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The Whole Shebang Vegan Thansgiving Roast

The Whole Shebang Vegan Thansgiving Roast

Let’s file this one under "not diet food", okay? While we’re filing things, let’s put this also under "not hard but time consuming". Thanksgiving is about the occasional rich dish and the centerpiece that makes your eyes pop, though, right?

And with that, let’s move on to the good stuff.

Even since I first heard of the monstrosity known as turducken (do your psyche a favor and don’t Google that if you don’t already know), I’ve wanted to create a vegan version that played with the concept but, you know, with the exception of being gross and horrifying. Tasty vegan noms, stuffed in tasty vegan noms, stuffed in tasty vegan noms, though, was perfect for my fickle attention span.

My original thought was a YuTempSei (yuba wrapped around tempeh over seitan) but it seemed to be a better name than concept. Also, I can’t eat gluten so I wouldn’t be able to develop the recipe. Then puff pastry enveloped my mind like a delicious cloud of decadence. There is something so damn shiksa about puff pastry and so luxurious. It seems like treif for vegans and completely off the table for the gluten-free. Which, of course, made me really want to make something stuffed in puff pastry dough. Why not wrap a whole vegan Thanksgiving meal in flaky puff pastry?
That will show them!

If you don’t want to go the whole nine yards with making your own puff pastry, there is frozen vegan puff pastry dough on the market but it’s not gluten-free and it’s got hydrogenated oils in it; if you Google, you should be able to find it. The thing about this is that it’s not hard, per se, but it does take hours of chilling time for your dough. If you go the DIY route, be sure to completely read through the instructions so you will know how much time is expected. (You’ll need to start it the day before you need it.) It will also take some elbow grease, especially at first, to roll this out nice and flat but it is imminently doable. I recommend finding a surface for rolling that you can lean a bit on, in other words, one that isn’t too high. Other than that, and the need to use vegan butter in the place of dairy butter, the Bob’s Red Mill recipe and instructions worked like a charm without any issues. If you’re not gluten-free, feel free to search for other vegan puff pastry recipes online and you will find a bunch. What I did here for everything else was just sort of follow the recipes that I wanted for the filling; feel free to substitute as you wish but I included the links to the recipes I used or were close to what I made.

The Whole Shebang Vegan Thansgiving Roast
Makes 8 large servings or 16 small servings

1 recipe gluten-free puff pastry, using the same amount of vegan butter
Mashed potatoes
Garlicky-lemony kale
(I improvised mine but this looks like a similar recipe)
Seared tofu
(this is similar to what I made), cut in cubes, rectangles, triangles or whatever you like: I recommend the super-firm variety like Wildwood
(I did a slightly modified version of this recipe and it was stellar)
(I made the one at the bottom of this recipe)
cup aquafaba

Prepare the puff pastry as described and prepare your other recipes. Be aware that you will likely have excess of the filling and that is okay. Have everything cool so you can handle it. The last hour or two of the final chilling of your puff pastry is a good time to get everything else ready. Make sure your kale isn’t too wet or it will make your puff pastry soggy. If you need to reheat your mashed potatoes a bit to keep them soft enough to spread, do that now.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat.

Roll your puff pastry out into a long rectangle at about -inch even thickness over parchment paper or a Silpat. We cut off a bit to create a better rectangle and have some extra dough for decorating.

Spread a layer of mashed potatoes over the pastry, allowing an inch around the border without any so it doesn’t smoosh out when you roll it.

Over the mashed potatoes, layer some kale.

Over the kale, layer your tofu and then the stuffing. This is all so delicious the instinct is to want to pack it all in but don’t over stuff this or it will be very difficult to roll. Save the leftovers for something else.

To roll it, we folded up one long side in the Silpat (though it would work just as well in parchment paper) first and met it in the middle with the other side so it is shaped like a long log. If you have an extra set of hands available, it can be helpful. If there are tears or gaps in the pastry, it’s okay. It’s a very forgiving dough. Smooth it over. Close the ends.

Take the log and move it over to your prepared baking sheet. Brush with aquafaba, cut some slits for air vents in the dough, and decorate with any extra rolled bits of dough. Cookie cutter shapes also would work great. If you do adhere some extra pieces, brush over it again with your aquafaba.

Bake for 30 minutes, brush again with aquafaba, and bake for another 20 minutes. Allow to cool for about ten minutes, cut and serve with warm gravy.


2015, Vegan Street

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