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vegan field roast

Just Another Sunday in the South

A Tractor’s View of a Job Well Done – Photo Courtesy of Marge Swayne

Sundays in the South are made for relaxing and spending time with family.  We spend a lot of our Sundays, especially holidays, having dinner with my grandparents on their farm, Stillmeadow Farm.  Stillmeadow Farm is a small, hobby farm established in 1981 and tucked down a back road.  It’s a haven for all animals from the hunting dogs that lost their way and became family pets to the deer that spend all fall seeking sanctuary from the hunters while roaming the woods.

 

Heather Smiles for the Camera – Photo Courtesy of Marge Swayne

Every visit to the farm begins by waving at the dairy goats, Claudette, Claude and Heather, as you drive by the red barn and as you turn the corner of the circle driveway, you’re bound to see a cat or two lounging in the sunshine on a wooden bench in the grass.  We’ll then make our way to the back porch by walking around the chickens as they wander the yard collecting bugs and the rooster proudly crows announcing our arrival to his humans.

 

Star and Sadie Sunbathing in the Herb Garden – Photo Courtesy of Marge Swayne

 

Before we get to speak to the humans of the house, we have to play fetch with Star, a loyal German Shepard, while Sadie, a mischievous Alaskan Malamute, plots to steal your attention since she is not a fan of physical activity except when it involves making snow angels.

 

 

 

 

Sister, Sister? – Photo Courtesy of Marge Swayne

Once we finally make an appearance in the house, Kiki, the oldest and fearless leader of the house cats, greets us at the door while begging you pet her.  Over the years, Sophie, a gray version of Kiki, has gained enough confidence to allow us to pet her as she inquires about dinner from the cook, my grandmother.  Sophie and her two other siblings, Lily and Luna, were rescues that were abandoned in my grandparent’s drive way years ago so there’s been a bit of learning curve earning their trust.  After pulling Grandpa away from a NASCAR race or the grill on the deck, we sit down, say grace and enjoy a dinner made with love.

Field Roast Smoked Tomato Quarter Loaf

For this particular Sunday, I enjoyed a new vegan meat alternative that I have not tried before along side fresh vegetables from my grandparent’s garden.  It was a Field Roast Smoked Tomato Quarter Loaf.  The instructions warned against cooking this product in the oven so I prepared it by sauteing thin slices in a little bit of coconut oil on the stove top.  After they were done cooking for about 8 minutes total, I laid the slices on a few paper towels to absorb some of the excess oil.  Although I don’t rely on these meat alternatives like I did when I went vegetarian, I do enjoy them from time to time or on special occasions.

 

 

I thought this product was very flavorful with not as much tomato flavor as I was anticipating.  I ate a few bites alone, but enjoyed it much more in a freshly baked roll.  I re-purposed the leftovers in a sandwich as well.  The texture is very similar to other Field Roast products since they mostly all start with the same main ingredient – vital wheat gluten.  Vital wheat gluten is a the powdered form of the gluten (protein) found in wheat.  It’s a popular ingredient across the board in a lot of vegetarian or vegan meat alternatives.  Unfortunately, if you suffer from gluten sensitivity or allergy, this is an ingredient you need to avoid in your meat alternatives so make sure to check the labels!

Omnivore Rating: 6/10     ~     Vegan Wannabe Rating: 7/10

Bye y’all!

where is the turkey?

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving – a day to be thankful.  This year I am thankful for many things – my health, a peaceful home in the woods, moving closer to family this year and having a puppy greet me at the door.  This year there is one big change for me.  This is the first year I will not be eating turkey.  I thought this holiday especially would be a difficult obstacle to overcome, but I haven’t even given it a second thought.  My favorite part of the Thanksgiving feast has always been the sides anyway!  There will be turkey on my family’s Thanksgiving table, but I will be bringing my own vegan option.

There are lots of vegan turkey options available on the market today.  I have purchased the traditional Tofurky Veggie Roast and the Gardein Stuffed Turk’y.  I am not sure which one I will be taking yet – I just can’t decide!  I will review which one I use after our delicious feast.  Below I breakdown just a few of the vegan turkey options available for you and your family to celebrate Thanksgiving cruelty free!

Tofurky Veggie Roast

tofurky-holiday-roast-packageTofurky offers 3 sizes of holiday roasts but they are all the same – a turkey roast with a wild rice stuffing.  Some packages include gravy and even brownies!  In terms of nutrition, it offers a very high protein plant based option if that’s something you care about.  One fifth of the small roast (147 grams) is 300 calories, 8 grams of fat, 0 mg of cholesterol, 6 grams of fiber and 40 grams of protein.

