Vegan Pulled BBQ Seitan

Vegan BBQ Pulled Seitan

About a year ago, a group of kosher food bloggers came together as a group. We call ourselves the Kosher Connection. As a group, we have grown and learned a great deal from each other as food bloggers. We’ve supported each other and have been sounding boards for each other throughout the year. I am so glad we all got together. Since the group started, we have come together monthly for various themed blog challenges. For our anniversary challenge, we are doing a blog swap. Each kosher blogger has been assigned another kosher blogger to seek inspiration from. We are challenged with choosing a recipe from that blogger’s blog and making it our own.

I was super excited for this blog swap. I had no idea what to expect.

BBQ Pulled Beef Busy in BrooklynI was pleasantly surprised when I was tasked with coming up with a recipe from Chanie Apfelbaum’s blog – Busy in Brooklyn.  I mulled it over for a while and studied her blog intently. What would I make? I have already cooked a few of her recipes and all have been wonderful. Her recent recipe for chili and cornbread was amazing! What would I make this time? At first I thought I bought veganizing her Sesame Noodle dish. But I realized that was cop-out for me. I make sesame noodles often and swapping out chicken for tofu wasn’t much of a challenge.

I decided to turn one of her meat dishes in to a vegan dinner. From around the kosher blog world, I knew that her BBQ Brisket was a huge hit. What if I took the flavors of that dish and made it vegan? I knew that I could pull something similar off with seitan. I love that her ingredients are simple and something I would already have on hand.

I played around with the quantities a bit to make it work with the seitan. I cooked up about a pound of seitan in advance – about a day before. You can easily use prepared seitan with this dish as a shortcut. I am so happy I chose to make this dish! The flavor was fantastic and was a huge hit with the family. Even the picky kid ate it, gobbling it up quickly.

To celebrate the 1-year anniversary of the Kosher Connection, we are giving away two prizes from Emile Henry, a Bread Cloche valued at $130 and a 4.2 qt Dutch Oven valued at $170! Use the Rafflecopter below to win- you can enter up to 23 ways! Two winners will be chosen at random.

The contest winners will be contacted via email. They will have 48 hours to respond before other winners are chosen. This contest is open to United States residents over the age of 18

Be sure to check out the rest of this month’s Kosher Connection’s bloggers below!

Vegan Pulled Seitan
This recipe is inspired by Busy in Brooklyn
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 lb. Seitan (homemade or store-bought)
  • 6 oz. sliced baby bella mushrooms
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ⅓ cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp Hungarian paprika
  • ¾ cups vegetable stock
  • 2 tsp. chili powder
  • 2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • ½ tbsp. vegan worcestershire sauce
  • 3 tsp. ground pepper
  1. Heat up the olive oil in a large saute pan.
  2. Add in the onions and garlic and cook a few minutes, until it softens.
  3. Add a teaspoon of the salt and pepper to that mix.
  4. Chop of the seitan in to thin pieces and add to the pan. Let the seitan brown a bit.
  5. Add in the mushrooms and cook a few minutes.
  6. In a small bowl, mix together the ketchup, the apple cider vinegar, the vegetable stock, worcestershire sauce and the rest of the spices. Pour the mixture over the seitan mixture. Stir everything together.
  7. Let some of the liquid cook off a bit. This will only take about 5-8 minutes on medium-high heat.
  8. Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary.
  9. Serve the pulled seitan on buns or in a wrap along with some avocado. A cole slaw would be a great way to give it some needed crunch.
  10. Enjoy!

Vegan BBQ Pulled Seitan


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VeganMofo: Product Review – Sol Cuisine Tofu Ribs

As you probably I already know, I love food shopping. I love finding new foods.  Just the other week, I was browsing the frozen foods section at Whole Foods. I came across the line of products by the brand Sol Cuisine. Was happy to see that all of their products are certified kosher. Was also happy to see that the products were priced pretty reasonably.

I decided to pick up some of the Sol Cuisine Tofu Ribs, which are certified kosher and organic, as well as vegan. When browsing the selection, I figured that I have had many veggie burgers in my life, and the tofu ribs sounded good – the box promised lots of good flavor from these tofu nibbles.

Sol Cuisine Tofu Ribs

I decided to serve the tofu ribs with some sauteed veggies and some brown rice – a complete meal.

