Rolltation Sushi Burritos

Okay okay so I’m really late on this sushi-burrito food trend thing. But I’ve finally tried one from Rolltation at University and Dundas so I can stop feeling so behind the times.

I picked up one for me and one for Mr. Spoon for a quick lunch date during a work day. I was able to order ahead online and just pick it up on my way to meet up.

Rolltation Sushi Burrito Cut in Half | thelittleredspoon.com

I got the one called Fruity Tofu but there is also the option for you to build your own.

Tofu | Green Lettuce | Red Pepper | Carrot | Sweet Corn | Purple Potato | Diced Mango | Pickled Ginger | Avocado | Sesame

These things were pretty good!

Pros: you get to eat a giant sushi burrito. It’s filled with things I love like avocado, tofu, potatoes and other veggies. It was pretty filling but I didn’t feel gross after eating it, which is perfect for lunch (kinda healthy but kinda still indulgent is my kinda jam).

Cons: eating this WILL mess up your lipstick BIG TIME. In fact, don’t wear lipstick when you’re eating this. Don’t even wear your favourite shirt because you’re basically sure to spill everywhere. The ends of this thing aren’t tucked in on itself like an actual burrito, it’s just left open like a sushi roll which means there will be a big mess. Kinda tricky to eat. This is NOT first date food. Or even third or fourth or fifth in my opinion… Mr. Spoon and I have been together for 4 1/2 years so we are at the point in our relationship where we can eat sushi burritos in front of each other… but during the first like 6 months of our relationship? Oh golly I might’ve been a bit shy about slopping avocado and soy sauce all over my face while also clawing the dropped fillings from my sushitto out of the bottom of the container and scooping it into my pie-hole. Maybe you would be cool with that. Different strokes.

Also con: not cheap. But staying current with the foodie trends in downtown Toronto usually isn’t. With tax and tip two of these burritos came to like $30.

Rolltation Fruity Tofu Sushi Burrito | thelittleredspoon.com

Anyway I’ve gotta say, the sushi-burritos were pretty good. Aside from the insane messiness that goes along with trying to eat one of these things, I did like it. Although next time I’m craving sushi I will probably just buy sushi… But this is one of those things that’s just begging to be eaten once if only for the novelty.. And of course it makes for a great instagram photo

Rolltation Fruity Tofu Container | thelittleredspoon.com

Have you had a sushi burrito? Were you also reduced to scooping up the slop that fell out of your sushitto with your bare hands like a deranged drunk person even though you were sober in the middle of a weekday? Let me know your experience in the comments!

Magic Peanut Butter Pretzel Bars

I tried this recipe from Vegan Street, which I do not remember where or how I found. But I saw the picture, read the title and thought, yeah, that’s going in my belly.

Two Magic Peanut Butter Pretzel Bars | thelittleredspoon.com

I didn’t tweak anything in this recipe except the milk – I made my own fresh homemade cashew milk in my BlendTec and used that.

Magic Peanut Butter Pretzel Bar | thelittleredspoon.com

Those layers…. The base is like a pecan Larabar/Nakd bar made with pecans instead of cashews, the peanut butter layer is soft, creamy and peanut-buttery (obv), and the top is rich chocolate ganache with a salty crunchy kick from the pretzels. Exceptional!

These bars can get a little goopy and soft if they’re out of the fridge too long. I actually tried them after freezing them and thought the texture was a little better out of the freezer. Mr. Spoon suggested adjusting the peanut butter to cream cheese ratio in the middle layer. I don’t totally disagree  – it’s good as-is, but an extra punch of peanut wouldn’t hurt either.

Watch out though, cause these are very addictive, incredibly rich and unhealthy and you’re going to have a big 9’x13′ pan of them when you’re done! This would be great to bring to the office or share with a party… I have a suspicion that keeping the whole pan of these at my house is going to be quite dangerous.

Go to the Vegan Street website for the full recipe as they break everything down in an easy-to-follow way that I really couldn’t improve upon.

Overall, it was pretty easy to make, but required gathering a lot of ingredients. And it uses a lot of ingredients. This isn’t the cheapest snack, as it takes an entire small bag of Follow Your Heart chocolate chips, a full 8 0z package of vegan cream cheese and soft tofu, a full small jar of smooth peanut butter, a couple of cups of pecans, etc..  luckily I was able to gather some of the stuff at the bulk food store.

 

Try out these tasty “Magic Peanut Butter Pretzel Bars” and let me know what you think! I think these will be great for a lunch dessert at work (especially if you keep them frozen so they don’t melt and get gooey on your commute). I like to eat a great big lunch at work most days and enjoy a nice high-calorie dessert with my lunch too, so I don’t get hungry in the afternoon. Anyone else the same way? I have a pretty active job so I’m able to burn a lot of calories just going about my day most of the time. You could always cut these into teeny tiny squares if that’s not the case for you.

Daits

Inside of the Bay/Saks/Pusateri Food Hall in the Eaton Center in Toronto there’s a little counter tucked away that sells dates. They sell only dates and they’re damn good dates.

