Here's how my typical vegan Thanksgiving goes:
Stuffing- check. Cranberry sauce- check. Mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, pumpkin pie- check, check, check. Vegan turkey substitute... ugh!
Let's face it- side dishes are a breeze, but the tasty proteins that we usually eat may not be as grandiose as we'd like for Thanksgiving. And no self-respecting vegan wants to be shown up by a turkey (although that's happened to me plenty of times). Sure, I've thrown up my hands before, and declared a big "F" on faux meat! But I realize that giving up so easily is just plain laziness, and a big lack of creativity... that's just not me. I'm the chick that makes her own rocks.
So here's one clever way to make something meaty, with that "wow" factor for your vegan Thanksgiving dinner plate- much better than heating up a frozen pre-made thingy that you bought last minute at the grocery store!
1 package tempeh, or multi-grain tempeh*
Marinade for Tempeh:
1 T. extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp. soy sauce or tamari
1/4 tsp. salt
pinch of black pepper, thyme, sage, and celery salt or
1 tsp. poultry seasoning
2 links of your favorite vegan sausage (I used Tofurkey Italian Style)
1/2 C. yellow onion, finely chopped
1/2 C. carrot, finely chopped
1/2 C. celery, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 C. bread crumbs (I used whole wheat)
1 C. vegetable broth
splash of white wine (optional)
salt to taste
1 1/2 C. all purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
3/4 C. refrigerated vegetable shortening (I used non-hydrogenated)
1/4 C. or more ice cold water
small amount of plain soy creamer for finishing
1. Roll the tempeh. I used Trader Joe's multi-grain, which crumbled more than I would like, and I think the West Soy brand would hold up better, since it's also easier to slice than the Trader Joe's brand. Update: West Soy is actually more crumbly, so I'm sticking with Trader Joe's brand for now!
Let the tempeh come to room temperature before rolling out. Spread a piece of plastic wrap under your tempeh. Press evenly in all directions with a rolling pin to flatten slightly. Roll to flatten further to about 1/2 inch thickness, being careful not to break the edges.
2. Marinate the tempeh. Whisk together the marinade ingredients in a small bowl. With a pastry brush, brush on the mixture evenly over one side of the tempeh.
3. Cover. Place another piece of plastic wrap over the tempeh, and refrigerate for at least an hour.
4. Prepare the pastry. Put the flour into a mixing bowl. Using a pastry cutter, cut in the cold shortening until fully incorporated into the flour with pea-sized lumps. Add cold water gradually, pressing into the dough with mixing spoon. Use hands to quickly press into a ball. Flatten into an inch-thick disc, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
5. Make the sausage stuffing. Heat a saute pan to medium-high, add 1-2 T. oil. Saute the onions and carrots for a few minutes (adding salt), then add the celery, garlic, and sausage. Saute until vegetables and sausage are slightly brown on the edges, being careful not to burn the garlic. Add bread crumbs and seasonings and saute for a couple minutes, then add water and wine and cover until slightly reduced. The result should be a stuffing that sticks together when pressed. Let the stuffing cool down before the next step.
6. Make the roulade. Unwrap the unseasoned side of the tempeh, leaving the plastic wrap on the bottom side. Spread the stuffing evenly over the tempeh, leaving some room at the end to close the roll (see pics above). Carefully lift the starting end with the plastic, squeezing slightly as you roll to keep its shape. Use the plastic to help roll- squeeze, then lift plastic, repeat. Don't worry if some of the tempeh crumbles off- just press it back in. Wrap the finished roll tightly in plastic (you may need an additional piece). Refrigerate while you roll out the pastry dough.
7. Roll out the dough. You'll want it to be 1/4" thick, in one large piece, large enough to wrap your roll. Unwrap and place your roulade in the middle of your pastry dough. Wrap around lengthwise, then pinch together at each end. Use any leftover dough to make decorative shapes to place at the ends and on top.
Put onto a prepared baking sheet, and bake at 375 F for about 30 minutes, or until golden. To give it some shine, you can brush on some soy creamer 10 minutes before finishing.
Allow to cool for about 10 minutes before slicing. Hold firmly and use a sharp serrated knife.
Serve with your favorite gravy.This was very hearty and tasty, and even meat-eating Mark said he'd be happy with this on his Thanksgiving plate! You can prepare the roulade ahead of time, and wrap and bake on the day of.