Saturday , January 16 2021

The Pardon is the best plant-based Thanksgiving turkey substitute

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As a vegetarian I’ve tried a lot of vegan turkey and The Pardon by No Evil Foods is the tastiest yet.

I’ve been enjoying the plant-based “meats” from No Evil Foods for a while since moving down to the Asheville area of North Carolina. The company is based here, so when I found out it had a turkey replacement suitable for my holiday table, I couldn’t wait to try it.

The Pardon is now available in Whole Foods nationwide  — and online, although it’s often sold out. No Evil also has a store-finder tool to help you locate this “holiday centerpiece.”

The Pardon is a beautifully flavored hunk of seitan (also known as vital wheat gluten), which is not suitable for those with celiac disease or gluten-free preferences. I’ve made my own seitan in my beloved Instant Pot many times, but on Thanksgiving there’s already so much to cook I’d rather not deal with DIY seitan too. The package says it contains eight servings, but I think four is a better guideline if you love having leftovers as much as I do.

No Evil Foods seems serious about running an ethical business. The packaging is environmentally friendly and hip to boot.

Now it’s time to cook! First I took the turkey out of the freezer and thawed it out in its plastic bag. Submerging in warm water helped quicken the process.

Step one on the recipe is to brush it with olive oil. I didn’t have a special oil brush so I used my fingers and it turned out fine.

After putting it in the recommended 9- by 12-inch dish I added some white wine. I think a 12-by-12 or 9-by-9 inch dish would be perfectly fine too.

Next I added some vegetable broth and mixed it with the wine.

Cover the pan with foil and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes.

While you’re cooking The Pardon it’s a good time to get some gravy ready. I picked up this vegan mushroom gravy when I was at Whole Foods, and it was a cinch to heat up.

After the first 30 minutes you need to remove the foil, then bake for another 25 minutes. 

After you take it out, let it sit for 5 minutes before you slice into it.

It smelled great and I found it difficult to resist the temptation to cut in early.  

Finally, you can slice it up and serve with some gravy!  A traditional cranberry sauce would work too. The interior was moist and the skin had extra flavor. I must say this vegan holiday-style roast knocks everything else I’ve tried out of the park.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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