I had hoped to be doing a review of the Field Roast Vegetarian Hazelnut Cranberry Roast En Croute today, pretty much because I was excited to try it for the first time.  But, I failed to read the instructions.  It requires thawing overnight in the refrigerator prior to cooking, which I didn’t do, so, we opted for the Gardein Savory Stuffed Turk’y Roast which is prepared from frozen.  We actually had intended to have the Gardein Roast at some point over the holiday, so today was the day.  And it certainly was delicious!

The way we really enjoy this is to bake it in our Le Creuset pot.  Any baking dish or dutch oven  similar to a Le Creuset, like this more affordable alternative on our store, or roasting pan will work that you can cover tightly for the first 60-70 minutes of cooking.  The package directions say to place the roast frozen on a roasting rack.  Since we don’t have one, I chop up a bunch of root vegetables to use as my ‘rack’ and keep the bottom of the roast from sticking to the bottom of the pot.

We had Baked Kabocha Squash, Pan-Sautéed Kale with Beet, and a Cranberry Apple Sauce with our roast.  It was Thanksgiving all over again!

Here’s what we used for the roast, but use whatever you like:

  • 2 smaller organic  russets
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 onion
  • 1 parsnip
  • A tiny bit of olive oil
  • Sea salt, pepper, and coriander

Cut vegetables in big chunks and place in your baking dish or Le Creuset pot.  Drizzle a little olive oil, then season with sea salt, pepper, and a pinch whatever herbs you like.  I used coriander.  But rosemary, thyme, or oregano would be good.  Toss the vegetables a few times with your hands.

Nestle the roast onto a layer of the vegetables.  Add about 1/4 inch of water or veggie broth to the pot, cover, and bake at 425º for 60-70 minutes.  Turn heat up to 450º and bake another 10+ minutes, until the breading is golden brown with a nice crust.

Let cool.   Cut with a serrated knife.  Serve with the enclosed gravy.

For the kale, I de-stem and clean a bunch of kale.  Add a little water to a big, deep pan.  Add a little onion, sliced in half moon slices to the pan, and let cook a few minutes.  Add the kale, and season with sea salt.  My pan is usually overflowing with kale when I first put it in.  It shrinks down.

I happened to have half a previously boiled beet to use up.  I sliced it, and tossed it on the kale, seasoned a bit more with sea salt and pepper, then covered to steam/simmer another few minutes.  Turn heat off, but leave lid on another minute or two.

Either stop the cooking while kale is bright green still, and kale will be a bit chewy.  Let it coast a bit longer, and it will just begin to turn a darker green, but be a lot more tender.  Good either way, but if you are preparing for family members that are not in love with kale like you may be, try letting it cook a bit longer.  They may like it better.  Drizzle with a bit of toasted sesame oil and low-sodium soy sauce if desired.  When we have a complex meal with plenty of flavors, and salt and oil already added, I like having one dish, like greens, prepared really simply.  It’s fresher, and balances the meal.

For the Cranberry Apple Sauce:

  • About 1/2 bag fresh/frozen cranberries
  • 2 apples
  • 1 stick of cinnamon
  • A few raisins, and/or water sweetened from soaking dates
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 2 tsp. kudzu root, or arrowroot
  • Sweetener of choice:  I used about 2 tablespoons of maple syrup and about 1-2 tsp. brown sugar

Place first five ingredients in a pot, and add about 1/2-1 inch of water.  Bring to boil, then let simmer, covered on medium heat for around 15 minutes, until cranberries have popped and softened.

In a small bowl, combine kudzu root or arrowroot with just enough cool water to dissolve.  Mix in sweetener.  Add to cranberry apple mixture.  Stir, and let it simmer on medium for a few minutes, until thickened.  Once ready, you can cover, turn to low, and place a flame deflector under the pot to keep it warm, but prevent it from scorching while the rest of dinner comes together.

Here is the final result.  A super delicious dinner!

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The Gardein’s meatless Holiday Roast stuffed with wild rice and cranberry is  a savory and meaty treat for vegans, vegetarians, and meat eaters alike who may be looking for a tasty but healthy alternative to familiar flavors.  When prepared right, it is moist, with a texture that is nearly like a rolled and stuffed chicken breast baked in a breading, but lighter.  They do a great job with the gravy as well.  Light and flavorful, without being too flour-y, salty, or pepper-y.

This meal was a nice way to ring in the New Year.  We had a rainy, cool weekend, perfect for letting our inner cat like nature revel in a couple low key days spent at home.  You don’t need to have a holiday to enjoy this.  It is more than likely on sale now at a store near you.  Stock up, and during the next wintery weekend, crank up the oven, cut up some root veggies, and get roasting!

For those interested, I mentioned in the previous post about our Gardein vs. Tofurky, A Tale of Two Holiday Roasts Review video found on our Basic Macrobiotic YouTube channel.

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