One of the great difficulties eating a vegan diet, besides convincing others you are NOT a protein-deprived, weak-muscled hunger victim and all-around strange person. No. (Being strange comes easily to vegans.) The difficulty is finding ways to be a full-fledged participant at the holiday table, not the person lurking around quietly eating only the vegetable side dishes, not the know-it-all evangelist spouting the virtues of vegetable eating, but the grown-up who prepares something lovely and delicious for his fellow revelers, a holiday centerpiece that also happens to be strange. I mean vegan!
I totally mean vegan! Not strange.
Now, Tofurky is fine with me. First of all because the name is just silly. I’m for it! But a Tofurky is typically small and feeds a paltry few. I prefer something homemade at the holidays, something bigger, something that puts me in the spirit.
Here it is.
Vegan Chickpea Holiday Roast
For the roast:
Four tablespoons olive oil
Eight tablespoons good white wine (See Note)
Eight cloves garlic, minced
One-half cup nutritional yeast
Three tablespoons lemon juice
Two teaspoons lemon zest
One teaspoon nutmeg
Two teaspoons dried sage
One teaspoon salt or more to taste
One teaspoon pepper
Dash of cayenne
Four cups cooked chickpeas
One and three-quarter cup vital wheat gluten
Note: If you like things saltier, use four tablespoons white wine and four tablespoons soy sauce
For the filling:
Four ounces chopped mushrooms any variety
One cup shredded, washed kale
One small, chopped white onion
One cup cooked wild rice
- In a small frying pan in about three tablespoons of water, cook the onion and mushrooms on medium or medium-high heat for about ten minutes. Add the kale and the cooked wild rice and heat everything through.
- In the bowl of a food processor, combine the olive oil, wine, garlic, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, zest, nutmeg, sage, salt, pepper, cayenne and chickpeas. Blend to combine until all the chickpeas are the texture of very coarse sand. Some chickpeas will stubbornly remain larger. That’s OK!
- Turn mixture out into a large bowl and stir in the vital wheat gluten, a little at the time. Knead the mixture with your hands for a minute or two, allowing the gluten to activate. Form a large ball.
- On a clean surface, roll the ball out into a 12-inch by 12-inch square. It will be more of a square with rounded edges. You see what I mean? (You’re now thinking, What’s she talking about, a “round” square? What a dope.) Just do it. The round square will be about an inch thick or so. It shouldn’t be sticky, and it all should be rather easy to work with.
- Spoon the filling onto the bottom third of the square with roundish edges. Flip the bottom edge up over the filling and roll! Pinch the edges closed. Try not to worry about perfection.
- Wrap the roast in foil. (You may place the foil-wrapped roast in a plastic bag and store it in the refrigerator for up to a few days before baking.)
- Bake in a 350 degree oven for one hour and twenty minutes. Flip the roast upside down midway through cooking.
Vegan Onion Gravy
Recipe from Kitchen Treaty
One tablespoon plus three tablespoons Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Spread
One-half cup finely diced onion
Four tablespoons flour
Two cups vegetable broth
One tablespoon soy sauce
Salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
- Place one tablespoon Earth Balance in a small pot over medium heat. Allow it to melt, and then cook the onions in the melted Earth Balance for about 10 or 15 minutes. The onions may brown a little. That’s nice if they do!
- Remove the onions to a small bowl from the pot and add the remaining Earth Balance to the pot. Once melted, stir in the flour, whisking to combine. Add the vegetable broth, soy sauce, salt and pepper, whisking as you go and until the mixture is thick and bubbly. Adjust the cooking temperature lower if you need to so that the mixture does not stick to the bottom of the pot. Add the cooked onions back into the creamy gravy.
Does all that square with you? I hope so!