts.

Now on to the business. Since all I did was add salt & pepper and vegan butter to the corn on the cob, and a fresh rosemary, salt, pepper & lemon zest for the potatoes, there’s no point wasting your time with that! But here’s a tip to keep this meal quick¬†and easy: prepare the potatoes first and get them started in the oven while you shuck & clean the corn, and make the sauce for the drumsticks.

Did I mention I like spicy things? Well I do.

A lot.

I mixed up a nice blend that contained:

Chili powder

Smoky paprika

Garlic granules

Onion granules

Worcestershire sauce (yes, there are vegan brands out there!)

Gochujang

Lemon juice (half a lemon)

Cumin

Cornstarch

Water

Mix it all into a bowl and then toss drumsticks in the bowl, OR toss it in small baking dish so you can pop it in the oven when you put the corn in there.

If you want to make buffalo style sauce with this, be VERY careful with the butter portion of the sauce because if you look very closely you can see how much grease cooked off the drumsticks.

The cute little sticks are bamboo and edible too!

This photo didn’t come out as impressive as I’d hoped but that’s okay, I just wanted to give you an idea of the size of this meal, which ended up being 478 calories per plate, which isn’t a lot but this was plenty satisfying.

Okay, fine, full disclosure: I made a cocktail with this meal so I had to make sure there was room leftover for Cucumber-Elderflower gin & tonic with lime. It might seem weird but it was delicious and the hubs thought it was a nice help to take some of the spice off the fiery drumsticks.

The oven did most of the work, for which I am eternally grateful, and it took about 30 minutes which was mostly the time it takes for potatoes to get and crispy.

Even though I am not a huge fan of these products, these vegan hanchensticks were a big win for me and yes, I did order more here. (Not a paid endorsement just a shout out for a yummy product…but I am open!)

Food Court Flashback ~ Bourbon Chicken Tofu

Way back in 2004, I was living in Boston working on the 2004 Presidential Election as an eager holder of a Masters in political science and delusions of…something. I had just met my husband, who was one of half a dozen roommates I shared a giant colonial with in Everett. Anyway the office where I worked was right in the Downtown Crossing T stop, which meant there was this great little food court right around the corner. The food was…okay.

But there was this little cart on the way there that had incredible falafels, but that’s for another time. Inside this food court was this tiny hole int he wall that served bourbon chicken. This was back in my meat eating days and I couldn’t get enough of this simple dish that I could eat at my desk without making a mess. The ingredients were pretty simple from what my taste buds could gather and remember, after all this time.

I recently caught up with a friend from Boston and it made me nostalgic for this dish so, of course, I made it.

I’d say this was one of the most straight forward recipes I’ve come up with/recreated in a while.

What you need:

Tofu

Onion

Rice

Broccoli

Brown or coconut sugar

Bourbon (or whiskey)

Ginger

Garlic

Soy sauce

Cornstarch

Water

For this recipe I experimented with the dehydrated soy pieces because I love how you can manipulate the texture by simmering it longer or leaving it sitting in the water longer than recommended. Since this recipe would involve simmering, I chose to get the pieces good and thick so I could get a nice crisp on the outside before adding the sauce.

Stay prepared by making your bourbon sauce first. In a bowl, whisk together bourbon, sugar, grated ginger and garlic, soy sauce, cornstarch and water. Set aside so it’s ready when¬† you need it.

If you want a bit more flavor, add tomato paste by the teaspoon until you get that yummy umami flavor.

The tofu is the most time-consuming part because you have to simmer it before putting it in the skillet, but it’s well worth it.

For the broccoli I took the lazy cook’s route and chopped it with vegan butter, salt, pepper and garlic before wrapping it in foil and popping it into the oven for 20-25 minutes.

Serve the bourbon tofu over rice and add more spice if needed and voila, you’ve got my favorite fast food meal of 2004 on your table in 30 minutes.

And I enjoyed it with a tall glass of water since there was already 2 ounces of bourbon on the plates!

You can have healthy, delicious vegan meals in no time at all. Believe it!