By Nancy Olah
If you’ve read my blog before, you know that Quorn Turk’y Roast is my go-to plant-based protein for holiday dinners. And I’m always trying to find new ways to make it more appealing to carnivores.
A couple of years ago, I created a marinade that included extra virgin olive oil, maple syrup, maple balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, Dijon mustard, dry white wine, garlic, cayenne, bay leaves, parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme. Last year, I decided to spice it up with a slightly different marinade that featured Old Bay.
This year, I wanted to take a completely different tack and obsessed for two weeks about how to create a healthy vegan and gluten-free version of the Thanksgiving classic – Green Bean Casserole. I created my own rich mushroom sauce with crimini, baby bella, and hen of the woods mushrooms with unsweetened almond milk as my liquid base. I carmelized yellow and red onions (as though I was making French Onion Soup), and then added a layer of crunch with panko (to try and mimic the topping of French’s French Fried Onions) and slivered almonds (to enhance the almond milk vibe). The finished dish was tasty – but extremely time-consuming. Unfortunately, I didn’t think that the extra time (particularly when most of us are in crunch mode before the holidays) was worth the end result.
Just being honest, here . . .
So, I decided to return to my Thanksgiving tradition by making a new marinade for my Quorn Turk’y Roast. It’s a bit of an amalgam between several of my previous recipes, but I’ve done my best to amp up the flavor.
This year, I’ve kept the Old Bay and bumped up my garlic cloves and cayenne. I’ve also added all of the following: vegan Worcestershire sauce, Aleppo pepper, Liquid Smoke (and/or Red Alder Smoked Finishing Salt by The Meadow).
A few of Nancy’s Hot Tips might be in order:
- Take your Quorn Turk’y Roast out of the freezer two days before you plan to make it and let it defrost in the fridge.
- Make your marinade the day before so that you can marinate the Roast for at least 4-5 hours in the refrigerator.
- Always try to use fresh herbs for your marinade.
- Take the Quorn Turk’y Roast out of the package and stab it with a fork a bunch of times before putting it in the marinade. This will allow the marinade to soak in well.
- Periodically turn your Roast, so that the marinade gets to all sides.
- If you have a clay pot – use it! Soak both the pot and the lid in water for at least an hour. If you don’t have a clay pot, use a large Pyrex casserole with a cover.
- If your clay pot has a tall lid – like mine does – measure the height of your oven racks before you turn on the oven, so that you can make sure to get the pot in and out safely – and still have room for another rack!
- Feel free to vary your veggies. I’ve added oven-roasted Brussels Sprouts – but I know lot of people don’t love that worthy veggie, so just include what your family likes.
- Let the Roast cool about 10- 15 minutes before slicing.
- Do put it on your best platter – presentation means a lot at family celebrations like Thanksgiving!
- 3-4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons organic maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon maple balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons vegan Worcestershire sauce
- ½ teaspoon Liquid Smoke (and/or ½ teaspoon Red Alder Smoked Finishing Salt)
- 2-3 tablespoons dry white wine
- 6 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ¼ teaspoon Aleppo pepper
- 2 fresh bay leaves
- Several sprigs for fresh sage
- Several sprigs of fresh flat leaf parsley
- Several sprigs of fresh rosemary
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Old Bay seasoning
- 1 fully defrosted Quorn Turk'y Roast
- 12 shallots or small onions, peeled
- 2 stalks celery, sliced on the diagonal into two-inch pieces
- 4-5 organic carrots, peeled and chopped into two-inch pieces
- 10-15 fingerling potatoes or sweet potatoes, scrubbed (and cut only if large)
- 1-2 red peppers, chopped into 1 inch squares (optional)
- 1 lb. Brussels sprouts (optional – I love them, but not everyone does!)
- 2 tablespoons organic extra virgin olive oil (see recipe below for some ideas for using a mixture of flavored olive oils)
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
- Mix the first 16 ingredients together in a large bowl, and add the defrosted Quorn Turk'y Roast. Let it marinate in the fridge for about 4-5 hours, turning it every hour or so to make sure the marinade penetrates all sides of the roast.
- Meanwhile, soak a clay pot in water for at least an hour. (if you don't have a clay pot - no worries. You can put everything in a large covered Pyrex casserole dish that is deep enough to cover the roast and accommodate the veggies you plan to use.)
- Preheat the oven to 375.
- Put the roast and the veggies in the clay pot or in the lightly greased Pyrex casserole. Remove the herb sprigs from the marinade, and pour the marinade over the roast and the shallots, celery, carrots, and potatoes or sweet potatoes. Sprinkle the roast liberally with the Old Bay. Add a bit more salt and pepper.
- Cover and bake at 375 F for 40 minutes. Raise the temperature to 425 F and cook the roast for about 30 more minutes. If you are adventurous and making the Brussels Sprouts, toss the Brussels Sprouts and red peppers with the olive oil and add salt and pepper. (I used a mix of 1 tablespoon citrus olive oil and 1 tablespoon of chipotle flavored olive oil.) Spread evenly on a separate foil-lined rimmed baking sheet, and cook on another rack of the over with the roast for about 30 minutes.
- Uncover the roast and make sure your veggies are cooked to your liking. Remove from the oven, and let the roast cool for about 10-15 minutes. Slice the roast and serve with the veggies. Sprinkle with the chopped flat leaf parsley. If you've made the oven roasted Brussels sprouts and red peppers, put them around the rim of the platter for a festive look!