Field Roast Celebration Roast

cr-1lb1-e1443025979840Field Roast is a newer company offering many very realistic meat and cheese replacements including one of my favorite cheeses – Chao Slices.  Their Celebration Roast is a one pound feast stuffed with a sausage, butternut squash, and apple stuffing which is stable enough to cut leftovers for that famous Thanksgiving sandwich.  My favorite feature of Field Roast meat alternatives is that they use so many whole fruits and vegetables in their meats instead of only tofu or vital wheat gluten.  A 4 oz serving has 280 calories, 10 grams of fat, 0 mg of cholesterol, 6 grams of fiber and 31 grams of protein.

Gardein Holiday Roast & Stuffed Turk’y

gardein_frz_a_holidayroast_usrgbsm-225x135 Gardein offers 2 vegan turkey alternatives – the Holiday Roast and Stuffed Turk’y.  The Holiday Roast is great if you have a larger family, but I actually purchased the smaller Stuffed Turk’y option since I am the only vegetarian in my family.  This package comes with 2 gardein_frz_a_stuffedturky_usrgbsm-225x231turkeys and gravy packets too.  These alternatives are a little different from the ones above since they are breaded unlike the traditional roasted turkey and boast a cranberry stuffing.  The nutrition does vary on these items though.  For one Stuffed Turk’y (150 grams), you’ll get 290 calories, 10 grams of fat, 0 mg of cholesterol, 3 grams of fiber and 23 grams of protein.  One Eighth (90 grams) of the Holiday Roast, you’ll have 150 calories, 4 grams of fat, 0 mg of cholesterol, 2 grams of fiber and 14 grams of protein.

Trader Joe’s Turkey-less Stuffed Roast

Trader Joe’s adds this holiday treat to their already coveted vegan product line during the trader-joes-turkeyholiday season.  I was even on a waiting list to get one last year, but I wasn’t able to score one at all!  With a $9.99 price tag for a 2.5 lb roast and gravy, this is the best priced product by far!  No wonder they keep selling out so fast every year!  This is also a breaded roast like Gardein with a stuffing inside.  For one sixth of the roast, it has 200 calories, 6 grams of fat, 0 mg of cholesterol, 2 grams of fiber and 17 grams of protein.

Happy Thanksgiving y’all!

Field Roast Smoked Apple Sausage

field-roast-watermark

A favorite recipe in our household prior to going vegetarian was grilled sausages with cheesy polenta.  This was a recipe that I had to recreate – vegan style.  I was able to find some similar sausages at Whole Foods and Kroger.  Field Roast has several meat replacement options and the Chao Cheese slices that I have discussed in previous posts.  This is the first Field Roast Meat Replacement that my family has tried and we were blown away!

Here is how I decided to make and serve my Field Roast Smoked Apple Sausage for this review.  fr-watermarkI grilled the Field Roast Sausages in a skillet with a quick spray of non-stick spray and turned them to get marks on all sides as they cooked.  The asparagus was baked on a baking sheet with extra virgin olive oil and sea salt at 400 degrees for about 35 minutes, flipping half way through.   I simply sauteed the cherry tomatoes with a tiny bit of extra virgin olive oil until they started to burst open.  The polenta was cooked per the instructions on the package depending on how much you want to make at one time.  Once the polenta was cooked, I added some Smart Balance vegan butter and salt & pepper to taste.  If you want that cheesy flavor, you could add a few tablespoons of nutritional yeast.  Since my husband didn’t want a cheesy polenta, I chose to sprinkle some Go Veggie Grated Parmesan just on top of my polenta.  This meal met all our requirements for a vegan version of our favorite sausage and polenta.

The sausages were very sweet with a great replication of sausage texture without the sketchiness of ground meat – you know what I mean.  They came 4 in a package and required very little work – just cut out of the package and cook on a grill or a skillet on the stove top.  The ingredient list on that package is very interesting as well.  The product uses vital what gluten to bind the vegetable ingredients like Yukon gold potatoes, dried apples and spices.  In terms of calories, they are on the higher side with 240 calories per sausage, but it contains 3 grams of fiber and 26 grams of protein.  One sausage was way too much food for each of us so we had leftovers of the sausage and polenta for a few days!  It reheated in the microwave for work left overs at lunch which is perfect for our family!  In addition to this sweet variation, they are available in Italian Sausage and Mexican Chipotle which we can’t wait to try!

Wannabe Vegan: 8/10     ~     Omnivore: 7/10

Bye y’all!

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