Saturday, November 22, 2014

How to Glaze a Vegan Roast

There are a lot of good vegan roasts on the market these days: Tofurkey, Gardein, Field Roast, among others. They’re a nice option. But I think all of them can benefit from a little dressing up. This glaze is one that I’ve used on multiple brands as well as on homemade seitan roasts. It adds a little flavor and some color. I also like to roast some veggies along with the glazed roast to round out the meal.

A Gardein roast with cranberry glaze

Glaze for Vegan Roasts


2 Tbsp jellied cranberry sauce or preserves
2 Tbsp maple syrup
1 Tbsp oil
2 tsp soy sauce
¼ tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp onion powder
dash of cinnamon
¼ tsp dried thyme or mixed herbs (optional)

Cranberry glaze
Whisk all ingredients together until smooth.

To apply to the roast: Bake roast as usual until the last half hour, and then brush top and sides of roast with ½ of glaze. Bake 15 minutes, then brush with rest of glaze and bake 15 minutes more.

Applying the second layer of glaze

Roasting veggies:  I think surrounding the roast with some nice roasted veggies is really festive and appetizing. It doesn’t have to be to elaborate, either: you can bake them at the same time as the roast, in the same pan even. The trick is evaluating baking time compared to the roast, and deciding whether to add the veggies at the same time or partway through. In general, root veggies such as potatoes and carrots can take the whole hour-plus baking time unscathed, but more delicate veggies may scorch slightly and should be added during the last 20-35 minutes. If you’d like to keep things simple and don’t mind a little char, you can live dangerously and just add everything at once—most of them will be okay, particularly if the pan is covered at least some of the time. The veggies should be cut up in large pieces, tossed with a couple tablespoons of oil and some seasonings—I like to use some salt, lemon pepper, rosemary, and thyme—and arranged, cut side down if possible, around the roast. Stir and turn them a few times during the baking time.

Prepping veggies for roasting

The cranberry sauce can be replaced with any flavor jelly, jam or preserves. Marmalade is particularly good. You could also experiment with other liquid sweetener in place of the maple syrup such as molasses, agave or sugar free pancake syrup.

Other herbs and spices could be used as well--some cayenne would make for a spicy version.

All dressed up and ready to go

Well, I hope everyone has a nice holiday! For more Thanksgiving ideas, try the Thanksgiving, pie and holiday tags.

A Pumpkin Pie Variation: Pumpkin-Apple Pie

I tried a new variation on my pumpkin pie recipe, and it turned out pretty well. I just took this pumpkin pie recipe, omitted the maple pecans, and arranged two sliced apples in the bottom of the pie shell before pouring in the filling and topping with the streusel. The addition of the apple made for an interesting flavor and texture contrast that’s quite different from a basic pumpkin pie. 


Maybe it would be a good addition to your thanksgiving table this year. Particularly if you’re having trouble choosing between apple and pumpkin pie. : )

Pumpkin-Apple Pie

A Nice Cup of Hot Cocoa

Well, the weather we’ve been having calls for a nice warm cup of comfort. When you first go vegan, you realize that many of the convenience foods you grew up on are now off-limits and the from-scratch alternatives can be a little discouraging.

But just because Swiss Miss is off the table doesn’t mean you’re out of luck. If you start with the right ingredients, you can make a good cup of cocoa just as fast as the instant kind.

With a candy cane for a stirring stick


Single-serving Vegan Hot Cocoa


6-8 fl. oz vanilla nondairy milk
2-4 tsp cocoa powder or carob powder
sweetener to taste
(optional) flavorings such as cinnamon to taste

with vegan marshmallows

Dissolve the cocoa or carob powder into a couple tablespoons of the soymilk, then whisk in the rest of the soymilk. You can do this right in the mug if you want to. Add sweetener or flavorings if using.
Heat in microwave 1 or 2 minutes, or in a pan on the stovetop until warm to your liking.
Top with vegan marshmallows or whip topping, and enjoy!

Now, whether you need sweetener or not depends on your choice of nondairy milk, and also on whether you’re using cocoa or carob (carob is inherently sweeter). An unsweetened soymilk paired with cocoa will definitely need some extra sweetener; a sweet vanilla milk with carob probably won’t. 

If you want an extra rich and thick version, you can try coconut milk. I find a high-protein soymilk* does the trick just fine.

Vegan hot cocoa, topped with rice whip

*soymilks with 8-11 grams of protein are more concentrated and less watery than those in the 3-6 range. They often perform better in recipes and have more nutritional value.