When I opened the box, I wasn’t sure what to expect. It looked pretty nondescript. Some stuff in some reddish sauce.  I’ll try anything once, right?

Sol Cuisine Tofu Ribs

The directions instructed me to let the package thaw, which I did.

I then heated a fry pan with a drop of oil and placed the thawed “ribs” with the sauce in the pan. I will note that there wasn’t that much sauce. Was expecting more.

Sol Cuisine Tofu Ribs

I let the tofu ribs cook a few minutes on each side.

Before eating with the veggies and rice, I decided to take a bite on its’ own. The tofu wasn’t bad. It has a really nice texture. The sauce is a bit bland and sweet, but not bad. Just not very smoky or spicy. There is a small undertone of heat, which I found very pleasant.

Once, I mixed the tofu in to the rice and veggies, the tofu ribs shone more. The flavor worked.

Sol Cuisine Tofu Ribs

Despite the lack of flavor, I would buy these again. The tofu ribs do work when eaten with an accompaniment  I would definitely recommend them and would encourage people to doctor these riblets up.

I see that Sol Cuisine has many other good products on their website that I am eager to check out.

Enjoy the day!


VeganMofo: Italian Sausage and Peppers Sandwich

I was at Trader Joe’s the other day, doing my weekly spending binge. I was wandering the refrigerated case and peering at their selection of fake meats. I usually stick to the same stuff each time, but on this trip I decided to check out their Tofurky Italian Sausage. I usually just buy the Trader Joe’s brand, but this one was slightly cheaper and looked decent enough, so I tossed it in my cart.

I usually just slice and saute these sausages with veggies and pasta. I wanted to do something different this time. I thought about the sausage carts near my office. An old coworker of mine used to pick up sandwiches from these carts often. They were cheap eats. While I never really crave street meat, the smell coming from my friend’s sandwich was always pretty good. I am so glad that I chose to recreate this sandwich at home. These were so good. And I highly recommend the Tofurky sausages. These had great flavor, better than some of the other fake sausages we have had. My meat-eating, pepper-disliking husband had three helpings of this! I call that a successful meal!

Italian Sausage and Pepper Sandwiches

1.5 tbsp. olive oil
1 package of Tofurky Italian Sausage or 1 lb. of Italian Sausage
1 large onion, sliced
1 red pepper, sliced
1 green pepper, sliced
1 cup baby bella mushrooms, sliced
3 garlic cloves, chopped
3 tbsp. red wine
1 tbsp. tomato paste
2 tsp. red pepper flakes
2 tbsp. chopped basil
1 tsp. oregano (dried)
ground pepper
4 hoagie rolls
Daiya or Mozarella Cheese (optional)


Heat up the olive oil in a large saute pan.

Slice your sausage and add to pan.  Cook for a few minutes until browned slightly on edges.  Remove to plate.


Add the onions and peppers to the pan and cook a few minutes. Add in the garlic and mushrooms. Cook a few more minutes.

Add in the red wine, tomato paste and spices. Stir in and cook for around 5-7 minutes. The peppers and onions should be soft and the flavors incorporated.

Italian Sausage and Peppers Hero Sandwich

Taste and add salt or pepper as needed.

Scoop out the bottom of the hoagie roll.

Layer on the sausage. Top with the peppers and onion mixture.

Add cheese if desired. I had mine with some Daiya Mozzarella cheese sprinkled on top.


Italian Sausage and Peppers Hero Sandwich

Vegetable Beef Pot Pie

I love venturing in to classic American comfort food recipes that I didn’t grow up with. One example, is a pot pie. I have been in awe of them and have been drooling over them from afar. I love a buttery crunch of a good pastry crust and I love the idea of sinking my fork in to something and scooping out something amazing.

This past year, I tried a vegetable pot pie for the first time. I am ashamed to say that it was a store-bought freezer meal, but it was so good. It was an Amy’s Organics pot pie. I loved it. No idea why I never thought to make it at home!

I rarely turn on the oven in the summer, but I was in the mood for a dinner like this and I had the right stuff around the house. To my surprise, even the kids liked it–they had two helpings each! Success in my book.

