A Very Veg Thanksgiving: Tofurkey Test Run And Vegan “Dandied” Yams Recipe

November 23rd, 2010 - filed under: The Food » Recipes

This weekend we gathered with good friends for a trial of our T-day dinner. Libby and Taylor were nice enough to offer up their beautiful home (such a pleasure to cook in that kitchen!). I whipped up some amazing last minute off-the-cuff candied yams. Damian was the photographer, Waits brought the unadulterated awesomeness, and Turtle Island was kind enough to provide us with a Tofurkey Feast. Oh how I *heart* Thanksgiving!

I felt like Charlie, with my own Golden Tofurkey Ticket!

The lovely table. Libs is hosting her omni family for an all-vegetarian spread on Thanksgiving Day (YAY open-minded family!). While I was there to tweak my recipes, she was experimenting with the decor. It’s adorable, no?

No one at the party was a Tofur-gin (well, I guess Waits was). Damian and I have dined on the little roasted roll-up each Thanksgiving since we went veg*n. Taylor’s been vegetarian for over a decade and has more than filled his quota of tofu turkey. So we thought we knew just what to expect: a dinner that get’s the job done, but doesn’t necessarily dazzle. Oh, but we were wrong . . .

The Tofurkey, fresh out the oven.

Carving it up!

Violet stands guard . . . ever so patient . . . just in case!

This year’s Tofurkey has gotten a makeover, and we were all *thoroughly* impressed! The gravy portion is generous and it’s the best vegan gravy I’ve ever had (though I have to say, the word ‘giblets’ always reminds me of dog food!). Those funky dumplings that I could never cook right? Well, they’ve been replaced . . . with Amy’s Chocolate Cake! Hello! But we’ll get to that later.

The biggest improvement, we all agreed, was that there was a lot more stuffing (which is the bast part, amiright?). Delicious! And the texture, which I’d described in the past as *ahem* “squeaky”, is now just wonderful! Tender and totally moist. Libby declared “I want to eat this the rest of the year too!” And we all agreed.

Earlier that afternoon I’d thrown together a sweet potato casserole that kiiiinda ended up rocking our worlds, so I wanted to share the recipe here. If you’re still planning your Thanksgiving menu, this one comes with an enthusiastic 8 thumbs up! It’s super easy and also a guaranteed omni pleaser – plus it has less than half the sugar of similar recipes.

Vegan Candied/”Dandied” Yams

4 very large sweet potatoes/yams (they’re not the same, but either would work)
1/2 cup Earthbalance™ or coconut oil (coconut oil will change the flavor)
1/4 cup organic evaporated cane juice or vegan sugar
1 tablespoon molasses
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1 bag vegan marshmallows (I used Dandies because Dandies are the bees knees)

Put a giant pot of water on to boil. Rough chop the sweet potatoes – I leave the skins on because 1) they’re organic and 2) there’s good vitamins in there! I like the texture that the skins provide, but if you like it smooth feel free to peel them. Toss all the taters in the boiling water and cook until they soften up, but not until they’re done through! About 10 minutes or so.

While the taters are cooking, put all the other ingredients (except the marshmallows) into a big mixing bowl. Oil a 9×13-inch casserole dish. When the taters are done and drained, add them to the mixing bowl and stir to thoroughly combine. The taters will mush up a bit, which is exactly how you want ‘em. Transfer this mixture to the casserole dish and then cover with the marshmallows.

You can make this ahead of time and stop here, covering with foil and then refrigerating up to 48 hours. When you’re ready to cook, preheat the oven to 375 and bake the pan uncovered for 20-30 minutes. The marshmallows should get good and browned and the sweet potato filling should be sizzling. Mmmm!

Tofurkey with veggies and stuffing, candied “Dandied” yams, kale with gravy, and no Thanksgiving dinner is complete without “buttered” sweet rolls!

Waits was happy to unroll trash bags while the grown-ups ate . . .

Our happy-bellied hosts.

Post-dinner and passed out baby.

Along with a bottle of wine and some good conversation, this was a perfect Thanksgiving meal. We ate . . . er . . . a LOT, and none of us felt much like dessert. So the chocolate cake had to wait. That’s okay, it made a divine Sunday morning breakfast! Seriously, it’s hard to believe something this delicate and moist was once frozen. BRAVO!

Pretty little cake loaf.

Breakfast of champions!

And now, I bid you adieu. I’m off to visit family and stuff myself silly and soak up some sun in SoCal. To my American readers, have a wonderful Thanksgiving! For my Mexican, Estonian, Australian, and other non-US friends: yes, this holiday makes no sense whatsoever and is pretty much based entirely on romanticized fiction. Ah well, what can I say? It’s tradition!

See you next week!

  • Rea

    We had tofurky last week to test it out (we’d never had before) and it was really really good, but not the celebration roast I’m used to! Yes, Field Roast has totally spoiled the mess out of me.

  • http://smartdame.blogspot.com/ v8grrl

    So, I’ve never been super fond of the Tofurkey taste, but maybe I’ll try it again this year. After years of just skipping it maybe it’s time to give it another go round.
    I’m gonna go on your suggestion and see if I can still pick one up.
    The funny part is around here, Boulder Colorado, they are more $$$ than actual turkeys!

