Buckle up boys and girls because I have some seriously tasty pictures and recipes to share with you today!
You may not realize this (I know I was surprised!) but the Tofurky Roast has been around since 1995! I always joke that vegans today are spoiled because we have such an amazing array of vegan-friendly products to choose from (ice cream, cheese, mock chicken, beef, deli meats, frozen pizzas… the list goes on and on!), but the truth is that early vegan pioneers (veganeers?) didn’t have access to these sorts of things. And I’m sure that holiday meals were especially difficult for them to navigate. Yes, vegetables and whole grains are wonderful foods, but most of us crave something special for those kinds of gatherings. Especially those of us who weren’t raised vegetarian or vegan and still have so many wonderful memories that are completely intertwined with non-vegan foods.
Which is why the Tofurky Roast was so groundbreaking! A special holiday main dish that plant eaters could pick up at their local grocer. No mess, no stress. Since then they’ve expanded their product line to include everything from pizza to quiche, but I’ll always be especially grateful to them for making it that much easier to enjoy a gentle thanksgiving. We all know there are a million benefits to eating vegan, and Thanksgiving is no exception. #saveaturkey
They’re also making it easier on omnivores who have invited a veg-head to their holiday meal, as well as the veg-curious who want to try hosting a compassionate gathering but maybe aren’t quite ready to create their own seitan roast from scratch. I think we all know people who fall into one of those two categories, and for them I wanted to share this funny infographic:
You should totally pin that and share it with the veg-curious people in your life. While you’re at it, you should follow Tofurky on Pinterest and especially their Holiday Recipes board. Tons of great recipes there. And on a more serious note, have you guys heard of Compassionate Holidays? They’re an organization dedicated to promoting exactly what their name implies, and Tofurky is a proud supporter of the movement. In fact… For every new Tofurky Pinterest follower and recipe/infographic repin from now until Thanksgiving, one Gentle Thanksgiving donation of a Holiday Roast will be donated to a non-profit! Let me repeat: You pin, they donate a Holiday Roast to a non-profit. How amazing is that? Totally gives me the warm & cuddlies! I love a company that is dedicated to helping both animals and humans.
Which I was really excited when they invited me to take part in their Tofurky Mystery Box Challenge to help them celebrate! Here’s how it worked:
They sent me a Tofurky Roast and a list of ingredients that I was allowed to use. Very much like the mystery box challenges we’ve all seen on cooking shows. My items were:
- 1 orange
- 1 small pumpkin
- 1 bunch kale
- 1 white onion
- Fresh sage
- Corn grits
What did I come up with from that list? Two delicious side dishes to go with my Tofurky Roast…
Pan-Fried Polenta with Fresh Sage: Pan fried in vegan butter, yo! Look at all the crispy goodness going on there. Hot and creamy on the inside, and full of chopped sage. So flavorful! Plus, who doesn’t like a side dish you can eat with your fingers?
Here’s a shot from right before I sliced and fried…
This was my first time making Polenta from scratch, and I couldn’t believe how easy it was!
After settling on the polenta, I was left with kale, an orange, an onion, and a pumpkin. What to do!? How about a Massaged Kale Salad with Maple Roasted Pumpkin?
The entire recipe is below of course, but basically all I did was massage the kale with a mix of fresh orange juice, evoo, and maple syrup. Then I chopped the pumpkin and onion, mixed them with a little evoo and maple syrup, and roasted. Then everything got mixed together with the almonds, and a delicious salad was born! I just love the idea of mixing sweet, decadent flavors like maple syrup with ultra healthy veggies like kale and pumpkin!
Here’s the actual star of the show… The Tofurky Roast! I simply followed the package instructions which directed me to back the roast along with onions, potatoes and carrots. No, they weren’t part of my mystery box but I wanted to show how it might look when you serve it up at your Gentle Thanksgiving! I really enjoyed the roast. It was flavorful and juicy- and it would be really easy to add additional spices if the flavor isn’t exactly what you’re looking for. It comes filled with a wild rice stuffing, but IMO you’re going to want to cook additional stuffing on the side, because stuffing is the bomb and one can never get enough of it. “One” being me, of course.
Whew, that was a long post! And now that my work is done, yours is just beginning. Please go follow Tofurky on Pinterest and repin all your favorite recipes. Tons of great stuff there for your upcoming holiday meals, plus you’re helping animals and humans at the same time. It truly doesn’t get any easier than that. Peace, love and Tofurky!
*Tofurky sponsored this post, but the opinions are 100% mine!
Pan-Fried Polenta with Fresh Sage
A side dish you can eat with your hands? Yes please!
- 5 cups water
- 2.5 teaspoons salt
- 1 1/4 cups corn grits (I used Bob's Red Mill "Corn Grits/Polenta")
- 12 good sized fresh sage leaves, diced
- Non-stick spray
- Vegan butter for frying
- Salt & pepper
- Bring water and salt to a boil in a large non-stick stock pot (you want high sides to help with splatter). Slowly pour in the grits while whisking constantly. Continue to whisk for about 2 minutes until it begins to thicken.
- Reduce heat to low/medium and allow to simmer, stirring with a rubber spatula so you can scrape the sides every minute or so. Add the sage after 15 minutes. After 20-25 (total) minutes it'll begin to pull away from the sides and you'll know it's done.
- Spray a 7x11 pan with non-stick spray and pour in the polenta/sage mixture. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
- Slice the polenta in half crossways, then into 24 "fingers". Melt ~2 tablespoons vegan butter in a frying pan over medium heat. When it's sizzling, drop in the polenta sticks. Fry until brown on both sides (flipping each once), adding S&P as you go. You'll most likely want to add a little extra salt at the end. Serve hot!
Adapted from Williams Sonoma
That Was Vegan? http://www.thatwasvegan.com/
Massaged Kale Salad with Maple-Roasted Pumpkin
A delicious way to combine sweet and healthy!
- 1 small pumpkin, cut into bite-sized cubes (about 2 cups)
- 1 small white onion, diced
- 1 tablespoon butter-infused olive oil
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup (the REAL kind!), plus 1 tablespoon
- 1 large bunch kale
- 1 tablespoon regular EVOO
- 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed orange juice
- Handful sliced almonds
- Preheat oven to 375.
- Combine the butter-infused olive oil, 2 tablespoons maple syrup and pinch of S&P in a medium bowl. Add the pumpkin and onion, stirring to coat, then place in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes, stirring once. When it comes out, but before you mix with the salad, taste-test and add more salt if needed.
- De-stem and chop the kale and place in a large mixing bowl. Top with the regular EVOO, orange juice, and the 1 tablespoon of maple syrup, then begin to massage with your hands. Once all the leaves are coated, set aside and allow to sit at room temp for at least 30 minutes. About 5-10 minutes before you're ready to serve, mix in the pumpkin and onion mix, along with the almonds, stirring well. Taste and add salt to taste. Serve at room temperature.
- If you don't have butter-infused olive oil, you could just mix half regular olive oil and have melted vegan butter. I really do suggest you pop into one of those olive oil stores and pick some up though- it's completely plant based and AMAZING!
That Was Vegan? http://www.thatwasvegan.com/