Tofurky feast

When J and I were grocery shopping this past Saturday, all the Thanksgiving displays were still up. At the entrance to Whole Foods was a freezer case with Tofurky roasts, gravy, and even a full kit for a “vegetarian feast.” We eat the peppered Tofurky slices in sandwiches sometimes as a quick, easy lunch, but we’ve never had a Tofurky roast. Everything was on sale, so we got the feast and invited a friend to join us in the adventure. As we looked forward to the big event, J headed to the Tofurky website and found this goofy, catchy song about Tofurky Day, available as an e-card.

The package says it serves 6, but we’re big eaters. (In the end, we had one modest serving left over.) As the directions specified, we cooked the “roast” in a casserole, surrounded by chunks of sweet potatoes and a quartered onion and then topped by a baste. The box gives two baste recipes, one with OJ, soy, and sweetener, but we went with the other, made with olive oil, soy, and sage. After 1 hour and 20 minutes at 350F, plus additional baste and another 15 min in the oven uncovered, the roast was done.

As directed, I used a serrated bread knife to slice it.

You can see our plating below. We had also bought a side dish at Whole Foods, an utterly delicious cranberry, orange and ginger compote, but it’s missing from the plate because we forgot about it until lunch was over. (We ate it standing around the kitchen before doing the dishes.)

I think the three of all had the same basic opinion of the meal. Of the packaged components, the stuffing was the best. This shouldn’t be surprising, since the primary ingredients in stuffing are carbs, so a vegan version is less of a stretch. The gravy was next best, with a pretty decent approximation of meat-derived gravy; nobody was fooled that it wasn’t the real deal, but it wasn’t bad. The Tofurky itself was the least appealing. It’s trying super hard to be something that it’s not, and it really doesn’t come close. Plus, there was just too much of it. On a good note, we all agreed that the onion that got cooked along with the roast gave a much needed punch of “real” flavor to the Tofurky.

The feast-in-a-box also included “Wish Stix” made of Tofurky “jurky.” Our consensus was that it was pretty awful, sort of like vaguely meat-flavored, tough chewing gum. The two halves of the faux wishbone barely held together, but we managed to get a picture before we sampled them.

The last component of the kit was a vegan chocolate cake from Amy’s. The cake was prebaked and just required a bit of time in the fridge to thaw. We served it unvegan but locavore, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream from Sassy Cow. In the end, we all agreed that it was the tastiest part of the feast, with the stuffing coming in second place.

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