Seitan Ribs

Seitan Ribs Mise en Place | thelittleredspoon.com

Gather together a couple things from your cupboards and buy a bag of vital wheat gluten on your next grocery shopping trip – it’s time to make vegan ribs!

These ribs are made of seitan which is also known as “wheat meat.” You are basically going to be making “ribs” out of gluten that have a nice meaty texture.

You start off by whisking together a couple of simple ingredients, adding the gluten, and forming a strange looking loaf like so:

Seitan Ribs Loaf | thelittleredspoon.com

Score the loaf into “ribs” by cutting lengthwise and then into 1″ pieces. You don’t have to cut all the way through (it’s tough cutting through all that sticky gluten), but enough that they will be easy to separate.

Seitan Ribs Loaf Scored | thelittleredspoon.com

Cook the ribs in your oven or toaster oven for a few minutes, then smother in a tasty BBQ sauce and grill. I used a grilling pan to give mine nice grill marks, but these would do very well on an actual barbecue, or on a regular pan.

Seitan Ribs and Sides | thelittleredspoon.com

I went all in and paired my ribs with some freshly made coleslaw and potato salad. And some of Minimalist Baker’s Best Damn Vegan Biscuits which were seriously easy and quick to whip up.

Seitan Ribs BBQ plate | thelittleredspoon.com

Head over to Baked In’s website for the recipe for these tasty ribs. I also used this recipe for the potato salad (using Veganaise in place of real mayo), and followed along with this video from Brothers Green Eats Youtube Channel (which I highly recommend), replacing mango for some shredded apple.

Seitan Ribs Zoom | thelittleredspoon.com

Overall these ribs turned out really great! They are NOT mushy, they have a great amount of tooth to them and really stand up to a fork. It’s all about the sauce anyway, so buy or make a great BBQ sauce and don’t be afraid to try these vegan seitan ribs for yourself.

Chicken Pot Pie

This recipe is based on a very cute chicken pot pie in a mug recipe I saw on another blog – see the recipe here. I decided to veganize it and I bring you the results here:

Chicken Pot Pie Mise en Place | thelittleredspoon.com

If you have some Tofurky Chick’n Strips and vegan puff pastry lying around (and, you know, some other staple pantry foods) you can probably make this easy, delicious chicken pot pie recipe. You can even put it in a teacup and it will be suuuper cute! Chicken Pot Pie Mirepoix | thelittleredspoon.com

Start off with some basic mirepoix. (That’s sauteed carrots, onion and celery.)

Chicken Pot Pie Mirepoix with Herbs | thelittleredspoon.com

While you have that going in some oil, add your herbs. This part smells amaaaazing, if you live with someone, they will probably come into your kitchen and ask what smells so damn good.

Chicken Pot Pie Mirepoix with Chicken | thelittleredspoon.com

Add your Tofurky chick’n and frozen peas. (See? This is easy. You’ve got pre-seasoned, pre-cut “chicken” strips and frozen peas!)

Chicken Pot Pie Filling with Broth | thelittleredspoon.comAdd some flour to that mixture and cook for a minute or two, then add your veggie broth. For rich, creamy goodness add some coconut milk and coconut cream. (But that part’s optional.)

Chicken Pot Pie in a Mug | thelittleredspoon.com

Top with a piece of thawed, frozen, vegan puff pastry cut into the shape of your container and toast in the oven until golden brown.

Chicken Pot Pie Zoomed | thelittleredspoon.com

Chicken Pot Pie
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2-3 Servings
 