You can buy 2 dates for $6. Yes. That’s pretty expensive for TWO DATES, I agree. But these are apparently very fancy Sukkari dates, grown in the Arabian desert in Saudi Arabia and imported here to Canada. These aren’t your every day boring “meh they’re okay I guess” Medjool dates. These are their softer, gentler, “sweet without hurting your teeth” cousins that are more refined, more buttery, and I guess, judging by the lacy-lingerie-inspired looking packaging, more sexy.

I forget the rest of the prices and they aren’t listed on the website (probably so they don’t scare people away with how expensive they are). There was even a gold-leaf-topped date that costed an extra $1 compared to the others. But even if something is crazy expensive, I crave novel food experiences, and I’m willing to pay a little extra just to have a new little food anecdote to tell. So, I guess this is the story of “that time I went with some friends and bought really expensive fancy dates from a places that sells ONLY really expensive fancy, decorated dates that have punny names.” I’m living in downtown Toronto, so I might as well live up to the yuppie stereotype, right?

The flavours looked so colourful and cheerful! What really grabbed my attention was the Happy Birthdait – a date decorated like a tiny birthday cake with vanilla frosting and sprinkles. Not all the dates are vegan and some have honey, but they were all beautiful to look at.

Mr. Spoon and I shared a bite of each of the signature “Arabian Night” – Date stuffed with roasted almonds, coated with our signature tahini-peanut butter mix then rolled in crushed pistachios and a “Coco-Loco” – Date stuffed with walnuts, coated with our signature tahini-peanut butter mix, and rolled in coconut.

Both were really tasty! Our friends tried the “Don’t Be Chai” – Date stuffed with walnuts, coated with chai spice almond butter and rolled in crushed graham crackers and “The Royal” – Date stuffed with pecans, half dipped in dark chocolate then finished with a delicate 24k gold leaf — Add one dollar.

I didn’t hear any complaints.

Yum. Really good dates, with good ingredients, and I really enjoyed them. But that is probably the last time I pay $6 for two bites of date…… Probably….

Have any other hidden gems in the city? Let me know about them and maybe I’ll go check them out!

Hot Pot Party

Hot Pot – what better way to stuff your face with a whole bunch of food while hanging out with people you like? Cook, eat, drink and chill around the dinner table without having to yell across the kitchen to your guests.

Hot Pot Shmorgasboard | thelittleredspoon.com

I don’t have a special hot pot cooker or portable propane burner or anything like that. What I do have is a rice cooker and an extension cord and since I was going for a low-key hangout here, this worked perfectly.

I grabbed some bowls, dipping sauce, chopsticks, a small strainer and a whole big platter of goodies to get cooking.

For the hot pot broth in the rice cooker, I used some instant kombu dashi powder, a veggie boullion cube, some white miso paste, minced garlic, and a few shakes of furikake for good measure.
For the dipping sauce I just mixed together some stuff I had in the fridge – soy sauce, rice vinegar and sesame oil.

If you ask me, this makes the perfect “crappy dinner party” (not that this was crappy, but it was definitely low-key). Cook whatever you feel like, with whatever you have laying around, and chill around the table with your favourite people without trying to impress anyone.

Hot Pot Rice Cooker | thelittleredspoon.com

Now, technically this did break one of the crappy dinner party rules as I had been wanting to go to the Asian grocery store in China town to pick up a healthy supply of instant noodles and other goodies, so that’s what me and my friend did during the first part of the day. But sometimes even just going to the grocery store or running errands can be a fun thing to do when you’re with the right people. And I got to pick up some tasty new things to try!

Here we have: gluten balls (yes, the package just read gluten and that’s pretty much what it is…. just pure delicious gluten), enoki, shimeji, shiitake and wood ear mushrooms, two kinds of chinese cabbage and veggie filled dumplings, baby bok choi, baby potatoes, carrot slices, bean sprouts and udon noodles.

Hot Pot Rice Cooker | thelittleredspoon.com

Once the rice cooker starts boiling, start throwing stuff in! Add whatever you want to eat, wait for it to cook and then pull it out when it’s done. Keep the lid on when you’re not adding or grabbing stuff so it doesn’t cool off too much. This worked perfectly for us.

Of course, you’ll want to put stuff that takes the longest to cook in first. We added the baby potatoes first before anything else, and they were the last thing to come out of the pot.

Don’t underestimate how frickin tasty that gluten is, either. Try some for yourself. It was sooo tasty, kind of soft but chewy and just dripping with the salty broth. Yum.

Kimchi | thelittleredspoon.com

Munch on spicy kimchi, sip your beer and chat while things are cooking away.

Hot Pot Bowl | thelittleredspoon.com

Yum! Pull some stuff out of the pot and into your bowl and dip in whatever sauce you like. My usual method is to just put some sauce in the bottom of my bowl and let it get all over everything.

What a fun night! If you have a rice cooker why don’t you try cooking this way for dinner one night? Let me know how it turns out.

This entry was posted in Recipe.

Apiecalypse Now Pizza

Apiecalypse Now! You may remember this bad-ass vegan pizzeria and snack shop from such blog posts as Apiecalypse Now! and Veg Food Fest 2016. Maybe you also heard of this place because they’re runner up for Best Pizza Place in Toronto according to the 2016 NOW Readers Poll – and that’s not best vegan pizza place, folks, that includes ALL pizza. They’re also runner up for best vegetarian restaurant in Toronto.

