Many people don't feel comfortable without a somewhat "turkey" related meal centerpiece on Thanksgiving and other holidays. This is especially true if you're celebrating with meat eaters. Still, just because you're vegetarian or vegan, doesn't mean you can't have a traditional holiday turkey of sorts - your turkey will simply be the way more awesome, cruelty-free type!
Below are 6 holiday mock turkey choices that will wow you and your guests while keeping your cruelty-free ethics solidly in place. You'll also find some homemade faux turkey options if you'd rather be a creative cook this holiday season.
Love them or hate them (everyone has a Tofurky opinion) this mock turkey has the advantage of being one of the, if the most well-known faux turkey in town. All Tofurky holiday roast products are vegan and they have a wide range of options to choose from.
Field Roast makes many mock meat items, perfect for family feasts, holiday gatherings or just a dinner for two. Their Celebration Roast is the basic Thanksgiving / holiday roast they offer and it's pretty darn tasty. While it's not my personal favorite, I often hear from other vegans that it's hands down the best holiday roast they've had.
Gardein's Holiday Roast is my personal favorite vegan "turkey." I find myself dreaming about the amazing (to die for gravy and stuffing) in the summer and then I start wishing this mock turkey wasn't just a seasonal item. Sadly it is, but during the holiday season you could always stock up.
Buy it at your local grocers
Vegetarian Plus has a number of faux meat products made with 100% soy-based vegetarian ingredients that offer taste, high fiber and protein, while remaining low in calories and cholesterol. This company has various holiday offerings, though the idea of the whole turkey kind of weirds me out - it may work for your family though.
Buy it at your local grocers
In 2012 Trade Joe's offered a Turkey-less stuffed roast, so it makes sense they'd offer it on other holidays as well. The Turkey-less Stuffed Roast with Gravy, according to Trader Joe's, looks and tastes great. It's made with protein from soy, peas, wheat and ancient grains, the roast boasts remarkable texture and flavor, and the stuffing and gravy set it up beautifully. 100% vegan, 2.5 pound.
Buy it at your local Trader Joe's
Quorn Turk'y Roast is NOT vegan, but if you're vegetarian you may want to give it a whirl. The turk'y roast is soy-free, serves five and can be roasted in the oven. You can also find recipes for this mock turkey.
Cooking your Thanksgiving faux turkey:
- Be sure to read the cooking directions. I didn't one year and had no idea it would take so long to cook the mock turkey - yeah - we ate late.
- Plan for enough time. As noted above, mock turkey, though it won't take as long to cook as real turkey, can take a while, so plan for enough time to get your faux bird cooked or you'll be eating later than you planned.
- Try basting your mock turkey in apple juice, olive oil, veggie broth or vegan butter. This can help prevent too much browning and brings out some extra flavor.
- In my experience the top of the mock turkey cooks WAY faster than the middle. If your top looks done, but the faux meat hasn't been in the oven very long, cover the top with foil for the reminder of the cooking time. This prevents an overcooked top and sides.
- If you're short on time, cut up your mock turkey before cooking.
- Did you know you can deep fry a mock turkey. It's not great for your arteries if you deep fry too often, but this can be a fun activity once a year.
- You can add traditional spice rubs to a mock turkey, just as you would to a real turkey.
- Don't forget to make a faux turkey glaze or gravy.
Homemade faux turkey options
If you're not down with buying an already made processed "turkey" you can make your own holiday roast. Check out the recipes below for ideas...
- Favorite nut roast recipe
- Harvest-Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms
- Vegan Holiday Roasts
- Seitan Stuffed with Walnuts, Dried Cranberries, and Mushrooms
- Seitan Roast Stuffed With Shiitakes And Leeks
- Holiday Nut Roast
- Mushroom and Caramelized-Shallot Strudel
- Vegan Turkey Style Deli Slices
Article by: Jennifer C