Sunday, November 22, 2015

Battle of the Vegan Roasts!

Oh happy days! I was able to get my hands on the vegan holiday roast from Trader Joe's! I called first this time to save myself the headache! They only had three left, and they had just gotten their shipment in Friday! My cashier told me a women came in and bought seven at one time! I feel like that is really awesome news! So, I made a delicious green bean casserole, using this recipe. I didn't fry my own onions, I got a can at Trader Joe's. Cooking this much in my itty kitchen was enough, I didn't want to add deep frying to the mix. I was raised on the canned onions on green bean casserole so they were fine. Cashew cream is just the best. This is the first time I've had green bean casserole since going vegan!
So, on to the roasts. The tofurky takes the longest to roast, at over an hour, ant the Trader Joe's was around 30 to 45 minutes. (Sorry, I've already recycled the package) So, I basted the tofurky with extra virgin olive oil, some poultry seasoning, liquid smoke, and pepper. I baked it on top of baby potatoes.
Here is the tofurky after resting, and being not so perfectly sliced. I will say something I always experience with tofurky is the stuffing kind of pops out when sliced. It's easy enough to fix, but it is a hassle.
The Trader Joe's roast required no basting, and no veggies to be roasted with. This roast has a crispy breading, similar to gardeins, I mean Trader Joe's chickenless tenders.
As you can see, there is a huge difference in color. The tofurky is much darker, I feel like the gardein maybe looks less weird to non vegans. And unless you come from the world's coolest family, I assume most people will be surrounded by non vegans.
What a feast!
So, the tofurky is in the back, the TJ's roast in the front. I never knew those little pull apart dinner rolls were vegan! They seem like they would be full of butter or dairy! At least I can say the Trader Joe's pull aparts are vegan!
Okay, so here is what I thought of the roasts. I love tofurky, always have always will. I still remember the first time I ate one, I couldn't figure out why it had such a terrible reputation. It's definitely the springier of the two, with a chewier texture. It's super savory, and in my opinion the wild rice stuffing is what makes it. I wish they sold just the stuffing!
The Trader Joe's roast is a lighter, less springy texture. It's also much easier to slice. If you were someone that wanted to carve your roast with all eyes on you, go for the Trader Joe's. The stuffing is my least favorite part of the Joe's roast. It has cranberries in it, and I'm not the biggest fan of the sweet with the super savory. But that is just me, I know tons of people like to have cranberry sauce mixed in with their meal. I liked the crispy outside too. The breading tastes really well seasoned, the roast is well seasoned, as is the stuffing. To be honest, I love and recommend both. I will say that the tofurky roast only which is what I got does not come with gravy, but the Trader Joe's (gardein) does come with two packages of gravy. I paid $9.99 for the Trader Joe's roast, and I believe the same for the tofurky, maybe a little bit more. They are both about the same size, with the tofurky being a little on the short and stout side, the TJ's roast a little longer and leaner.
I would say the Trader Joe's roast would probably go over best in mixed company. It looks a little less fake meaty which a lot of non vegans like to tease over. I should note that I taste tested these roasts with a non vegan who did prefer the tofurky over the Trader Joe's, so what do I know?  The gravy that comes with the Trader Joe's roast is okay, it's a little bland, I added a little sage, and a few drops of soy sauce and it really bumped up the flavor.
In the end, both roasts are totally delicious, and worth the money. I feel like kids wold enjoy the Trader Joe's roast because of the breading. It gives it that nugget type of feel, but in the best possible way.
Are you going to buy a vegan roast, or make your own?
And, because you can never have too many cute cat pictures, here are two!
Chunk and scrappy all cuddled up and super cozy! I want to curl up against Chunk's belly too!
And Joan. who loves the camera was giving me the side eye, so I had to take her picture too!
She's my reality kitty! She wants to have her own show, and show all those girls how it's done!
Happy Sunday, and I hope my taste test helped. And, if you don't live near a Trader Joe's, I am like almost all the way positive this is the gardein holiday roast, which gardein also sells mini versions of this roast, I believe it's called stuffed turkey cutlets, and it's just individual little loafs, four in a bag. So, lot's of options!


  1. I will be doing on this year - I will keep you posted on my experience. I have done one in the past, too! Blogged about it in previous years. Off topic but...I sent you an email - drop me one back when you can :)

    1. Let me know which one you end up trying, and what you think!

  2. I still have yet to try Tofurky. I kind-of like the Trader Joe's though I agree, the gravy blows. I think that is okay because I find myself making the roast for "pre-thanksgiving" for my husband's work. XD

    1. As I've been nibbling on the leftovers, the Trader Joe's roast is much better. The tofurky gets a little dry, still tasty though.

  3. Your full feast looks awesome! :D Planning to get my Tofurky tonight; I'm so excited for Thanksgiving! Based on your notes, I think I may have to give Trader Joe's roast a try sometime, too!

    1. I am a tofurky loyalist but I have to say the Trader Joe's is really good. I like it better cold too, as I've been munching on the leftovers!