We went back for another visit while my (vegan ) sister was passing through town cause I love showing people this place, was craving that tasty pizza goodness and wanted to try the poutine I spied on their menu. I also reeeally wanted to try the Deceitball (Meatball) Sub on the Grains, Grains, Grains Menu but ended up being too full to try it all. Guess another trip is in order…..

Grains Grains Grains is a small sister-startup-shop inside of Apieclypse and offers a selection of vegan sandwiches that change monthly. The Deceitball Sub: Brenton’s slow-cooked organic marinara sauce, vegan meatballs, melted vegan mozzarella, on a buttered and toasted baguette. Optional pickled jalapeno peppers to top it off.
Uhh yeah I think that’s worth a subway ride and $8.50 to me. Who’s down for a sandwich and poutine pig-out day?

If you go to Apiecalypse, you gotta get a slice of pizza. Like, their bakery is tops, but you cannot miss these pizzas, people. GET SOME PIZZA. And some snacks. Just get some pizza, snacks, sandwiches, desserts and maybe a pizza to take home with you, too. Just listen to my wisdom here, okay?

Here we have (top to bottom): Reunion Tour, Fat Mac and Pig Destroyer Destroyer slices along with creamy garlic and ranch dipping sauces.

Reunion Tour: local organic tomato sauce, savoury marinated mushrooms, garlic artichokes, red onions, sweet cherry tomatoes, fresh baby spinach, house cashew ricotta cheese.

The Fat Mac: ground not beef, shredded dill pickle, diced vidalia onion, vegan cheddar cheese, iceberg lettuce, sesame seed crust, vegan fat mac sauce.

The Pig Destroyer Destroyer: house creamy garlic sauce, house hot sauce, hickory bbq soy curls, seitan-rizo crumbles, not-ground beef, garlic artichokes, vegan bacon bits, vegan pepperoni slices, vegan mozzarella, vegan smoked gouda.

Vegan Poutine: fresh cut yukon gold fries, Brenton’s famous vegan gravy + mozzarella shreds, vegan jack, vegan smoked gouda or vegan jalapeno cheese
(We went for jack cheese here. It was decent, definitely not that similar to a real curd, I think it was Follow Your Heart brand which is slightly soft and better than Daiya texture. Still satisfied my poutine craving though, next time I’ll go for a Supreme Poutine )

Vegan Mozzarella Styx: three battered, panko coated deep fried golden cheezy sticks, served with organic local tomato sauce dip. These were REAL crunchy and GBD – Golden, Brown, Delicious… Decent texture too!  They were great.

Aaaand after the three of us crushing all that food, we decided we obviously had to take home a large Fat Mac pizza for late night snacks and pizza breakfast leftovers… How could you not?

Unfortunately like 10 UberEats orders in a row got placed minutes before we were able to order at the counter so it ended up taking quite some time to get our pizza. But the people working there were SUUUPER nice and apologetic about it (tbh we didn’t mind that much but we were full and tired and ready to change into sweatpants), they ended up throwing in two free dips and another order of mozza sticks to make up for it! How sweet is that!

Reheating the Fat Mac pizza was a bit of a challenge, since we didn’t want wilted nasty lettuce, we opted to eat it cold and it was just as delicious. This was all in the name of research, of course, so I could figure out how to make us a copycat of this pizza at home… Then again my memory is already slipping and maybe we’ll have to get another pizza to do more research. Who knows how many sessions this could take…..

Glassroots Visit

Mr. Spoon and I were visiting London, Ontario to attend our friends’ grand opening of their new lifestyle boutique on Dundas Street called Love Alchemy. We had a wonderful weekend and during our time in London we knew we had to visit Glassroots again for lunch!

We warmed up from the cold walk over with some hot mulled wine. Yum! Made us feel so cozy. (Drinking gløgg and feeling hygge is so trendy right now )

We decided to split a mammoth sized Everything Platter. Sooooo good. Holy smokes, people. You gotta go try this place if you haven’t already! As soon as the table next to us saw this come out of the kitchen they immediately stopped the server to ask if they can have what we’re having! And I can’t blame them!


Check this spread: (Clockwise from 12) House-made toasts, pickled beets and red onions, pickled carrot slices, we weren’t sure what the white one was (cauliflower spread? garlic? pate? sauerkraut? dunno but it was good), more toasts, candied orange and apple slices, Nuts for Cheese Super “Blue”, Un-Brie-Lievable and Chipotle “Cheddar” Wedge, olives, Field Roast sausage, pickled celery.

The pickled celery was soo tasty. What a great idea, I had never tried pickled celery before, but I love pickles and I love celery so I loved pickled celeries! So crisp and refreshing.

We scarfed this board down so fast! Even though we were pretty full after sharing a Large platter between the two of us, we wanted to try a few more things so we both ordered an entree as well. If we weren’t so dead set on having a cheese and charcuterie platter we could’ve opted to get a couple lunch combos which were a great deal. (I would say maybe next time, but I’d be lying… cause we love snacking on cheese, pickles, toasts and veggie sausages )

I ordered the Breaded Eggplant Sandwich on herbed focaccia. Heavenly. Perfect. Couldn’t be any tastier. I could only fit half the sandwich in my stomach so I brought the other half back to our hotel to have for breakfast the next day. So worth it.

