Before I dive into my miraculous dinner, just a quick ankle update…
I’m still trying to heal this stupid ankle. I have a frequent reoccurring pain/discomfort on the inside of my right ankle that doesn’t seem to want to go away. So I postponed my 18 miler from this past weekend and will try to do it this coming weekend. Hopefully my ankle holds up and things are better. This week has been spent resting and icing like crazy. I should get some quality stretching in too.
On to the good stuff.
Football season officially starts tonight! Hooray! As Buffalo Bills fans, what says football more than chicken wings?
In my pre-vegan days, I was a HUGE Duffs fan. If you don’t know what Duffs is, it’s the best damn wing place in existence. I spent five years in Buffalo for college and grad school, and now I’m married to a Buffalonian, so it’s something that is near and dear to my heart. It’s also near and dear to my heart because that husband of mine is great friends with the family that owns Duffs. So even though I can no longer eat there, I really, really miss the flavors of Duffs. (I should mention that they have nothing to do with this post. I just really love them/it/the wing flavor.)
When I was just vegetarian, I actually talked to our friend and asked him if I could bring my own “chicken” to use. Being the awesome person that he is, he cooked me vegetarian Duffs, and I was in heaven. (If you don’t know him, please don’t try this. I don’t want to get in trouble :-))
However, those “chicken” fingers had egg in them, not to mention the absolutely intoxicating blue cheese dip that I can no longer eat. Also, I really can’t overlook the fact that they were probably cooked in the same oil as all the other wings.
We were in Buffalo a few weeks ago for a wedding, and made our traditional stop at Duffs to say hi and for my husband to stuff himself silly. While we were there, our friend mentioned that they were now bottling and selling their sauce…
:: Clouds part. Angels sing ::
I, of course, grabbed a bottle and began dreaming of making myself some amazing vegan Duffs all for myself.
I originally planned to breading some tofu, because most “chicken” tenders use egg as a binder, and are not vegan. However, a few days ago my friend excitedly informed me of some new tenders that actually are vegan – Gardein Seven Grain Crispy Tenders. So today I ran off to the store to pick some up,
All that was left was the blue cheese dip. And that’s clutch, really. Good wings are nothing without some awesome blue cheese.
So I searched around and tried a couple recipes. My winner ended up being this one at GroupRecipes.com. It was very simple, quick, and easy to make.
So here’s everything…
- Gardein Seven Grain Crispy Tenders – 6 per person was a pretty good amount
- Preheat oven to 430 degrees.
- Cook tenders for 20 – 25 minutes, flipping once halfway through.
Blue Cheese Sauce (modified from original recipe found here – I omitted the crumbled tofu)
- 1 cup veganaise
- 1/4 tsp tahini
- dash garlic powder (to taste)
- dash of lemon juice (to taste)
- dash of apple cider vinegar (to taste – I used a decent amount of this)
- Mix all ingredients together to taste.
- Try not to eat it straight out of the bowl, and save some for the wings.
- Duffs hot sauce (Can currently be found on site at the Sheridan Duffs – will eventually be sold in grocery stores. If you can’t obtain some of this liquid gold for yourself, try using Franks Red Hot.)
- Earth balance (If you wish to decrease the heat of the wings, cut the sauce with melted Earth Balance. For mild, I did a 50/50 mix.)
- Melt earth balance in a small saucepan.
- Once melted, pour the earth balance into a large bowl.
- Add desired amount of wing sauce to bowl and mix.
- Toss tenders in sauce until coated.
I was going to take pictures, but we inhaled everything so fast, I never got a chance. I will take pictures next time, I promise.
The true test of this meal was my omnivore husband. As a native Buffalonian, he LOVES duffs wings. And guess what? He loved these too. They are now on our “make again” list. He even liked the blue cheese sauce.
I think I might make these for dinner tomorrow too…