Friday, December 3, 2010

My First Vegan Thanksgiving

Ok Blogger, I think I have your picture posting issues defeated. You've kept  me from my Thanksgiving post long enough!

I knew I'd nailed down one of my dishes for Thanksgiving (the oh so delicious glazed acorn squash), but I was still uncertain about the rest. While I was on vacation I caught an episode of Ellen (adore her) and she had her personal chef on making a faux turkey roast. As I am not the biggest fan of processed Tofurky I was intrigued. I made it the day after we got home and it was a winner. I made it again the night before Thanksgiving:

4 Cups vital wheat gluten
1 Cup bread crumbs
1 Cup nutritional yeast
3 Tablespoon dried thyme
1 large onion small dice and caramelized
1 Tablespoon kosher salt
½ Cup extra virgin olive oil
4 Cups strong No Chicken, chicken stock (veggie stock)
1 full sheet of cheesecloth
Butcher's twine
Paul Prudhomme's Blackened Steak Magic spices (couldn't find it-I made my own by Googling)
Earth Balance butter

Caramelize the onions over medium heat until they are golden brown. Add the onions to the dry ingredients and mix.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon (I used my KitchenAid mixer as you can see) until a loose batter forms. Shape the batter into a loaf.

Unroll about 24" of cheesecloth on to a clean dry surface. Unfold the cloth completely and then fold it in half to form a two-ply piece of cloth.

Place the loaf in the middle of cloth and roll it up, leaving enough space to tie off at both ends.

Now tie two more pieces of twine over the center of the roast.

Place the roast into a large pot of boiling water and simmer for at least two hours.

Carefully remove the cheesecloth and place the roast on a small sheet tray and rub the roast with Earth Balance butter and sprinkle with blackening spices. Bake roast at 350 for 20+ minutes or until golden brown. Allow roast to rest a few minutes before slicing.

It comes out juicy and delightful! Trust me! Trust Ellen!

I also made fresh cranberry sauce. I used my pretend friend Alicia Silverstone's recipe from The Kind Life as a guide.

Bag of raw cranberries (4 cups)
1/2 cup maple syrup (I used Trader Joe's Maple/Agave blend)
Juice from 1 orange (I didn't have OJ so I used 1/4c Pom Wonderful dilluted in 1/4c water)

Rinse berries
Transfer to large sauce pan and add syrup, juice and an additional 1/4c of water
Bring to a boil over medium high heat, stir often
When mixture comes to a boil reduce heat, cover, and boil gently until berries pop (10 mins or so)
Chill for an hour before serving

DELISH! This is a thick mixture, so it also makes for a yummy spread for toast! No need for processed canned cranberry sauce-EVER!

Glazed acorn squash, a refreshing fennel and spinach salad w/peach vinagerette (courtesy of my in-laws), and faux turkey roast w/fresh cranberry sauce. My mouth was happy and I didn't feel bloated, weighed down, or remorseful. Yay!


  1. Wow, that's interesting and I didn't even know fake turkey roasts existed. Props to you for having a vegan Thanksgiving and not feeling all heavy and nasty afterwards like I did!

  2. I totally owe you (and Ellen) for that turkey recipe, YUM! Glad you had such a tasty Thanksgiving :)