Yesss yes look at that tasty crispy yet soft breaded eggplant, marinara sauce, melted mozzarella and fresh lettuce.

Mr. Spoon got the Chili Cheese Burrito. I tried a bite and it was really good! Nice smoky, cheesy flavour.

The menu at this place changes every single week – so if you wanted to eat what we had it’s already too late! But trust me that you CANNOT GO WRONG here with any choice you make. EVERYTHING is good. In fact, put yourself in the chef’s hands and order the tasting menu. Trust.


Great beverage menu! How did we ever pick what to drink? I could’ve gone for anything… White wine, Almost Famous Caesar, The Dude Abides, Booch Cocktail.. They all sound good!

So much vegan wine! And the only All-Canadian wine list in the city. That’s really cool.

Afterwards we headed to the Tea Haus to split a pot of Silver Needle (2 Doves) white tea at Covent Garden Market. It was very light with a hint of lemon aftertaste. Great tea. I’ve been getting pretty interested in teas lately and picked up a whole ton of samples from the Toronto Tea Festival last month – sheng and shu pu’ers, oolongs, white, black, green – you name it, I sampled it! Let me know if you guys are interested in high quality loose leaf teas, too and maybe I’ll eventually post about a few of my favourites.

BlendTec Blender

Mr. Spoon and I have been squirreling away $50 a month each for the past year or so and finally had enough in our savings account to buy the blender of our dreams!!

I was getting sick of blending lumpy smoothies with our tired old $30 Wal-Mart Oster blender that pre-dates our relationship. If you’re going to blend something every day and you have any desire to make your own almond milk or nut butters, you need to get a real blender. A grown up blender. A blender with the POWER to blend your vegetable-based cashew cheese sauce into velvety soft liquid and not lumpy mush.

Just so you know I was NOT paid by BlendTec, we bought the blender full price with our own money and have no affiliation with them. There are no affiliate links here. Just my honest thoughts.

This is what I’m talking about:

It took only a few days after purchasing a refurbished BlendTec Designer 725 online for it to arrive. Opening it was like having Christmas all over again! Better believe my eyes were wide little saucers and I was breathing heavily throughout. Pretty exciting stuff, especially after waiting for sooo long to save up for it.

Buh-bye! No need for this guy anymore. See ya!

I’d rather have this saucy minx in my kitchen!

Green Smoothie | thelittleredspoon.com

You obviously know I got to work RIGHT away and blended a green smoothie to break this baby in. Ohhhh yeah. No stopping to stir. No chunks. Just a super smooth, creamy green smoothie that went right down the hatch. You don’t even know how pumped I am to make copycat Booster Juice and Orange Julius recipes at home. Not to mention uh… literally EVERYTHING else I could make…

This thing makes EVERYTHING folks. Throw in RAW vegetables and blend on the soup cycle and you can have hot COOKED soup out of your blender!

After the blender arrived Mr. Spoon and I headed to the best Bulk Barn in the city (we prefer to go to John Vince Foods but it is far away from us and sometimes we are lazy) to stock up on nuts, nuts and MORE NUTS. Almonds, macadamias, cashews, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds, pepitas, coconut chips, nutritional yeast, what DIDN’T we get? Oh man that was a trip and a half. I think I’m still riding that high because I have so much delicious granola left over and I can sprinkle that all over the heckin’ tasty smoothie bowls I’ve been obsessed with.

Oatmeal Cookie Smoothie Bowl | thelittleredspoon.com
Like check this out! An “Oatmeal Cookie” smoothie bowl topped with “Super Seed Granola” from the Oh She Glows Every Day cook book and dark chocolate-covered quinoa. (I’ll post more on the cook book later but suffice to say it’s frickin awesome!)

YEAH. BE JELLY.

BlendTec Interface | thelittleredspoon.com
I really like the BlendTec touchscreen interface with the different pre-programmed settings.
You can learn more about this on Youtube or the BlendTec website, but basically from left to right you can choose Smoothie, Dips/Sauces, Frozen Treats, Whole Juice (this is similar to smoothie but more for stuff with fiber and peels left on), Hot Soup and Clean.

You can also just pulse it at whatever strength you want for as long as you want, you don’t have to use a setting. You can also see in the top left corner it will tell you how many times you’ve used the blender. I really like that feature because when you get to certain milestones it will give you a “trophy” and a code which you can enter into the BlendTec website after you register your blender. So far the first two codes I’ve gotten were for downloadable recipe books, but I’ve heard the more you blend, you could get a coupon code for a discount on the website for like, blender accessories if you want them. That’s kinda cool.

25 Blends Trophy | thelittleredspoon.com

Plus it’s just cute having a blender that talks to you and gives you little messages. It will say hi and bye with a little message every time you turn it on and off. It’s like a tamagotchi blender. It’s very cute and I was definitely swayed by the cuteness here. No shame. I probably would’ve preferred the white base over the stainless steel too, but we went for a refurbished model and there were only stainless available. Ah well. Worth it because we saved about $130 which was enough to buy a Twister jar as well (which we did).

