Monday, November 22, 2010

Faux Turkey Through the Years

Today I thought I would step back and take some time to reflect on Thanksgivings past, and reminisce about faux turkey dishes I have eaten through the years.

Oh, how I wish peta2 had been around in my early days of flirting with vegetarianism: their thanksgiving checklist might have made curbed my teenage angst a little. Alas, ‘twas not. My first vegetarian Thanksgiving attempt in 1995 was not so successful, I made a Tofurky Roast (it was the new hot product on the market!), had one piece, and went the rest of the dinner sans turkey or faux turkey. I broke the next day and ate bird flesh, feeling terribly guilty about the whole ordeal. Thank goodness the Tofurky Roast and the rest of the ready-made products have improved a bazillion times since 1995, not to mention I picked up a few things about cooking along the way.

Here’s some of my favorites on the market, and from my patchwork cookbook binder

Remember when you could ONLY get this at the deli section of Whole Foods? Oh wait… that was, like, last year. Thank goodness they are now making this for resale. We can stock up and have a thanksgiving feast every month till next year! Seriously, this is, hands down, my favorite ready-made faux turkey product. The outside is breaded and crispy crunchy and buttery flavored, and the inside is juicy melt in your mouth/ freak you out because the texture is so real. Add in the cranberry stuffing and all is good.

I’m pretty sure this loaf is the older, more refined cousin to the old standard Tofurky Roast. The stuffing, made of the their faux sausage, apples, and squash is pretty much bangarang. Field Roast also just released a new product: the wild rice cranberry fig roast en croute, which looks er-maze-ing.

I made this for the first time in 2005, and fell in lurve. It’s simple, and filled with dressing goodness. Throw some gravy on that and it’s the shit. Freezing the tofu before you make it gives it a meaty texture, and the onions and celery give it a perfect thanksgiving taste.

Actually, I haven’t made this, but I am making it this year. It seems a bit time consuming, but with mushroom brown rice stuffing and an orange mustard glaze baked in a spring foam pan, I’m sure the work will be worth it. Better be.

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