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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Sweet and Sour Chinese Veggies and Tender-Bits

Sweet and Sour Chinese Veggies and Tender-Bits
Back in the early 20th century, an SDA missionary doctor named Harry Miller and his long-suffering wife went to China to work among the poor people of that nation. His work came to the attention of Chinese authorities and Miller became the physician of choice to luminaries such as Chang Kai Shek and his wife. An immensely creative man, Millar traveled all over China improving hygiene and the diet of the Chinese. He once fought off river pirates on the Yantze with an oar and a pistol he carried with him on his missionary journies.

Another thing Dr. Miller is noted for is his discovery of how to mass produce meat substitutes from wheat gluten and soybeans. The Chinese made a wheat gluten meat-like substance called seitan as well as tofu from soybeans.  Dr. Miller developed a form of soymilk as an alternative to hard to obtain cow's milk for children and tinkered with ways to produce meat substitutes from gluten and soy. When the Japanese forced missionaries to flee Japan, Dr. Miller returned home, bringing his meat substitute idea with him. Worthington and Loma Linda foods were established based on Dr. Miller's patents for meat substitutes.

Loma Linda's lovely Tender-Bits are perfect to go with a nice pile of rice and Chinese vegetables. It fixes up nicely, especially if you have a wok to cook in. Here's how it works:

  1. Olive oil
  2. Stir fry veggies
  3. Loma Linda Tender-Bits
  4. Flour
  5. Seasoned salt
  6. Rice/Rice a Roni

  • Start the rice following package directions. Rice-a-Roni makes a nice fride rice that is quick and easy to make up and makes a lovely base for your veggies.
  • In a bowl, cut Tender-Bits in half in a bowl.
  • Sprinkle flour and seasoned salt over the Tender-Bits and stir them up till they are covered with flour/seasoning mixture.

  •  Fry the Tender-Bits in olive oil till crisp and slightly brown on the outside, then set the Tender-Bits aside in a bowl.

  • Stir fry the frozen Chinese vegetables until they are ready.
  • Lay down a bed of rice on your plate.
  • Cover the rice with a generous portion of Chinese vegetables.
  • Add Tender-Bits
  • Add homemade Sweet & Sour Sauce, Soy Sauce or other Chinese sauce.

This is really good with Sweet and Sour Sauce and by making it yourself, you can fiddle with the ingredients to suit your own tastes. You might want to increase or decrease ingredients to taste. I tend to go lighter on the vinegar.

The Tender-Bits make this a really delicious dish. It will most surely become a favorite dish and if you make your own sauce, it will give you something to tell everyone at potluck that you made yourself. Not many people make their own sweet and sour sauce.

Have fun.

Tom King © 2015


  1. Hey, Tom. I need to share an old SDA recipe with you that was one of my favorites at Platte Valley Academy (may she rest in peace...). We called it Cashew Casserole or Chinese Casserole if you couldn't afford the cashews. It uses Tender Bits (best veggie food on the planet!) or Fri-Chick or Vegi-Scallops or ... Whatever! Maybe you already know it and I just haven't seen it here on your site.

    Anyway! Hello from your neighbor just up the hill in Auburn. You and your wife should meet up with my husband and me sometime. Both of us have tons of good ole SDA recipes to swap, his of Southern California origin and mine from Hinsdale and Nebraska. Take care!

    1. You can send recipes and photos to me at . I'll try them out and post the recipe credited to you on the website.

      My wife and I live in Puyallup. We don't have a lot of mobility, but if you every want to come by, drop me a note. We're kind of functional shut-ins these days and visitors are always nice.