Ingredients
  • 1 shallot
  • 1 stalk celery
  • 1 medium carrot
  • ½ medium onion
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Big pinch savoury
  • Big pinch herbs de provence
  • small pinch garlic powder
  • salt/white pepper to taste
  • 1 package Tofurky lightly seasoned Chick'n Strips
  • ½ cup frozen peas
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 2 Tbsp all purpose white flour
  • ½ cup vegetable stock
  • ½ cup coconut milk
  • canned coconut cream or coconut milk to taste
  • 1 or ½ sheet thawed frozen vegan puff pastry
Instructions
  1. (If your puff pastry is in the freezer right now, thaw it on the counter for 30 minutes while cooking. Ideally it should be thawed the night before in the fridge.)(Also preheat your oven or toaster oven to 400F)
  2. Sautee mirepoix in light-tasting oil of your choice until soft. (I used coconut oil, you could also use grapeseed or olive oil)
  3. Add herbs and seasonings until fragrant.
  4. Add chicken strips and cook until golden brown. Add green peas. Add garlic and cook until fragrant and slightly golden.
  5. Add flour and stir until mixed everywhere. Cook for 1-2 minutes. This should really thicken up your filling.
  6. Add stock and stir until thickened. Cook another 5-10 minutes.
  7. Add coconut milk if desired. (I did and I don't regret it. If you think you have added too much liquid you can try using a cornstarch slurry at this point to thicken it again)
  8. Roll out thawed puff pastry on floured counter and cut into desired shape. Take whatever container you want to use, lay it on the puff pastry sheet and cut around the container leaving a bit of clearance.
  9. Fill desired container with chicken pot pie filling. A teacup or cute jar works well here, but you can use a ramekin or anything else oven-safe.
  10. Brush or dab edges of pot pie filling (on the inside) with cold water and press against the edges of your container. Make sure to cut a small slit in the pastry.
  11. Cook in a hot (400F) preheated oven or toaster oven until GBD - Golden, Brown, Delicious. If desired, take out a few minutes before finished and brush or dab with butter flavoured olive oil or other tasty oil and sprinkle with salt.
  12. Let cool 3 minutes before eating.

Chicken Pot Pie Overhead | thelittleredspoon.com

If you’re a filthy hedonist like myself, you can even brush the top of your pastry crust with some butter flavoured olive oil towards the end of cooking and sprinkle with truffle salt. That brings it to another level.

Nuts For Cheese

Nuts For Cheese Board Spread | thelittleredspoon.com

Nuts For Cheese! A great vegan cheese company from London, Ontario. Find these ridiculously delicious cheeses at the Western Fair Farmer’s Market in London – and luckily you can also find them here in Toronto at Urban Acorn, Yam Chops and on the V Word Market website.

Margaret Coons is the owner of Nuts for Cheese and was the former chef at Veg Out on Richmond Street in London, which has been permanently closed and replaced by Glassroots vegan restaurant at the same location. (run by Chef Yoda who is also super awesome )

Nuts For Cheese Packaging | thelittleredspoon.com

We bought these cheeses 3/$25 at the Toronto Veg Food Festival 2016 which was on at the Harbourfront Centre from September 9-11 this past weekend.

Margaret was there giving away free samples of all the tasty cheese and was definitely drawing a big crowd. It was great to sample a couple different kinds (like the super “blue” – vegan blue cheese! how cool ) but I already knew before I even got to the festival I was going to have to make a beeline for this place and get some fresh flavourful cheese to bring home.

Nuts for Cheese Packaging Sticker | thelittleredspoon.com

Vegan, gluten-free and made from organic cashews

Nuts For Cheese Nutrition Label | thelittleredspoon.com

Each box also had an ingredients list and nutrition information sticker.

Nuts For Cheese Brie Packaging | thelittleredspoon.com

I just love the cute packaging! Individually wrapped in cheese paper and closed with a sticker, then tucked in an adorable wedge-shaped box. So cute, I felt like I was unwrapping a delicious Christmas present.

Nuts For Cheese Chipotle Cheddar | thelittleredspoon.com

Ta-da! Looks so tasty I could just bite into it! Love that chipotle smell that just hits you right when you open this one.

Nuts For Cheese Board | thelittleredspoon.com

Step 1: assemble a fancy cheese plate like you used to do when you were a cheese-obsessed vegetarian.

Nuts For Cheese Brie Sliced | thelittleredspoon.com

Step 2: demolish said cheese plate like the hungry cheese-loving vegan you now are!

