Chances are you know a vegetarian/vegan or two and they just might be coming over for Thanksgiving dinner. So this year, instead of panicking over what to serve either yourself or your non-turkey consuming guest, stop by Nooch Vegan Market and for a few specialty items from Watercourse Foods to make your life a whole lot easier. Vegan dishes available at Nooch from the Watercourse kitchen include a full or half holiday roast, apple sage stuffing, and "bacon" Brussels sprouts -- all setting you back $6 for 6-ounce sides, $8 for 8-ounce sides, $25 for a full roast, or $15 for a half roast. And, yes, Nooch is open on Thanksgiving from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Nooch co-owner Joshua LaBure says the "bacon" Brussels sprouts are one of his favorites, but I picked up a half roast to try at home, suitable to serve 2-3 people. It's made from garbanzo flour, vital wheat gluten flour, corn starch, nutritional yeast, water, tofu, oil, soy sauce & spices. The instructions could not have been easier: set the oven to 350, shake the separate pack of marinade and it brush on top of the roast (or use a spoon and smear it on as best you can), wrap the whole thing in foil and bake it for 15 minutes. If you don't use all the sauce, don't throw it away; you'll find yourself wanting to dip the roast in it like a non-traditional gravy, or just spoon it strait from the container.
Once the roast came out of the oven, it took very little time to cool down, so baking it right before sitting down to eat would be ideal. For those of you who have ever had a vegetarian thanksgiving, you know that there are many faux turkey dishes out there you would never serve to a friend, let alone yourself. This is not one of them.
Vegan or not, the apple sage stuffing is delicious. The combination of Earth Balance vegan butter, onions, celery, garlic, veg stock, sugar, herbs, apples, spices, and bread leave your palate with an overwhelming feeling of happiness, even if you're sitting in your apartment eating alone. The stuffing you have been deprived of for as many Thanksgivings as you've gone meatless can once again be reunited with your dinner plate.
The seitan exterior, however, isn't very turkey-like, in appearance --.it's shaped like a round log -- or in flavor. But don't let that deter you -- it's a delightful dish. The bottom of the roast soaks in all the moisture from the marinade, and paired with a bite of the stuffing inside...well, let's just say I could eat this all season long. And you can, too; Nooch will carry these items through Christmas. If you're doing last-minute Thanksgiving shopping, call ahead to Nooch to see what's still available as the roasts may be going quick.
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