Vegetable Beef Pot Pie

1 tbsp. olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 shallots, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tsp. sea salt
2 tsp. fresh ground pepper
1 tbsp. fresh thyme
1 tbsp fresh sage, chopped
2 tsp. Herbes de Provence
2 medium red potatoes, cubed
3 carrots, chopped
1 package of soy ground beef or 1 pound of drained and cook ground beef
2 zucchinis, cubed
1 handful of cremini mushrooms, chopped
3/4 cup peas
2.5 tbsp flour
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 sheet of puff pastry
2 tbsp. butter (melted) or olive oil


Preheat oven to 385.

Heat up the olive oil in a large pan. Start by sauteing the onions, garlic and shallots. Cook for a couple minutes, until it starts to soften.

Add in the herbs and spices.

Add in the carrots and potatoes and veggie meat. Use the real stuff if you’re in to that. Cook for a few minutes.

Add in the rest of the vegetables. You can choose a few different veggies if you’d like, but this is what worked in my house. Cook for another 2 minutes.

Stir in the flour. Let the flour cook in a bit. Pour in the vegetable broth and the balsamic vinegar. Let the mixture thicken. Remove from heat and cool for a few minutes.

Pour vegetable mixture in to a baking dish. I used a deep dish pie plate and two ramekins. Shape puff pastry over the top of the mixture. Brush the top of the pastry with oil or butter.

Place the baking dish on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for about 30 minutes.

Cool for about 10 minutes before serving.




Vegan BLT with Homemade Vegan Bacon

While browsing Pinterest (such a time suck, but so fun!), I came across some homemade tempeh recipes. From there, I moved on to tempeh bacon. When I clicked through to the bacon though, I learned about the traditional way to make tempeh. You have to let the soybeans ferment and get moldy. You also need a special tempeh starter. Well that totally turned me off. I don’t need instant gratification, and I am willing to go mail- order for something I must make, but this wasn’t going to happen. So I kept on looking.

I finally came across a recipe for a vegan and gluten free tempeh-like bacon that I could handle. I happened to have all of the ingredients on hand. So excited, I had to make the vegan bacon that night. So maybe there was a little bit of instant gratification going on there. 
For a little history, I’ve never really eaten the real thing. Not even in the days when I didn’t keep kosher. I have had beef-fry, bacon salt and bacon bits. I know that those don’t count. I do like a smoky bacony flavor though. So I was excited to try my hand at this. I was doubly excited to turn this in to a BLT. Something I have never sunk my teeth into, but always looks so good. The results were great. The other good thing about this fake bacon stuff is that it freezes well and is pretty versatile.
Vegan Bacon
slightly adapted from No Meat Athlete

1/2 cup dried adzuki beans or other small red beans
1/3 cup whole kasha (buckwheat groats)
1 tsp.onion powder
3 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. liquid smoke
4 tsp. nutritional yeast
2 tsp. smoked paprika
1 tbsp. tamari or soy sauce
1.5 tsp. sea salt
2 teaspoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 teaspoons maple syrup

Soak the beans and buckwheat in a bowl for several hours. I let it sit while I went to work.

When you get home, preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Strain and rinse the soaked beans and buckwheat.

Place all of the ingredients, including the strained beans and buckwheat in to your food processor. Pulse until everything is uniformly ground up and pasty. Don’t puree it though.

Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

Spray with baking spray.

Spread the mixture out on the paper.

Press down on the mixture to spread out with another piece of sprayed parchment.

Bake for 10 minutes.

Let cool.

Slice in to bacon-like strips.

Store and freeze at this point, or cook up like bacon!

Vegan BLT (makes 2 sandwiches)
1/2 a recipe of the vegan bacon
3 tsp.oil of your choice
Earth Balance buttery stick – a few tabs
4 slices of bread (I used Rye)
Thinly sliced tomatoes
Vegan Mayonaisse (or you could use the real stuff if you are in to that sort of thing)
Fry the vegan bacon on medium in an oiled pan.

Vegan Bacon

Let it get to your desired crispness. Don’t let it go too long or at too high of a heat as it burns quickly.
Set aside on a paper towel lined plate. Keep in a warm spot.
In that same pan, melt some of the Earth Balance.  Toast your bread in that buttery spread. 
Spread mayo on each slice. 
Layer with lettuce then vegan bacon and then the tomatoes. Top with the second slice toasted bread.
You’ve got a sandwich now!  Take a bite! This was so good! 

Vegan BLT


Meatless Monday: Vegan Tofu Balls!

My ten-year-old daughter couldn’t stop laughing when I told her we were eating “vegan tofu balls” for dinner.

“You said balls, Mom! You said BALLS!”