(This may remind you of that time I had a hella good cheeseboard at Glassroots – that’s cause it’s the same cheese! Go try a cheese board of your own there and get a vegan glass of wine to go with it. And post pics cause I want to eat that with my eyezzz )

Nuts For Cheese Brie on Cracker | thelittleredspoon.com

Oh god, so creamy….

To the people who are like “wah but I could never go vegan I’d miss cheese too much!” – seriously? You don’t think you could eat this? Now you CAN go vegan because of fucking wonderful people like Margaret who make the world a better place with their completely cruelty-free vegan cheeses. Hallelujah!

Nuts For Cheese Board Slicing Cheddar | thelittleredspoon.com

Chipotle “Cheddar” flavoured wedge – “Bold and spicy. Marbled with crushed chipotle peppers in adobo sauce.”

Ohhhhh yesssss. Get that chipotle adobo goodness in my mouth…

Nuts For Cheese Cheddar Spread on Cracker | thelittleredspoon.com

Words are failing me right now. I hope these pictures are helping you to understand how fricking tasty all these cheeses were. Because I literally can’t even.

SO. GOOD.

ALL OF THEM. WERE AMAZING.

AND I NEED TO BUY THEM AGAIN.

This shit’s on another level, people. This ain’t no nasty Daiya. This is the real deal for real fancy cheese lovers. You could serve these to anyone and they would not complain.

Nuts for Cheese Board Overhead | thelittleredspoon.com

Make an incredible fancy cheese board of your own with Nuts For Cheese vegan cashew cheeses and impress your friends! Let me know what you think of these (and other) wonderful dairy-free cheeses in the comments.

“Chicken” Salad Sandwich

So you may remember from previous posts that I’m basically obsessed with Tofurky. I had a couple packages of Tofurky lightly seasoned chick’n strips in the fridge and had a craving for a tasty sandwich so I thought I’d show you guys this easy peasy chick’n salad sandwich I made.

Chicken Salad | thelittleredspoon.com

"Chicken" Salad
Author: 
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1 serving
 
Ingredients
  • ½ package Tofurky lightly seasoned chick'n strips
  • 1 stalk celery
  • 2 baby dill pickles
  • 3 Tbsp Veganaise (vegan mayonnaise)
  • ½ Tbsp lemon juice
Instructions
  1. Finely dice celery and baby dill pickles and add to a bowl.
  2. Slice/chop chick'n strips into even smaller pieces and add.
  3. Add a few scoops of Veganaise and lemon juice and mix well.

This sandwich seriously took like, 5 minutes to whip up. And it definitely satisfied my craving for chicken salad. You could very easily substitute some mashed chickpeas for the chick’n strips in this recipe and still have a really great sandwich topper.

Chicken Salad Close Up | thelittleredspoon.com

I hollowed out the inside of my baguette and toasted it for a little extra crunch.

The tofurky strips come pre-seasoned so there should be no need to add much seasoning, however do taste and decide for yourself. Some paprika would probably go well here, as would some extra black pepper or raw diced onions if you’re into that sort of thing.

Serve on a really nice piece of bread with some crisp lettuce and you’re good to go. A pickle on the side of a good sandwich never hurt, either.

Chicken Salad Sandwich | thelittleredspoon.com

What do you think? A vegan chicken salad sandwich that tastes pretty legit! Great for a super quick and lazy work lunch. Leave a comment below to let me know your favourite way to use Tofurky’s lightly seasoned chick’n strips.

Veg Food Fest 2016

Yay it’s Veg Food Fest time again! September 9-11 at the Harbourfront Centre, you TOO can join a huge obnoxious crowd of people and annoy others with your bad manners, line cutting and extremely slow inconvenient walking! All for the low, low price of free admission!

veg food fest 16 field roast samples | thelittleredspoon.com

Seriously, if you get on over to the harbourfront now you could push your way into a long, poorly-formed, slow-moving line to get a sample of some tasty Field Roast veggie burgers. That’s what some cranky old Chinese lady behind us did, and she got into a fight with the fat old white guy she tried to cut in front of.

