Tofurky® Roast

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The son’s a vegetarian.  Really, he just doesn’t eat meat.  To call him a vegetarian would imply some sort of conviction which usually eludes him.  The actual rule is, don’t eat anything with eyes.  I guess potatoes would be an exception.  I wonder where artichoke hearts fit in the vegetarian diet?

Tofurky®, the word, is a cross between tofu and turkey and actually sort of clever when you think about it.   Tofurky®, the food, is a cross between tofu and wheat, with some other stuff thrown in, no doubt.  If you’re a lonely vegetarian around the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, here’s something that will warm your house when you cook it and warm your stomach when you eat it,  just like the real thing.  Or, if you’re just the adventurous type with occasional guilt when your food stares back at you, this is worth a try.  Does it taste like turkey?  Not really.  Is it good?  Yes, in its own way.  The really interesting thing about it, is the texture.  It can be sliced without falling apart.  It also has a chewiness to it which is closer to turkey than not.  The Tofurky® Roast comes pre-stuffed with dressing ( would you have your turkey any other way?) and a container of “Giblet” (their quotes, not mine) gravy.  More good tasting stuff.  The recipe below is from the box, with a couple of notes.  Check the web site to find where it’s sold in your area.  In addition to other local stores,  all Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s carry the products, according to the web site.  I got mine at Trader Joe’s.

1 thawed Tofurky Roast, freed of its plastic casing and industrial strength clamps at the ends

2 potatoes, quartered and peeled – or take a walk on the wild side and leave the skins on – if you’re worried about the staring thing, poke the eyes out and pretend they’re just worm holes (okay, I made that up, as far as I know there are no potato worms)

2 large carrots, halved lengthwise and cut into 2 inch pieces – halving a carrot is a little trickier than you might think (want to see the scars?), so better just to cut the carrots in bite size pieces

1 onion, quartered and peeled, – actually, most people would peel, then quarter

Tofurky baste:

Important note here, don’t confuse the giblet gravy for the baste.  I did.  It wasn’t a horrible mistake and while I lived to write about it, you may not be so lucky.  The baste does not come with the product.  You’re on your own.  So here’s the baste:

3 tablespoons olive oil (or any vegetable oil)

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1  1/2 teaspoon fresh or ground sage (if you like, or not) – is that one half teaspoon or one and a half teaspoons, hmm, where’s the corresponding turkey talk-line when you need it?

Finally, the cooking directions:

Put roast on large piece of strong aluminum foil (see foil pack video clip below also) or in a suitable casserole dish.  Place the cut vegetables around the roast.  Mix the baste together and coat the roast and vegetables with 1/2 the baste.  Wrap the foil tightly up and around the roast and vegetables (use a second covering piece if needed)  or tightly cover the casserole dish.  Cook in pre-heated 350 degree F oven (told you it would warm your house) for 1 hour and 15 minutes.  Uncover and pour remaining baste over the roast.  Cook uncovered in the oven for another 10 minutes.  Slice with a serrated bread knife.  If you don’t have a serrated bread knife, you’ll figure out a way. 

Open the container of giblet gravy, remove the plastic film, heat in the microwave for a minute or whatever it takes to warm it up.  Put the gravy over the roast, dressing (remember the dressing? – – – it’s is in the middle of the roast), vegetables and tie (if you’re wearing a tie, and this is good reason not to wear a tie) and enjoy.

And, if you’ve never done foil pack cooking in the Scouts, here’s a civilized demo.

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