Oy vey! I am sure I was like that when I was ten. She doesn’t even know what BALLS are, but she knows that they’re something to talk about. Lucky me.

I feel like I get all my meal ideas from Pinterest lately. It’s all house and food porn on that site and I keep getting sucked in. While perusing Pinterest, I came across Post Punk Kitchen’s recipe for tofu balls.  Looked pretty easy. I recently made a big batch of spinach and walnut pesto. I decided to try to adapt the recipe a bit and make them gluten free to serve with the pesto and and some pasta.  Lo and behold, it was a hit! So happy I found the recipe!

Tofu Balls
slightly adapted from Post Punk Kitchen

1 lb. extra firm tofu, mushed up

1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
5 mushrooms, chopped
3 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons peanut butter
1/2 cup gluten free “bread crumbs” or corn flake crumbs
2 tsp. oregano
2 tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. basil
2 tsp. thyme
red pepper flakes (optional)
Rice flour for rolling balls in
Vegetable oil for frying or baking spray

In a large mixing bowl, mix everything up except for the flour and the oil. I used my cuisinart to chop the veggies up.

Roll mixture in to 1-inch balls. It’s best to use your hands for this.

Roll the tofu balls in the rice flour and pan fry until light brown on all sides.

You can also choose to bake in the oven on a sprayed baking sheet at 400 until done. You will want to flip them to ensure even browning.

Serve the tofu balls however you’d like. We had them over a pasta with spinach & walnut pesto sauce with some roasted cauliflower on the side. Delightful!


Veggie Chili with Soyrizo

It was a veggie chili kind of day today.  Been pouring on and off all day. I’ve been wanting to make a big pot of chili for a while now. It finally happened today. Woke up to some crazy rain this morning. 

The ingredients can usually be found in my pantry. No reason not to hold off any longer. Chili is also a cheap and easy meal that goes a long way. Throw in some brown rice, cheddar cheese, and sour cream – and everyone’s happy.

Veggie Chili with Soyrizo

1 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 package of soyrizo (trader joe’s or friedas brand)
1 red onion, chopped
1 small yellow onion, chopped
5 cloves of garlic, chopped
6 medium baby bella mushrooms, chopped
1.5 cups assorted chopped peppers
1 jalapeno, chopped
1 medium zucchini, chopped
4 cans of beans – kidney and black bean combo
28 oz. of chopped tomatoes
2 tbsp. good balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp. chili powder
1 tbsp. cumin
salt, to taste

In a large pot, heat the oil.  Crumble up the soy chorizo and add it to the pot. Cook on medium-high for a few minutes. 

Add in all the chopped veggies and cook for around 5-10 minutes on medium high. Let all the veggies soften.

Add in the beans and the spices and stir a bit.  Add in the tomatoes. Add in the balsamic. Let the mixture come to a boil.  Cover the pot and let everything cook and simmer for about an hour. Add salt to taste.

Serve over brown rice with whatever toppings you desire. We enjoyed our chili over some brown rice tonight with some salad on the side.




I promised I would a post something on the blog using the seitan. I am sticking to that promise.

My daughter saw me pull the seitan log out of the fridge and got nervous. She asked me if it was food. She politely whispered in my ear that the log o’ fake meat “looks like poop.” She’s right. It doesn’t look pretty. What’s a mom to do? If that isn’t a ringing endorsement, then I don’t know what is!

Tonight’s dinner was easy and tasty. I fooled everyone with the seitan! Even my super picky 8-year-old who complained about the look of the seitan, boldly said that this fake meat stuff was “really yummy!” She picked out all the seitan pieces from the vegetables and ate it. My 3-year-old also gobbled the seitan up.

I had some fresh basil that I had to use. So I quickly threw some basil, garlic, olive oil, and pine nuts into the Cuisinart and chopped away until it became a yummy pesto. I tossed some whole grain pasta into some boiling water and got to work.

In a pot, I sauteed up some garlic, tossed in the cubed seitan (about half a log), threw in some sliced mushrooms, zucchini, peas, and a can of chopped tomatoes. Added in about half a cup of the pesto. Tossed in some shredded Parmesan. Steamed up some broccoli – dinner was done! Under 30 minutes, and I had dinner on the table! Woohoo! None of it came from a freezer! Go me! I highly recommend a dinner like tonight.