I know some people are die-hard Vitamix lovers and I think that’s great! I think Vitamix is great too. In fact the base is probably a little more stable and I’m sure the tamper is helpful for some things.

What sold me personally on the BlendTec was literally just that I thought it was an equally good blender (the damn thing can blend a rake so I’m pretty sure it can handle whatever else I throw at it), but that it was a little bit cuter and that the blades would be easier to clean.

The blade on the BlendTec is a blunt flat blade that’s easier to clean and not poke yourself on anything sharp. As far as I know the blades on the Vitamix are in more of a star shape and have some parts that go up and some down. Ever so slightly more tricky to wash but barely a real problem. Also the BlendTec jars can go in the dishwasher which I wouldn’t do every time but probably will do once in a while for a good thorough wash.

Over all we are really happy with it and I’ll definitely be posting more blender recipes in the future.
Here’s a list of things I’ve already blended so far:

  • smoothies errrry day (green, oatmeal-based, fruity… all kinds)
  • hummus
  • almond butter
  • potato celery soup
  • banana “ice cream”

Here’s what’s on my to-blend list:

  • almond milk (actually all kinds of nut milks)
  • steamed nut milk (literally blend the milk until it’s hot and frothy like for cappuccinos. IN YER BLENDER) and blender hot chocolate
  • frappe/frappuccinos
  • cashew butter
  • savoury smoothies/v8 mix
  • crush ice
  • frozen cocktails

Now if only I could actually pour drinks into my Krusty Shake purse and carry them around with me..

I’ll probably stick with the adorable BMO cup my sister got me last Christmas though.

BMO Cup | thelittleredspoon.com

Doritos Tofu

Doritos Tofu Close Up | thelittleredspoon.com

Yes, people. YES. These are vegan. Tofu bites breaded with Sweet Chili Heat Doritos. And yes. It tastes as amazing as you think it does.

Doritos Tofu Mise en Place | thelittleredspoon.com

You just need a bag of Sweet Chili Heat Doritos – these are the only kind of vegan Doritos. Just as orange as the other flavours, but none of the cheese cultures, buttermilk solids, whey protein concentrate, lactose, lactic acid, nonfat milk solids, or whey protein isolate that’s in regular (Nacho Cheese flavour) Doritos.

Okay, they still contain vegetable oil which MAY potentially contain palm oil which is awful for the rainforests and stuff, so you’re not exactly an angel for making these but still. No cows were enslaved, raped, torn away from their babies or killed for the making of this dish.

Along with your Doritos, gather some tofu (1pkg firm or extra-firm), flour (1/2 cup), corn starch (1 Tbsp), and soy or nut milk (1/2 cup).

Doritos in Food Processor | thelittleredspoon.com

Zip those doritos in your food processor for a few seconds until they are the consistency of panko breadcrumbs. I used maybe 2/3 of a full-size bag here. (The rest may have been eaten as full-sized chips…)

Doritos Dust | thelittleredspoon.com

Dat Dorito dust….

Get your breading station ready. Flour in the first bowl, mix the corn starch and “milk” together in another bowl, and have your Dorito crumbs ready in a third bowl. I chopped my tofu into different sized shapes to see what would produce the best taste. I tried long thin “steaks,” medium sized cubes and small cubes. It turns out all of them were good.

Breading Station Set Up | thelittleredspoon.com

A great tip for breading is to use one hand for wet dipping and one hand for dry dipping and DO NOT mix hands or you will be basically breading your fingers as you go.

I used my right (dominant) hand to drag the tofu through the dry ingredients, and my left hand to dip them into the wet ingredients.

Tofu in Flour | thelittleredspoon.com
Since the tofu was kinda wet even after I pressed it for 20 minutes wrapped in a towel, I used my wet (left) hand to pick up the pieces and drop them in the flour. Then I used my dry (right) hand to drag them around in the flour and drop them into the “milk” mixture.

Tofu in Milk | thelittleredspoon.com

Using my wet (left) hand I made sure the tofu got nice and soaked on all sides, then picked it up, let it drip for a second and put it into the Dorito crumbs.

Tofu in Dorito Crumbs | thelittleredspoon.com

I roll the tofu pieces around with my dry (right) hand. Cover the piece with Doritos all over and press down a little bit to smoosh all those tasty crumbs on.

Press Tofu Into Dorito Crumbs | thelittleredspoon.com

Patting the piece down so all the crumbs are nice and adhered.

Doritos Tofu Going Into Oven | thelittleredspoon.com

These pieces are ready to go into a 400F oven to cook for around 20-35 minutes. My oven gets extremely hot very quickly so it takes about 20 minutes for me. I flipped them halfway through.

