This post was sponsored by Harvest Snaps. Thank you for supporting the partnerships that allow Brewing Happiness to grow and exist. xoxo.
TOFU PO BOY SANDWICH
Cajun Fried Tofu:
- 1 cup grapeseed oil
- 1/2 block super firm tofu, pressed and cut into 1" strips
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour (sub gluten free AP flour)
- 1 tablespoon cajun spice
- 7 tablespoons non dairy milk
- 1 bag Black Pepper OR Lightly Salted Harvest Snaps
- 1/4 green cabbage, sliced thin
- 2 cups lacinato kale, chopped
- 1 cup carrots, grated
- 1/3 cup vegan mayo
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
- salt & pepper
- 3-4 pretzel rolls (sub any kind of bread you want)
- Healthy Honey Mustard
- Crush your Harvest Snaps in the bag until they are crumbled into breadcrumb-like pieces. Put them in a large bowl and set aside.
- Take the tofu and cut it into 1" strips. Then press your tofu with a paper towel, removing some of the water content. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl combine your flour, cajun spice and non dairy milk. Whisk until smooth.
- Heat the grapeseed oil over medium-low heat into a large frying pan.
- Throw your tofu into the oil, letting it cook for 1-2 min on each side, just until slightly browned.
- Place the nuggets on a paper towel when done to let the oil drain.
- Combine all of your Healthyish Coleslaw ingredients in a large bowl and massage with your hands until everything is well coated and combined.
- Stuff your pretzel rolls with Healthyish Coleslaw, top with a couple of Cajun Fried Tofu slices, and drizzle with Healthy Honey Mustard.
- EAT UP.
I am a born and bred southern girl. My dad still lives in the same town he grew up in. My grandma’s name was Peggy Sue. And I pronounce “pin” and “pen” the same way. But I’ve always been both rebellious and a dreamer. As a kid my dreams carried me to a big “glamorous” city like LA or NY. I never really wanted to be associated with my southern roots. So when I was old enough I got vocal lessons to train me out of my accent, moved to LA, drank the green juice, and vowed never to return.
Well, we all know where that lead me. Right back to Georgia. I’ve lived back in my home state for a year and a half now and I’m still a girl with big city dreams, but this time I have much more appreciation for my roots. I’ve grown to love *health-ified* versions of southern food, and I tolerate people who say “bless her heart.” But the appreciation hasn’t been easy to acquire.
In the last few months, some of you know that I had to undergo a dental surgery. My front tooth is an implant that I’ve had for many years now, but that implant started to fail and I had to get it removed recently. So this is now the third time in my life that I’ve been missing my front tooth. (I obviously wear a flipper in public.) And there is something in me that still fears the link between missing front teeth and stereotypical southern culture. I’ve never wanted to be seen as a cute southern girl, but especially not when that’s defined by the hole in my mouth.
It’s funny how physical changes can do that. They challenge our view of ourselves. I temporarily lose my front tooth, and it brings up all of these fears in me about being linked to Southern culture. But this sort of thing happens on a deeper and more meaningful level. You gain weight and it brings up fears that no one will love you. Or you get a bad haircut and you think you’re less attractive. These are tough things to navigate. They require endless amounts of vulnerability.
I’ve found that the best way for me to tackle the shame that comes along with my missing front tooth is to approach it with as much honesty, vulnerability and humor as possible. I’ve also found that, in fact, being linked to my southern upbringing isn’t the worst thing. I’ve grown oh so much more appreciative for myself and the body I do have. And wouldn’t it be nice if I could approach everything like this? Confronting my fears about my physical body with humor and vulnerability. Gosh, that’d be nice.
So now here I am, a toothless Southern girl making some Healthyish Tofu Po Boy sandwiches with healthyish coleslaw (feat. kale and vegan mayo) + some Cajun Fried Tofu (feat. Harvest Snaps!) I am shamelessly and endlessly southern, and I am coming to terms with it. I may not be able to look in the mirror and see a beautiful smile, but I can provide endless giggles for myself and my friends. Sometimes that’s better. For me, learning to accept my heritage and accept my physical flaws has been a key to freedom. It may have taken my front tooth, but it’s given me life (and Po Boys!) xoxo.