  • http://twitter.com/erosan erosan

    Well, it might be based on romanticized fiction, but I can get behind any holiday that involves cooking yummy food and eating plenty around friends. The fact that is a good day to ‘remember there are plenty things to be grateful about’ doesn’t hurt either…

    Also, pumpking pie. Enough said.

  • Meghan

    I love love love tofurkey. I hope I still like it with the changes. :-) I always make extra stuffing of my own ’cause stuffing is my favorite part and there wasn’t much, and I didn’t love their stuffing. But it sounds like other things have changed for the better! Wooo! I guess I’ll see in two more days. :-)

  • Annie

    As an Australian, I don’t celebrate Thanksgiving but I must say the food looks incredibly unique. And delicious!

  • http://mutualmenu.blogspot.com Joselle

    That tablescape is gorgeous! I’m happy to hear Tofurkey got a makeover. I’ve only had the roast once a few years ago and it was meh. This year my mom got my husband and me a Field Roast celebration roast in PUFF PASTRY (I am beyond excited!) AND a Tofurkey so I’m all too happy to try it again.

    I love Thanksgiving. I don’t care that it’s totally made up. Aren’t all holidays? I love that it’s all about food and food and food!

    Have a good trip and enjoyable time with the fam!

  • http://www.etsy.com/shop/vtgrrl Carolyn

    What a beautiful table, and wonderful friends! I’m so skeptical when it comes to fake meat. I guess I’ve gone so long without eating it (since ’95) I just don’t miss it. I much prefer all the “side” dishes!

    Enjoy your trip and post all about it when you get back!

  • http://alternativehousewife.com Janine

    Your kid is SO cute.

    I’m nothing close to being vegan or even veggie but I really want to try tofurkey!

  • Minna

    Ah, I wish I could have taste of that tofurkey! Looks soooo delicious. All of it looks so delicious. And I love the photos :)

    Have a great Thanksgiving, Sayward!

  • melissa f

    Oooh! Fantastic pics. I love food and holiday decor!! Btw, I freakin LOVE how you snuck in the phrase “the bee’s knees” haha

  • http://mostlyveganish.wordpress.com/ Jessica

    Alright; I’m giving Tofurkey a try, based on your love for it! I think I will be the only one eating it, but that’s okay. It will be good for those day-after sandwiches with mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce inside, methinks. Here are the other vegan dishes I’m bringing to Thanksgiving:

  • http://adrienneaudrey.blogspot.com Adrienne Audrey

    Happy Thanksgiving! I never knew vegan marshmallows existed. I must check those out!

  • http://thegreengeek05.wordpress.com Courtney

    If only my hubby would be game to try out Tofurkey I’d so be willing to try it. Instead we had some wonderful free-range turkey from Whole Foods. After listening to a recent podcast, I’m never buying conventional turkey again! I just have to try to convince my family not to either.

  • Laura Louise

    A question for EVERYONE!
    Does anyone have the vegan cookbook Alternative Vegan?
    I would like to know if it’s any good. I’m making my Christmas list and want to put a cookbook on there, Veganomicon and/or Alternative Vegan.

  • Kelly H.

    Looks like a fabulous time and the table decorations are beautiful!

    We had the Tofurky again this year. I haven’t been disappointed the last few years (in fact, I know a couple meat eaters that prefer it to turkey!), but while the cake is nice… I do miss the dumplins! We also had your raw pumpkin pie (thank you! We messed up on the spices a bit, but it was still lovely) and a RAW Strawberry Cream pie! Oh. My. Goodness.

    We bought the Celebration Roast wrapped filo dough exterior(!!) for our Christmas feast. :o)

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  • http://mutualmenu.blogspot.com Joselle

    Kelly H., the puff pastry encased Field Roast is AMAZING! We had it for Thanksgiving and most of our nonvegan comrades tried it and loved it.

    Laura Louise, if it’s a toss up between the two, I’d add Veganomicon to your list. It’s a classic.

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com Sayward

    Thanks everyone for the lovely comments and holiday wishes! I hope all those who celebrated had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

    @ Laura Louise – I haven’t read the cookbook but I do listen to Dino’s podcast (same name, available on iTunes). I really like his practical, down-to-earth style. No faux meats or ‘omni subs’, a focus on whole foods and on CHEAP meals, haha. Also lots of South Indian influence, as that’s where his family is from. So, um, yum! I’ve learned a lot about spices and Indian/Asian cooking techniques from him. =)

  • michelle

    that looks so fun, and you are all so good looking! xo

  • Emahoney108

    UM the dumplings were the BEST PART!!!!! CAKE?!?! NO!!! i boiled em then fried them in a pan and voila! so yummy… im pissed that they are not gonna be a part of my thanksgiving this year!

  • Erich Foster

    Here is my tofurky recipe.

    2 C. Gluten
    1/4 C. Nutritonal Yeast
    2 C. Water
    1 T. Olive Oil
    1 T. Soy Sauce
    1 Bullion Cube

    Heat all liquids together and place bullion in the warm liquid. Let the bullion disolve. Mix all dry ingredients together and then add liquid. Roll “dough” in tinfoil, like a sausage. Make sure it is really tight twist the ends to keep it closed. You can put stuffing in the middle of the “dough” before you cook if you want it to be similar to the store type. Bake at 300F for 2 hours.

    This is basically a seitan recipe, but the texture is more dense. The density of seitan is normally looser, because it was boiled. I really wanted a method that didn’t use boiling, and this is what I came up with.

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