Doritos Tofu Served | thelittleredspoon.com

And don’t forget your green veggies… Just because you’re eating Doritos for dinner doesn’t mean you should be a TOTAL slob. (Although I wouldn’t tell anyone…)

Doritos Tofu
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 3-4 portions
 
Ingredients
  • 1 bag Sweet Chili Heat Doritos
  • 1 Package firm or extra-firm tofu
  • ½ cup flour
  • 1 Tbsp corn starch
  • ½ cup non-dairy milk (I use coconut)
Instructions
  1. Press tofu for 20 minutes to release water. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. While tofu is pressing, place Doritos in food processor and pulse for a few seconds until you have panko-sized crumbs.
  3. Slice tofu into desired pieces. Thin slices (one block = 8 lengthwise slices) are the easiest, but tiny cubes will provide the best crunchy Doritos-to-tofu ratio.
  4. Mix corn starch and nondairy milk into a bowl. Prepare breading station with a 3 bowls - one for flour, one for milk mixture, one for Doritos crumbs.
  5. Using a separate hand for dry and wet ingredients, drag tofu first through the flour, then dip into milk mixture and finally press into Doritos crumbs.
  6. Place tofu pieces onto parchment-lined baking sheet.
  7. Bake 400F oven for 20-35 minutes. Flip halfway for even cooking.
  8. Serve with a tasty BBQ sauce. Trust me.

Recipe is based off of Bake and Destroy‘s post about Doritos Tofu.

If you have lots of leftover breading and some of your tofu pieces look a little sad, you could try breading them twice. I did that with a few pieces and they were EXTRA Doritos-y and really crunchy and tasty. They came out well and I would recommend doing some normally and some double-breaded to see what you like. Once they’re coated normally, just dip them in the flour again, then the milk, then the Doritos the exact same way.

I also tried frying some of the tofu pieces in coconut oil instead of baking in the oven. I found that cooking them in the oven was a little easier and produced more even results, but frying them was much faster. If you’re short on time or really starving then you could definitely fry them in a few tablespoons of coconut oil in a nonstick pan. Just make sure not to take your eyes off them or they could burn easily.

Doritos Tofu Dipped in BBQ Sauce | thelittleredspoon.com

The tofu went really well with some caramelized onion chipotle BBQ sauce I had in the fridge.

Doritos Tofu Leftovers | thelittleredspoon.com

And you know I need my leftovers for a work-lunch the next day.

What do you think of this fantastic Doritos-tofu recipe? Let me know in the comments if you’d consider having Doritos for dinner some time. I mean let’s be honest, the tofu is basically a chip-to-mouth delivery system in this recipe but at least you’re getting a bit of calcium, iron and protein with your Doritos.

And trust me this is a recipe any picky-eater, kid or non-vegan would also love. Try it out and let me know how it goes.

Birthday Food

This year my wonderful adoring boyfriend made sure I had the best birthday ever so after spending the morning getting a relaxing and heavenly couple’s massage, our bodies were ready to eat a mountain of vegan food and make googly eyes at each other for the rest of the day.

Tbh these aren’t my best photos but I still wanted to share a few quick snapshots and remember this day forever so here we go:

Mr. Spoon brought me to Ramen Isshin for some vegan ramen for lunch! After the life-changingly good ramen we had in San Fran, we wanted to see if we could recreate that magic here in T.O.

So he told me to order whatever ramen I thought looked the most delicious, AND whatever ramen I thought looked the second most delicious and make both of them vegan and he would eat whichever one I liked less, so I could try TWO ramens and eat my favourite one! That’s real love, people!!!!

I ordered the Shoyu ramen for myself with egg-free vegan noodles and we both added corn and bean sprouts.

Vegetarian Shoyu Ramen – Isshin Shoyu nori, bamboo shoots, sauteed shiitake mushrooms, button mushrooms. wood ear mushrooms, green onions & thin wavy noodles

For Mr. Spoon I ordered the Red Miso ramen.

Vegetarian Red Miso Ramen – Isshin Red Miso blend, bamboo shoots, wok fried ground tofu, green onions, wood ear mushrooms & thick twisty noodles

His was a little spicier and had less mushrooms. We both agreed more mushrooms = better in most cases. But luckily it turned out that we each preferred our own ramen over the other’s so I was happy about that.

Also the service was FANTASTIC here, everyone was SUPER nice and polite and we felt really welcomed. I definitely want to come back!

Overall I wouldn’t say it beat the ramen we had in San Francisco’s Japantown but it was still a darn amazing lunch! I was so surprised when Mr. Spoon told me we would get the spend the WHOLE ENTIRE DAY just being together as the two of us and that we were going to share a bunch of tasty vegan food and do a bunch of fun things together that he’d planned out weeks ago I couldn’t ask for a better present!

After lunch we visited the ROM to see the wildlife photography exhibit and went home for a little break until we were hungry again for dinner. Mr. Spoon had made a reservation at Planta, chef David Lee’s new fancy vegan restaurant in Yorkville! So funny because literally just days before this I was mentioning how I wanted to go, but he ALREADY KNEW and had booked a table like a month ago!

To start we shared some kimchi-stuffed dumplings that were served with hot sesame oil. These were sooooo good. They came out super crispy and piping hot. I could’ve eaten way more of these little guys, they were super addictive and had a great savoury flavour.

Next up we (okay, I) wanted to split the veggie burger. I read a rave review about how great the burger here is, how the chef flew down to NYC to try the Impossible Burger and decided to perfect his own recipe to give it a great taste and even better texture. I know every vegetarian and vegan has probably had a lackluster, disappointing veggie burger in their life from some non-vegan restaurant where it’s their only option. This is not that. This is an amazing veggie burger that every other crappy veggie burger aspires to be like. It DID have a great texture, was loaded with the perfect toppings and there was even “mushroom bacon” on top, which okay, to me and Mr. Spoon, really tasted more like smoked mushrooms which we LIKE, but not much like bacon (which I’m fine without anyway).