Veg Food Fest 16 Field Roast Burger | thelittleredspoon.com

The burger samples were tasty but I’ll never get those 5 minutes of my life back that were spent listening to that woman’s shrill bitching. It was really cool that they had Field Roast Chao cheese though! If you haven’t tried Chao slices you really should get on that! They’re really delicious vegan cheese slices you can get at Whole Foods. If you think you hate vegan cheese because you’ve tried Daiya, don’t worry, because they don’t have the same taste or texture at all. (Personally I don’t hate Daiya but I know it’s nothing like real cheese)

veg-food-fest-16-hibiscus-ice-cream-thelittleredspoon-com

Anyway you could also come for samples of other things. Like samples of these vegan ice creams. Since the festival is free I think most of the people obnoxiously blocking other people’s way around all the booths and tables were just lurking around trying to get as many free samples from as many places as possible. I mean, can I complain about this behaviour? I don’t know. I like a free sample as much as the next person. But I’m also not the type of jerk-off to be blocking everyone’s way while I’m hunting my samples down. For example if I know I’m not trying to spend money on something, I stay out of the way of people who might actually spend money. In other words, I typically try to stay aware of my surroundings, especially when in a large crowded area. The same can’t be said for all the other people moseying around the harbourfront center during any of these random little festivals they throw during the summer. (It’s not a Veg Food Fest thing. It’s a festivals-in-general thing, I’ve found. Especially in Toronto.)

veg-food-fest-16-tofurky-thelittleredspoon-com

Samples of Tofurky Ground Chorizo – not bad!

veg-food-fest-16-bunners-thelittleredspoon-com

Bunner’s had some amazing-looking vegan cupcakes – Chocolate potato chips, s’mores, funfetti, pizza buns… Yum
veg-food-fest-16-cosmic-treats-thelittleredspoon-com

Cosmic Treats had some amaaazing looking treats

veg-food-fest-16-cosmic-treats-candy-thelittleredspoon-com

Vegan candy bars – I wish I could have tried them all.
veg-food-fest-16-nuts-for-cheese-thelittleredspoon-com

Seriously, if you’re going to Veg Food Fest you need to buy some Nuts for Cheese cashew cheese! We sampled a couple and bought three cheeses for $25! Great deal!

veg-food-fest-16-nuts-for-cheese-line-thelittleredspoon-com

There was quite a crowd to try the cashew cheese samples there. Everything was really great and I’m glad I could pick some up at such a great price! We bought chipotle cheddar, artichoke and herb and un-brie-lievable.

veg-food-fest-16-apiecalypse-now-menu-thelittleredspoon-com
The Apiecalypse Now! food tent was actually our last and most important destination. We tried stopping by the shop near Christie Station on Friday only to see a sign saying they would be at the Food Fest all weekend! We had a craving for killer vegan pizza and Simpsons donuts so we knew we had to stop by to get a slice.

veg-food-fest-16-apiecalypse-now-feast-thelittleredspoon-com

We decided to go for two $5 slices – Zachos, which had sweet chili heat doritos, black beans, sour cream, cherry tomatoes, green onions (basically your standard nachos toppings), and Fat Mac which was basically a vegan Big Mac on a pizza, with hamburger meat, lettuce, thousand island dressing and cheese sauce. Soooo goooood.

Both were completely amazing. I’m going to have to start adding sweet chili heat doritos to all my pizzas now. I used to love adding nachos to my pizza in high school and college, it’s a great combination of textures. You really can’t go wrong with an extra hit of salty/crunchy flavour on almost any food either

I would have to say though, that between these two slices the Fat Mac was the winner. Really great taste and it was LOADED with toppings.

veg-food-fest-16-apiecalypse-treats-thelittleredspoon-com

We also added a couple of vanilla and chocolate dunkaroo cookie sandwiches ($4 each) to our order, along with a fresh tasty Simpsons donut ($3) which are only made on Fridays and Saturdays. So good.
Overall I would say the Veg Food Fest isn’t doing too bad considering this is only the second year they’ve been running. Things certainly seemed to be going a little better this year compared to last. However there’s just way too many slow-moving, obnoxious, rude people crowding this place up. I get it, it’s a nice Saturday in downtown Toronto and people want to crowd around in the hot sun to get some samples of things they’re never going to buy.

