Nov 25, 2010

Super Colossal Vegan Roast

...or more affectionately named "Tofurken."

Thanksgiving. A holiday created by Americans to reflect and appreciate, to spend time with family and celebrate the coming of Autumn and all its beauty. But let's face it- the most important thing about Thanksgiving is THE FOOD. It could be described as an obsession. The one day of the year when an entire nation actually prepares to feast. An elastic wasteband and a cozy chair for napping afterwards is a prerequisite for any guest, but if you're the cook- it's last-minute dashes to the grocery store for forgotten items, mountains of things to chop, and a multi-tasking marathon around the entire kitchen... All for the preparation of a meal that really represents our motto when it comes to Thanksgiving meals- "the bigger, the better!"

Of course, this motto has gotten us into a lot of trouble healthwise, but it's a VEGAN Thanksgiving around here, so what the Hell? In compliance with this motto, I decided to take all of the most popular vegan proteins and put them into one colossal roast!

Vegan sausage wrapped in green chard, surrounded by lemon cashew tofu, then wrapped in a chickpea tvp seitan, and topped with tempeh bacon


Tempeh Bacon
half pkg. WestSoy multi-grain tempeh, sliced thin
4 T. extra virgin olive oil
1 T. soy sauce
pinch of salt
1 T. nutritional yeast
dash of liquid smoke
1 tsp. smoked paprika
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
dash of garlic powder

1 C. vital wheat gluten
1 C. TVP (textured veg protein granules)
2-3 T. vegetable oil (for saute)
1 C. yellow onion, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 C. cooked chickpeas
1 C. water
1/3 C. nutritional yeast
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 tsp. rubbed dried sage
1 1/2 tsp. dried thyme leaves
1 tsp. celery seeds

1 14oz. pkg extra firm tofu, pressed and drained
1/2 C. cashew ricotta (or soaked in hot water until softened, then drained)
2 tsp. lemon zest
1 tsp. lemon juice
pinch of garlic powder
salt to taste

Wrapped Sausage
1 pkg (4-pack) Tofurkey Italian sausage, or your favorite sausage
4 large green Swiss chard leaves


Wrap sausage: Blanch chard leaves one by one in a large pot of boiling water for a few seconds until just wilted (too long and they will fall apart easily), then transfer to a bowl of cold water. Lay one leaf on your work surface, patting dry gently with a towel. Use a knife to cut the main stem out, then carefully place the leaves side by side. Starting at one end, roll one sausage in the leaf until completely wrapped. Set aside.
Prepare Tofu: Put all ingredients into a food processor. The mixture should stick together but still have some lumps (not completely smooth). Taste and add more salt if needed. Set aside.
Prepare Seitan: Mix wheat gluten and TVP in a large bowl and set aside. Saute the onions and garlic in 2-3 T. of oil until softened and carmelized. Transfer this to a food processor. Add remaining ingredients to the food processor and blend until fairly smooth (a few chunks are ok). Add wet mixture to the dry until completely incorporated- use your hands to knead a little.
Roll Seitan: Lay down a large sheet of plastic wrap, set seitan dough onto wrap, then place another layer on top before rolling out (this makes it easier to roll and assemble). Roll until about 1/4 - 1/2" thick, depending on size needed to encompass the sausages.
Spread Tofu: Remove top layer of plastic wrap (leaving bottom layer). Spread tofu mixture evenly onto the seitan, reserving some to spread in between and on top of the sausages. Do not spread all the way to the edges as shown.
Stack Sausages: Two on the bottom, and two on the top, with a little tofu in the middle.
Finish Tofu: Spread the remaining tofu on top and down the sides of your sausage "tower."
Assemble: Using the edges of the plastic wrap, pull up opposite edges and press the dough together to seal on top. Then press side edges to complete the seal. Make sure to pull it tight and gently squeeze and mold to shape.
Cook: Put the roast onto two layers of aluminum foil and wrap tightly. Steam for 45 minutes- 1 hour or until the surface springs back to the touch.
Add Tempeh: Brush on tempeh marinade on top of cooked seitan roast. Lay tempeh slices on top, then brush with more marinade. Broil in the oven to crisp up the tempeh, or use a torch like I did.

Reviews: I liked it much better than any of the store-bought roasts. Mark (the omnivore) preferred my Tempeh Roulade over this one, and I have to agree, but this one is prettier. Mike slathered it with green bean casserole and was lovin' it.

Update: This roast tastes even more amazing the next day! I would definitely make this again, but a day ahead to reheat later.


  1. I am speechless! What a masterpiece.

  2. @ Jeni: No, the TVP is dry when mixed with the gluten... and thanks!

  3. Wow, that is so epic! Very cool.

  4. What an amazing creation! I'm spellbound; it's gorgeous!

  5. You are insane! I love it so frickin much!!!!!

  6. What a tour de force. This is surreal vegan food at its very best. And I bet it was awesome!

  7. This is officially the most insane vegan roast I've ever seen- and I mean that in the best way possible! You, my friend, are an evil culinary genius.

  8. Ummm... I think I just drooled on my keyboard. This and the previous remoulade are amazing!

  9. Haha! That is like a shot of protein! I love it. Very creative.

  10. This looks absolutely amazing!!!!! I cannot wait to try it myself.

  11. Wow! That is insane!! I love it.

  12. Oh. My. And I thought my seitan stuffing roll wrapped in puff pastry was impressive. This is on my list for next year.

  13. A beast of a vegan roast. Truly awe-inspiring.

  14. Freaking awesome, as usual! I love your posts.

  15. Wow eeee, this is amazing. Way to do a roast my friend!
    I wanted to stop by and say hi to a fellow MoFo'er. I'm going to be sad to se the month come to an end. I'm so glad I discovered you.
    Best wishes.

  16. You so need to win some kind of award for this. No words can describe what I'm seeing and feeling right now. Incredible!

  17. I was browsing the internets to see if there was anything I could bring that was more turkey like to my very carnivorous family thanksgiving next year for me to eat (I just stick to eating a bunch of sides every year, including this past one) and had settled on just buying the tofurkey feast. Then I stumbled upon this. This looks so ridiculous. I can't wait to make it next year! I know it's a long way away but it's bookmarked and ready to go.

  18. Thanks so much for stopping by my blog, it sure is nice to get to know you.

  19. This is possibly my favorite MoFo post so far! This is the first time I've visited your blog. Now that I know what a food maverick you are it certainly won't be the last!!!

  20. Great, crowd-pleasing dish! Thanks a lot!!

  21. This is awesome! I would love to dig into one of these at a holiday feast! I like the addition of the tempeh bacon on top and the sausages in the must have been an explosion of wonderful flavors throughout!

  22. I'm late to the party, but this is so. freaking. amazing. Way to be!