The lighting was pretty low in this place and I was ready to get eating so like I said, not my greatest photos of all time but I hope you can at least get an idea of how tasty and meaty this thing looked. And that’s not even getting started on the FRIES, people….. They were fan-freaking-tastic! I originally had meant to ask to substitute the “spiced fries” that come with the burger for some truffle fries (because… birthday… treat yo self, right?) but I’m glad that I forgot to ask because the spiced fries were CRAZY good! They were gone at the speed of light, I’m telling you. Plus that means we get to come back some time soon and try the truffle fries on another occasion so, win-win.

Mr. Spoon definitely agreed the veggie burger was a hit! And of course, he liked the fries as much as I did, too. I’m so glad I ordered the burger and I will definitely be wanting to eat it again (although I wanted to try all kinds of other things on the menu too! too many tough decisions!)

I also thought we should split an order of the truffle macaroni and “cheese”. It’s hard to go wrong with truffles, right? Right.

I mean, okay, so this macaroni won’t really be going down in the memory banks for all time (it was nowhere near as good as the burger) but it wasn’t bad either. If anything I think it needed a bit more salt (I say this as a salt addict) which was nowhere to be found on the table. The cheese sauce I thought was kind of.. only okay. A little grainy in texture and maybe not as rich and fatty as I was expecting. And as far as I could tell the truffle-ness wasn’t super infused into the sauce, it was just kind of sprinkled on top so getting a bite of truffle was good but it didn’t overpower me with the truffle-y goodness which is usually what I go for.

Overall it didn’t blow me away but don’t worry, none of it went to waste. Down the hatch and onto dessert!

Since we had a bottle of prosecco with our dinner the server asked us what we were celebrating. When she found out it was my birthday they brought this cute little candle in my dessert. How sweet.

This was the “Chocolate Terrarium” with all kinds of good stuff in there. I can’t even remember what it was, I think like bits of sponge toffee, pomegranate, raspberry and maybe two kinds of chocolate. Like a fancy mousse with lots of toppings on it.

It was good, slightly bitter because of the dark chocolate in it. I used to tend to go for sweeter, milk-chocolate so this would not usually for me but I liked it.

The other dessert I wanted to try was the lime cheesecake with pistachio and raspberry sorbet. Yum! I had a huge mega-sized piece of vegan chocolate chip cheesecake with Mr. Spoon at Whole Foods a few weeks ago and it made me realize I actually like vegan cheesecake a LOT better than the real thing. I just don’t like the taste of real cream cheese mixed with sugar and never really have – not on carrot cake, or as any kind of icing or in a cheesecake. Which is maybe kind of weird because I always liked real cream cheese on my bagels (now I like vegan cashew-based cream cheese the best, yum ). But now I’ve discovered vegan cheese cake and I think I’m hooked. They’re just so light and fluffy and you don’t feel so disgusting after like I used to feel after eating dairy. I think even non-vegans should try vegan cheesecake and see how delicious it is!

Of course as far as I know there’s no vegan Uncle Tetsu’s cheesecake (YET!), that’s another story, but this will definitely help your cravings if you’re a fan of desserts or cheese.

We ended the night with shots of Limoncello. Cheers!

Ramen Isshin Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Planta Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Doug’s Public Kitchen

So last weekend a couple of friends from university and I went to Doug’s Public Kitchen for Sunday brunch, a vegan restaurant in North York close to Glencairn subway station.

I’d seen some photos of his vegan eggs benedict online a few weeks ago and immediately knew this place had to be next on my hit list.

Public Kitchen Popcorn | thelittleredspoon.com

Right away when we sat down we were given menus, a water jug with a piece of charcoal in it, and this delicious popcorn topped with cheesy nutritional yeast.

Tastes just like the popcorn I make at home. I could eat popcorn at every single meal, no joke. Just ask Mr. Spoon and he’ll tell you what a corn addict I am. Me eating an enourmous 10-cup mixing bowl full of popcorn topped with butter-flavoured olive oil, pink himalayan salt and nooch (and not sharing) is like a nightly occurrence at our place. In fact it’s kind of a weird night if I DON’T eat a giant bowl of popcorn to myself. So you can safely say I approve of any place that’s going to bring me popcorn to my table as an amuse-bouche.

Public Kitchen Mimosas | thelittleredspoon.com

The Public Kitchen Mimosa $9 (2oz)
freshly squeezed orange juice, lemongrass kombucha, sparkling prosecco wine, fresh raspberries
 We ordered a round of mimosas to celebrate getting together and a couple of upcoming birthdays. We all agreed the kombucha was an interesting touch.

Public Kitchen Mimosa | thelittleredspoon.com

Tbh I didn’t think there was enough booze for $9 a glass (hard to get day-drunk 2 oz of prosecco at a time…) but it was definitely delicious and refreshing.

