Almost every year, my company hosts a Thanksgiving lunch a few days before we get off for the actual holiday. Some years, we do a potluck. But this year, the company ordered a catered lunch from Corky's, a local barbecue joint (for the record, the 'cue joint served traditional Thanksgiving food). We have at least six vegetarians at the office, two of whom are vegan (including me!). In case you're wondering, I write for an alt-weekly, The Memphis Flyer.
Corky's doesn't offer any vegan food. Thankfully, I was lookin' for an excuse to cook up my Tofurky Vegetarian Feast, which Turtle Island Foods offered me for free in exchange for a blog review. So I spent last night and this morning cooking up the contents of the feast box — one Tofurky roast (now 20% larger!), one package of Tofurky Giblet Gravy, and an Amy's Chocolate Cake. I also whipped up an extra side dish and dessert.
Now I've had Tofurky plenty of Thanksgiving's before, but in recent years I've switched to Field Roast's Celebration Roast (nothing against Tofurky ... I was just trying to switch things up from year to year). I was excited to give the Tofurky roast another try, cooked up with an olive oil/soy sauce/sage baste and some chopped white potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots and onions:
I've always loved Tofurky, but I swear it was tastier than it used to be. The texture seemed more tender, and the taste was more, um, turkey-like. Another co-worker commented that it tasted better than she remembered too. If you haven't had a Tofurky in awhile, try it again and see what you think. I think they've changed the recipe for the better. Several of my omni co-workers tried (and liked) the Tofurky as well, and my boss even called it "passable."
Though I didn't photograph the "giblet" gravy, it was also included in the feast box. I'd never it tried before, and it was pretty darn delicious for a frozen heat-and-serve gravy. Tasted homemade.
The box also included an Amy's Organic Chocolate Cake:
Now I've seen these advertised in VegNews, and I've noticed the frozen loaf-size cakes in Whole Foods. But I rarely ever buy pre-made desserts. I figure if I'm gonna splurge on sugar calories, they better be from something homemade. But y'all, this cake is fan-freakin-tastic. OMG. You just take it out of the freezer, thaw for a few hours, and voila. No baking involved. The cake is so, so moist. You could even eat this stuff with a spoon. It reminded me of cake batter, but in solid form. I ate one piece at work and finished off another two pieces later. I wish I had more right now. Thankfully, the feast box comes with coupons for more cake.
I asked other vegetarians in the office to contribute a dish to our alternative feast if they wanted and Hannah (the other vegan) brought a yummy veggie pot pie with phyllo crust. Very fancy. She was worried that it would taste like poop, but it was delicious! Sheryl brought some savory wild rice that really hit the spot. I wish I'd snapped a photo of both dishes, but by the time I saw their food, I was more concerned with eating than taking pictures. I did snap a plate shot, but it came out blurry. Boo.
To make sure we had enough food, I also brought my Hungry Jill Casserole — a baked bean and biscuit dish topped with Daiya:
And I made some Chocolate Pecan Tarts:
The tarts aren't quite where I want them yet, but they're almost there. I figure if I tweak the recipe one more time, I'll have a winner. Both the casserole and tarts will be included in my cookbook.
Several of us herbivores sat together at the company lunch. Here's Susan and Mark, enjoying their cruelty-free fare:
After lunch, Hannah and I fought over the Tofurky Jurky Wishstix:
This cute jerky "wishbone" was also included in the feast box. I'm not sure who won, but Hannah managed to score the bigger half. I think that means she won. Cheater. :-) By the way, check out my festive and seasonally-appropriate "Save a Turkey, Eat Tofu" shirt.
What do you serve as your Thanksgiving centerpiece?