Yummy Seitan Goodness

I like seitan, yes I do! I like seitan, so should you! It’s hard to convince people to delve into the world of phony meat products. Carnivores aside, seitan isn’t pretty. Really though, seitan is a wonderful, versatile fake meat product. It’s so easy to make, and so easy to use. There is no reason why you should have to buy those little, expensive plastic tubs of wheat gluten product, when it is so simple to make it at home.

The recipe I am posting is of the baked seitan log variety. Some seitan is boiled, but I prefer it when baked. There are many versions of this recipe out there. After cooking, this seitan can be cut up and cooked up into a variety of phony beef style recipes. I like to chop it up and use in place of meat in stir fries, or pasta dishes. The way I present it below would be great in place of sausage crumbles. You can play with the spice combination as well to get to the desired “meatiness,” or lack thereof.

Seitan – adapted from the Post Punk Kitchen
1.5 cups vital wheat gluten
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 tsp salt
2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp cumin
a few grinds of pepper
a bunch of red pepper flakes
1/8 tsp allspice
2 tsp garlic powder
fennels seeds
1 tsp. bacon salt
Wet3/4 cups water
4 tbsp tomato paste
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp olive oil

It would be great with some liquid smoke, but I didn’t have any. So I used the bacon salt in it’s place. You could also throw in some smoked paprika.

Preheat the oven to 325°. This comes together fast, so be prepared. Have a couple mixing bowls ready, a fork, a cutting board to knead on, and some foil.

Dry Ingredients in one bowl, whisked wet ingredients in the other bowl.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Mix quickly with a fork.
Turn the blob of dough onto a cutting board, and quickly mix and knead the dough together. You do not want to overknead the gluten, otherwise you may end up with a beef scented piece of shoe leather.

Form the gluten dough into a log and wrap tightly in some foil. Bake in the oven for 90 minutes.

When it comes out of the oven, it will look like this.
Slice up and use in any recipe. I hope to post some recipes this week with my bounty of seitan! Stay tuned!

Seitan Ribs

I like fake meat products. I actually prefer the fake meat to the real stuff. Aside from using crumbled bits of the products in recipes, I haven’t played around with them much. I definitely had never tried to make my own.

I enjoy seitan when it’s made right. I used to buy the prepacked seitan, but the store stopped carrying the kind I liked. The only kind available was not the right texture and didn’t absorb flavor the way I wanted it to. So I went on a seitan hiatus, unless I was in a restaurant that served it.

I have been wandering around on all sorts of vegan/vegetarian blogs recently. I noticed that many people out there are making their own seitan. It looked so easy. Some vital wheat gluten, water, and flavor, and you are good to go! There was no reason I should be paying five dollars for a small container of the stuff, when it costs maybe $2 to make a good sized batch. A few blogs mentioned making seitan ribs. I decided to start there.

Before I share the recipe, I will let you know that I did enjoy it, though the rest of the family was not blown away. I will not give up though. I do intend to play around with the seitan and am determined to get my family to eat it and like it.

1 cup vital wheat gluten
2 teaspoons smoked Spanish paprika
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
2 teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
3/4 cup water
2 tablespoons tahini or other nut butter
1 teaspoon Liquid Smoke
1 tablespoon soy sauce
about 1 cup of your favorite barbecue sauce

Preheat the oven to 350 and lightly spray an 8×8 baking dish with canola oil. Mix the first 5 ingredients together in a large bowl. Mix the water with the nut butter, Liquid Smoke, and soy sauce and add it to the dry ingredients. Stir to mix well and then knead lightly in the bowl for a couple of minutes.Put the dough into the baking dish and flatten it so that it evenly fills the pan. Take a sharp knife and cut it into 8 strips; then turn the pan and cut those strips in half to form 16 pieces:

Put it in the oven and bake for 25 minutes. While it’s cooking prepare your grill.Remove it from the oven and carefully re-cut each strip, going over each cut to make sure that the ribz will pull apart easily later. Generously brush the top with barbecue sauce. Take it to the grill and invert the whole baking dish onto the grill (or use a large spatula to lift the seitan out, placing it sauce-side down on the grill). Brush the top of the seitan with more sauce:

Watch it closely to make sure that it doesn’t burn. When it’s sufficiently brown on one side, turn over and cook the other side, adding more sauce, if necessary. When done, remove to a platter and cut or pull apart the individual ribs to serve.

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