I almost wish there WAS some kind of entrance fee to keep out the fricking rubberneckers that could give less of a crap that this was a vegetarian/vegan food festival. ANY amount of money is bound to keep out the people that are just there to clog the place up for no reason, and the money could be donated to animal rescue for all I care.

But that’s just my crappy attitude because I hate being surrounded by people stepping all over each other while it’s boiling hot outside. I still had a great time and I’ll still go back next year. But I’ll probably still be grumbling about it.

Buk Chang Dong Soon Tofu

Buk Chang Dong Soon Tofu Hero Shot | thelittleredspoon.com

Recently my mum and I (and Shaggy) were near Christie Pits Park around lunch time on a beautiful weekend at the end of summer and thought – we need to have a picnic in this park on this gorgeous sunny day.

Well, I’ve wanted to try Buk Chang Dong Soon Tofu since moving to Toronto and my mum is up for anything, so we decided to walk over and get some takeout to bring back to the park.

Picnic Table | thelittleredspoon.com

Shaggy and I waited outside on a small bench while we ordered a mild #6 from the menu – Vegetable Soon Tofu + Dolsotbab. ($7.97 + tax) It was ready very quickly and they brought it right out to us in a plastic bag with some spoons, chopsticks and napkins. Cheap, quick, easy, delicious – that’s my kind of food!

We found a cute little green picnic table in Christie Pits park and laid out our feast.

Picnic Table Graffiti | thelittleredspoon.com

Some cute graffiti on the picnic table. You can tell I didn’t write this because of the grammatical errors although I support the sentiments expressed.

Buk Chang Dong Soon Tofu Food Laid Out | thelittleredspoon.com

Oh god, this was SO GOOD. Let me just go ahead and stare at this picture for a while. In fact you can take your time and zoom in, here. It’s worth it. I’ll wait.

It was so much fun sharing all the banchan (side dishes) together. We had such an amazing little picnic! I can’t recommend this place enough and the fact that it’s beside a park and extremely close to the subway station just makes it even better.

Ready for some close-ups?

Buk Chang Dong Soon Tofu Bean Sprouts | thelittleredspoon.com

I believe on the left was kongjorim, or braised soybeans, which had a nice toothy texture. Almost like they were slightly undercooked. I liked this slight al dente kind of chewiness, my mum wasn’t as much of a fan. Regardless they had a great flavour that was savoury, sticky and a little bit sweet.

On the right is kongnamulmuchim, or marinated bean sprouts. These were really nice to add that crisp, fresh, watery crunchy texture.

Buk Chang Dong Soon Tofu Bap | thelittleredspoon.com

The dolsotbab (cooked rice) was great, it had beans in it and was tinged slightly purple which was interesting. We fed some to Shaggy with a little broth poured over his and he loved it, too.

Buk Chang Dong Soon Tofu Soup | thelittleredspoon.com

Of course the Vegetable Soon Tofu soup is the star of the show, here. It included mushrooms, zucchini, broccoli, onions and the most delicious soft tofu I have ever tasted. It was silky smooth, creamy white and had a melt in your mouth amazing texture. 10/10 would slurp that tofu down the hatch again any day.

The veggies were great as well, perfectly cooked, good proportions of everything, beautiful colours and everything was fresh and delicious.

There was also a raw egg popped into the soup which my mum slurped up. In the restaurant the soup is served in a hot stone dish which is very, very hot and continues to cook the food inside it. If you let the egg sit for a few minutes it would continue cooking, or you could poke the yolk and mix it around. If you’re vegan like me, you could just ask for it without the egg like I plan to do next time.

