Hi Vegetarian Carnivores! Welcome to recipe #4 of my Thanksgiving 2019 series! Today we are going to be focusing on probably the one dish that carnivores think actually hold us back from eating a “true Thanksgiving meal,” whatever that means. That’s right – we are going to be making a full on seasoned vegan Thanksgiving roast! You heard me – vegans can enjoy the FULL spectrum of Thanksgiving food, absolutely cruelty free! This makes me so excited and I can’t wait to share the recipe with you.
Raise your hand if people have pitied you for being the non meat eater at a Thanksgiving dinner. But see, there’s really no reason that we non meat eaters can’t enjoy a great roast! In fact, this recipe is so easy and from first principles, so you can really feel great about what you are putting into your body! No hormones, no cruelty, but ALL the taste!
What’s my secret? Seitan! Let’s back up… Seitan is what you get when you combine vital wheat gluten with broth and make this dough-y mixture. I absolutely LOVE seitan because it is protein dense – one serving is a whopping 21 g protein!! It is calorically low, with only around 100 calories per serving, and even has trace minerals like selenium and phosphorus and calcium. It is a great high protein option for people who are soy intolerant and can’t have tofu or tempeh. In some cases I like it a little more than tofu as a meat substitute because of its texture. It is moldable and cooks at the exact timings and conditions as its non vegan counterparts.
But first, a couple of notes. I adapted this recipe from a few different vegan and non vegan recipes I found online to get a spice mixture to my liking. I included some liquid smoke because I like that barbecue-y deep flavor, but I know a lot of people don’t care for it, so feel free to leave it out if you want.
We are going to take on a “baking” style approach to this recipe. This means that we are going to separately combine the wet and dry ingredients before combining them and baking. This is a good idea because once you add liquid to vital wheat gluten powder, it clumps up really quickly so you want to have a really well mixed dry mixture beforehand or else your roast will end up really uneven.
Ok so let’s get started!
- 2 cups vital wheat gluten (I use Bob’s Red Mill – it is the best I have found!)
- 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp rosemary
- 1 tsp thyme
- 1 tsp dried sage
- Cracked pepper, to taste
- 3/4 cup white or pinto beans
- 2 tsp liquid smoke
- 3-4 tbsp soy sauce (depending on how strong you like it)
- 2 tbsp oil (any non flavored baking oil is fine)
- 1 1/2 to 2 cups vegetable broth (I used Better Than Boullion No Chicken base)
- Using a hand blender or food processor, blend the beans, liquid smoke, soy sauce, and oil until completely smooth.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine all the dry ingredients and mix well.
- Prepare the Better than Boullion paste into the broth.
- Mix in the bean mixture with the dry ingredient mixture and mix as thoroughly as possible. The mixture will be super dry right now. Don’t worry about it – just mix as best as you can.
- Add in the vegetable broth and knead with hands. I like to start with a cup and a half and if the mixture still seems too dry then I add in a little more slowly. This round, I only needed a cup and a half to get the dough to a “kneadable but still hydrated enough” texture.
- Roll out the dough into a log shape and wrap it tightly in parchment paper. You can cover that in foil if you like or just leave it. Bake at 350 degrees, turning the log every 20-30 min to ensure even cooking.
- Take the roast out of the oven and unwrap and let it cool enough to handle it.
- Cut it in cross sections and serve with my delicious vegan gravy!
This was by far one of my most favorite recipes to make. It was absolutely delicious, and as I type this right now, I can’t wait to dig into my leftovers. By the way, this roast stays good for up to 5 days in the fridge and reheats beautifully!
Let me know what you think in the comments below! How are you celebrating your cruelty free Thanksgiving?
See you soon!
Janani <3 <3