We generally host thanksgiving for family and friends. This year, the health experts have urged us all not to do that, and my husband and I have chosen to listen to them. That should not come as a surprise to anyone who knows, us as we have been in deep quarantine throughout the pandemic. But I LOVE Thanksgiving. It is my favorite holiday of the year. I always make way too much food, invite way too many people for the space we have, and just have a blast. So since I couldn’t do that this year, and I miss my older daughters like crazy, I decided to make Thanksgiving dinner in a box for my oldest daughter and her roommates, as she lives close enough to drop it off. And boy did I get ambitious with it.
I started by making some bread dough for vegan bierocks. Mel has been begging me to try making them with Beyond Burger meat, so I ordered some and decided to give it a go. And I could let that rise while working on other dishes. I then made some mashed sweet potatoes in the instant pot. Ya’ll, they came out super creamy and delicious. I didn’t even need to add liquid when creaming them. I just added some cinnamon, brown sugar and nutmeg, and they were amazing.
Then I made the main dish. I made a homemade stuffed tofurkey loaf. Yep, similar to the one you can purchase at Trader Joe’s. This one was a recipe found on Epicurious’ website. Getting some ingredients was a little bit interesting, as I had to have one of my neighbors help me identify the white miso paste on our local grocer’s website, but hey, I learned something new. I also had to puree the tofu in two batches and then mix it by hand because my food processor is just a baby…okay, maybe a child size. But I blended, I mixed, and I pressed that tofu into a loaf pan. The filling was easy to make and tasted amazing. Thankfully my husband reminded me to line the pan with parchment, and the loaf surprising came out beautifully.
I had some foil roasting pans I had purchased a while ago for the kittens to use as litter pans, but my babies are super smart and took to the big litter box immediately. So I turned the loaf out into the center of the pan and then sprinkled the extra stuffing around it. I then made the gravy which called for first making a mushroom broth. It calls for vegetable broth, but I used some of my homemade mushroom broth, so it was like a double mushroom bomb. I also accidentally put wine in the initial broth and then I went ahead and added it again at the gravy stage. So my sauce had double mushroom infusion and double the wine. It was amazing. I could eat that gravy on a shoe.
The recipe called for just discarding the mushrooms and such once the broth was done, but that seemed wasteful, so I tossed them around the loaf with the extra stuffing, and it turned out to be quite the pretty picture.
Next, I went back to the bierocks. For the filling, I cooked up onions, the Beyond Beef, and cabbage. I use a little more salt and a lot more pepper than you would think. I do have to say that Beyond Meat smells weird to me. I’ll admit, I did not taste it for this reason. I know this is a major no-no in cooking, and I’m supposed to be adventurous, but I didn’t. Maybe next time. I rolled out that dough beautifully though, and the bierocks looked awesome. In the end, the recipe made 14 of them, which should last her a couple of days. I don’t blame her, bierocks are amazing.
Finally, Thanksgiving day, I made vegan snicker doodles. I took a sugar cookie recipe I found online, left out the sprinkles (???) and topped with cinnamon and sugar.
We delivered all of this in a box to my daughter around 11:45am on Thanksgiving. She called me shortly after for instructions on reheating. I suggested she could just microwave as much as she wanted and was admonished that she was not about to microwave that beautiful vegan tofurkey loaf! I felt so proud. Her and her roommates had a nice little dinner. But I think they ate most of the cookies before lunch!