Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Thanksgiving: Part 1

This was my first Thanksgiving as a vegetarian. Even though I still consume some dairy, I wanted to make all the dishes I contributed to dinner vegan. Both because I am on a mission to prove that vegan food can be just as good as its non-vegan counterparts and because, frankly, I like the challenge... plus then I can blog about them later :o)

Anyway, as I was the only vegetarian in attendance I went ahead and made my own vegan roast... a recipe I pieced together from several others and which I'd never made before. I've tried Tofurky before, and while I didn't hate it, I also didn't love it. Plus, I always prefer to make things myself. But of course, I was stubborn and decided not to make a tried and true recipe from a trusted blogger or cookbook. Why, when I can make things more difficult for myself?! 

I did quite a bit of research the week of, reading various recipes, reviews, and tips. What I ended up with was a mix of Bryanna Clark Grogan's seitan turkey, Vegan Dad's seitan roast, and Brian McCarthy's vegan turkey roast shown on Everyday Dish. I found a tip very late Wednesday night, that said that the texture of Bryanna's roast was significantly better the next day. This turned out to be true for mine as well. The day of it was almost bready, but after it had cooled and chilled over night it tightened up nicely. I also need to work on the seasoning and polish the method.
 
Sliced poultry-like roast.

One of the other things I tried for Thanksgiving was nut cream. Whenever possible I prefer to use whole foods, rather than more processed options. Also, I can frequently taste soy creamer in recipes, and not in a good way. Cream substitutes are pretty expensive, and not always readily available. So since I needed a creamy substance for a couple of my recipes I made my own. This is super simple and really easy to scale to your needs. It is made from nuts, so it is not really a low-fat food but nuts, and the fats they contain, are good for you! Certainly much better for the bod than dairy cream. Have I sold you yet? On to the recipe, if we can even call it that.

Super Easy Nut Cream
I used two types of nuts because I did not want a specific nut flavor to come through. Cashews are particularly creamy, so if your not allergic I suggest using them for at least part of the nut quantity. For this one I used 50/50 cashews and whole almonds. It is not sweet, so you can use it in savory or sweet applications. This makes about 4 cups of cream.

2 cups raw nuts
3 cups fresh water

Place nuts and 2 cups of water in your blender. Blend on high until smooth. Add last cup of water and run blend a few seconds more. (If you are not using a high-powered blender you may want to pulse your nuts without water a bit first to break them up and achieve a creamier consistency). 

Strain cream through a fine mesh strainer. Store in a covered container in the refrigerator until ready to use. 

4 comments:

Hannah said...

That is one impressive unturkey! It seriously looks like a professionally made dish.

Lily Girl said...

Wow Hannah, thank you so much, that is such a nice compliment!

Jeni Treehugger said...

It does look fab lily!
Can't wait for you to perfect it and share the recipe!
And I LOVE the Nut Cream - I can think of a million uses for this - so simple yet so effective!

:)

Bethany said...

looks really yummy. did people enjoy it?

I can't eat tofurkey because it hurts my stomach, but not all seitan does. Typically I do better with a less complex list of ingredients. I'll have to try your recipe because I do love seitan.