Buk Chang Dong Soon Tofu Kimchi | thelittleredspoon.com

In this container we had traditional kimchi which was super tasty and not too spicy at all, and I believe on the right side is musaengchae which is a sweet and sour shredded radish salad.

Can you believe I’d never tried kimchi before? I was nervous because I’ve heard kimchi can sometimes be very spicy, but this kimchi was very mild! It had a great flavour that was kind of sweet and spicy and pickled. Very well-rounded and interesting.

Buk Chang Dong Soon Tofu Bottom of the Bowl| thelittleredspoon.com

I wish I had a picture of a scoop of that wonderful delicious tofu on it’s own but I was so busy scarfing everything down once we started eating that I couldn’t stop myself! Towards the end of our meal we ended up mixing everything together and eating with our spoons like a stew.

You will have to try this place for yourself to understand just how dreamy soft and silky that wonderful tofu is. Don’t be intimidated if you have never tried Korean food before – the menu is only one page and I doubt you can go wrong here. Just eat everything that gets served to you and you won’t regret it.

This place was very affordable, we were both able to share one veggie dish and all the side dishes (and were full after) for about $12. (that’s including tax and a tip)

I will definitely be visiting this place again and bringing Mr. Spoon with me, who loves spicy Korean food.  It’s very easy to get to on the subway, and you can swing by Apiecalypse Now on your way back to Christie Station to grab some vegan donuts or soft serve for dessert

Buk Chang Dong Soon Tofu Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Cauliflower Steak and Mash

Not sure what to do with that head of cauliflower you brought home from the grocery store? Use the whole thing up by making a couple of cauliflower “steaks” with a side of mashed cauliflower “potatoes”!

Does it taste like the real thing? No, not really, but it’s always fun to try new ways of cooking common ingredients. Vegans can do a lot of things with cauliflowers. Plus they’re low-carb Cauliflower Steak and Potatoes with Oyster Mushrooms | thelittleredspoon.com

This meal idea is basically adapted from Laura Miller‘s Raw. Vegan. Not Gross. video for cauliflower steak.

Cauliflower Steaks
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 head cauliflower
  • soy sauce
  • liquid smoke
  • salt and white pepper
  • chili powder
  • cumin
  • paprika
Instructions
  1. Cut a cauliflower in half from north to south. Cut a thick slab from the center of each cauliflower half (parallel to the original cut), leaving the stalk intact, to get two cauliflower "steaks".
  2. Mix above ingredients and marinate steaks in a sealed container for 20 minutes.
  3. Drizzle coconut oil on a pan and roast steaks in a hot oven or toaster oven until cooked, approx 10-15 minutes, flipping halfway through.

I used the rest of the cauliflower head to make a mash. The texture really does turn out surprisingly like mashed potatoes. You could also make cauliflower rice if that was more your thing, but I think the mash goes well with the “steaks” here.

For the mashed cauliflower, I cut the rest of the head into small florets (make sure there aren’t many stems) and steamed in a pot with a small amount of veggie broth, which adds a nice extra dimension of flavour. Once the florets were very soft (easy to poke with a fork or knife), I mashed them in a large mixing bowl with a potato masher and added in some vegan butter, salt and white pepper to taste. I like to keep it simple but you could add any herbs or spices you like here, or a big bunch of roasted garlic.

The king oyster mushrooms are a recipe of Mr. Spoon’s to which I added some miso. Melt some vegan butter in a small pot or saucepan with some white miso paste and a teaspoon (or more) or garlic. Cook until the garlic is fragrant and slightly golden-brown. Add the mushrooms which have been cut in half and scored through the flesh and cook another 2-3 minutes. Serve by drizzling the extra miso butter on top.

Of course this plate is looking pretty white – a nice hit of green beans or spinach would also do well here. I just happened to cook with what I had on hand for this meal.

Try cauliflower steaks and mash for yourself and let me know what you think. I thought everything on this plate turned out really delicious so I wanted to share. Do you ever just love having a big pile of mushrooms as a side dish too? Let me know in the comments