Public Kitchen French Toast | thelittleredspoon.com

Coconut Crusted French Toast $16 – doug’s signature gluten-free french toast, warm maple syrup, vanilla maple yoso coconut yogurt drizzle, ground ceylon cinnamon, tempeh bacon

Our gluten-free friend went for the french toast with GF bread. Oh man it was SO tasty and GBD – golden, brown, delicious! The coconut crust was a really nice touch and it had a great flavour and texture. Didn’t even miss the gluten.

The tempeh was pretty good too, not the star of the show (I’m pretty sure every vegan has their own tempeh bacon recipe they’ve “perfected”) but pretty solid.

Public Kitchen Triple Decker Sandwich | thelittleredspoon.com

Triple Decker Brunch Club $17 – choice of sprouted grain or thornbury gluten-free bread, creamy garlic mayo, cornmeal and fennel seed crusted tomato, crisp smoky sprouted tofu, tempeh bacon, avocado and lettuce, choice of house salad or herbed home fries

The Triple Decker club sandwich looked pretty tasty too. We all tried to share a bite of this one and ended up making a huge mess since our jaws don’t unhinge enough to fit this huge sammy. But even with the mess it’s basically a vegan’s dream sandwich – a jacked up avo BLTT (bacon, lettuce, tomato, tofu). Yum! You know I’ll always eat a crispy fried tomato and anything slathered in vegan mayo.

I didn’t try the home fries because I was getting too full from eating the heck out of my own food and sharing bites of everything else on the table but they look tasty don’t they?

Public Kitchen Eggs Benedict | thelittleredspoon.com

Vegan Benedict $19 – choice of gluten-free or sprouted grain english muffin, crisp cornmeal and fennel crusted tomato, herbed white wine and garlic spinach, seared smoky sprouted tofu, runny soft poached vegan egg yolk, hollandaise sauce
 Now THIS……. this was the life-changer right here. My eyes practically bugged out of my head when this arrived at my table. It’s been a looong time since I’ve indulged in a decent brunch out at a restaurant. If you would’ve asked me a few weeks ago I might’ve said “well, what’s the point? I can make tofu scramble and tempeh bacon and flaxseed-blueberry pancakes and green smoothies at home. Sure it’s nice to go out but I used to go get brunch for the egggggggz, man”
But now that I know I can still get “eggs” benny as a vegan… that brunch drought is over. Holy smokes.

Public Kitchen Yolk Porn | thelittleredspoon.com

#veganyolkporn Dear lord…… let that vegan yolk wash over me….. yaaaaaassssssssss

It was SO REALISTIC guys. I think you have to go experience this for yourself to believe it.

Okay so the “egg white” is basically a piece of fried tofu with a dip in it so the yolk can rest gently on top. The yolk I have no idea what the heck it’s made of other than vegan wizard magic, dream particles and good vibes. It had a little skin and everything. I poked that yolk with my fork and it resisted the slightest bit and then oozed out that yellow sunshiney goodness just like the real deal.

And that vegan hollandaise? I don’t even need to know. Just smother me in it. I’ll take a bath in it. I’ll wash my hair in it. If you’re also a vegan who was once an eggs benny addict you need to try this for yourself. Heck, if you’re an omnivorous CURRENT eggs benny addict I still think this stands up. AND you get to think about how you saved adorable little chicks from being ground alive by not supporting the egg industry. It’s a win-win, people.

Public Kitchen Vegan Benedict | thelittleredspoon.com

Look at those layers! And omg the textures…………. You can taste the love for vegan food and the care and attention that went into making this dish with every bite. Seriously.

Underneath the “egg” (in order): the crusted tomato (sooo crunchy and juice and good), garlic spinach, and sprouted-grain english muffin. You could also go for a gluten-free muffin and I’m sure you would hardly notice because everything is smothered in amazing golden hollandaise sauce anyway. The muffin is just a hollandaise-delivery system at this point.

Public Kitchen Coffee Sugar | thelittleredspoon.com

Almond milk and coconut sugar that was served with our after-brunch organic, fair-trade coffees.

Public Kitchen Dessert Platter | thelittleredspoon.com

We (okay, really just I) couldn’t help ourselves and also went for the Dessert Platter $11 – made weekly by Chef McNish. This one featured some sesame balls, goji-stuffed cookies, peanut butter fudge and pumpkin spice cheesecake.

Everything was really tasty even though we were basically all too stuffed full of brunch to be able to finish. I thought the cheesecake was the best, and I think everyone agreed the goji cookies and peanut butter desserts were pretty darn good too. Personally the sesame ones weren’t my favourite but they were a nice balance since they weren’t too sweet and went well with the coffees.

Overall my impression of Doug’s Public Kitchen was outstanding. I genuinely loved everything that came to our table. The service was warm and welcoming, the food was incredible and I can’t wait to come back to this place and bring even more people to try a next-level vegan brunch.

It was definitely a little bit pricier than say, going to a greasy diner and getting chicken eggs and wonderbread toast. That is true. But this is REAL food – it’s crafted with heart and soul, it’s sourced locally and organically whenever possible and it’s completely ethical and cruelty-free. You don’t have to support the cold, cruel and environmentally catastrophic meat industry to get your breakfast fix. You can support chefs like McNish who spread a positive message about real, healthy, compassionate food and watch local vegan businesses like his thrive. To me that’s worth a couple of extra bucks.

Doug's Public Kitchen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato