This week on the show, we'll talk about our family's vegan holiday food traditions and review three kinds of Gardein canned soups.
Here's a "fun" behind the scenes nugget: this is our second recording of this Gardein canned soups episode. The first time we recorded, I heard a buzzing sound on the headphones, and we promptly lost 30 minutes of the first record.
This year, we adopted our first turkey! Her name is Queen Jackie, and we adopted her from Farm Sanctuary. We just love her. The kid hung her picture up on his desk, so he can look at her all day during school.
Just look at this gal!
I also made some amazing chocolate muffins this week. The recipe came from my friend Gwen's site, Delightful Adventures. I didn't have gluten free flour, so I used white wheat flour. Gwen suggested adding a bit more liquid if you do that, so I just used an extra two tablespoons of water to make the flax egg. They turned out fudgy and perfect!
A new review
We got a lovely review on Apple Podcasts from listener Bill Jings. We love reading your reviews! Leave us one on Apple Podcasts, and there's a 95% chance that we will read it on the show!
Bill Jings writes:
Becky and Dave Striepe's Talkin' Tofu is my weekly salon where I sit with my two friends and pass life's core concerns from hand to hand, weighing one side and then the other. What IS macaroni and cheese? How can our nation address its crisis of lackadaisical nacho construction? Enchiladas: I love them, but am I wrong? When should chili be eaten? Every week I tune in I learn something about food, about Becky, about Dave — and about myself.
This week, Dave surprised me with a new segment idea, where we read and talk about a piece of vegan news. I am all in on this! However, if anyone has better ideas for what to call this segment, please get at us.
This week's To-News is an article Dave found on Veg News, reporting that Tofurky saw a 22 percent spike in sales this Thanksgiving.
That's a lot of turkeys saved!
This article led us down a rabbit hole of discussing which roasts Dave does and doesn't like. You can read more about that in our Roast Roast episode.
Our menu from this year's Thanksgiving
The first thing we talked about is what was on our Thanksgiving menu this year. I'm pretty jazzed about this lineup:
- my mandarin orange cranberry sauce
- a Gardein Holiday Roast, cooked in the air fryer (same temp, half the time!)
- My Quiet Kitchen's vegan corn pudding
- Dianne Wenz's green bean casserole
- my mashed potatoes with miso gravy
- a homemade cherry crumble using canned cherry pie filling and homemade crumble topping
We are going to have so many delicious leftovers!
Striepe vegan holiday eats
One of our longest-standing holiday traditions is Dave's Chex Mix. He makes it throughout November and December every year. We eat so much of it. So, so much.
His recipe is basically the one from the back of the box of Chex using vegan butter and vegan Worcestershire sauce. He substitutes pita chips for the bagel chips sometimes and uses this one variety of Planter's mixed nuts that includes pistachios.
This discussion devolved into a quick argument about pretzels, because I don't like pretzels. Dave says they're essential and I'm a monster, but I think that double bagel chips would be much better. What do you think?
A newer vegan holiday treat that Dave has been making is Muddy Buddies. Like the Chex Mix, he follows the recipe to a T. For the Muddy Buddies, you just need vegan subs.
In this case, substitute vegan butter and vegan chocolate chips. A lot of store brand dark chocolate chips are vegan -- just check the ingredients for milk products to be certain.
My sweet treat contribution to our holidays is my brown sugar cookies, which Dave claims he's never once had? Which is not true. I will be making a batch ASAP to jog his memory.
Most years, I also head down to south Florida with the kiddo to see my family. Dave isn't always able to get time off for Hanukkah, so he doesn't always make it to our massive latke party.
Our usual Thanksgiving situation
Most years, we travel to Dave's sister's place for Thanksgiving, where 25 Striepes gather. Obviously, that didn't happen this year, but we wanted to reminisce!
At those big gatherings, there are seven vegans/vegetarians, so I make a mini vegan feast for us. Since Liz is in the kitchen cooking for 18 other people, I try to keep out of the way and use the stove and oven as little as possible.
Here's what's on that menu:
- JL Fields's Instant Pot roast. I use all potatoes instead of potatoes and carrots, because I like mashed potatoes as a side dish.
- a double batch of my mandarin orange cranberry sauce, because Dave's dad is obsessed, and he deserves as much cranberry sauce as he wants
- my blender miso gravy
- a big ol' kale salad (skipping the warm dressing, so I don't have to use the stove)
- a Marie Callender fruit pie for dessert
Gardein canned soups
Gardein actually makes five canned soup varieties, but our grocery store only stocked three of them. We tried:
- beef and vegetable
- minestrone and sausage
- chicken and rice
We didn't try the chicken noodle or the gumbo and will do a follow-up if we track those down.
The beef and veggie was the first one on my list. Y'all, neither of us liked this one. I thought the broth was bland and that the vegetables were mushy. Dave didn't love the beef, because he's not big on Gardein beef in general, but I did enjoy that part.
We both really enjoyed the minestrone and sausage! The sausage chunks were flavorful, the broth tasted great, and the beans and pasta had a lovely texture. It made us both nostalgic for soups we ate as kids. We'll definitely get this one again!
The chicken and rice was sort of middle of the road. Dave was really let down, because he was so excited about it. The chicken pieces were good, because it's Gardein, and their chicken is good. The broth on this one was bland, too, but the veggies were good in this one, though.
We finally did a rating scale! We ranked these on a scale of one to 10 Tofurky Roasts. Here are my ratings:
- beef and vegetable - 2
- minestrone and sausage - 7
- chicken and rice - 4
And here are Dave's:
- beef and vegetable - 1
- minestrone and sausage - 8
- chicken and rice - 4
Where to listen
Thank you so much for listening (or reading!). We record these episodes for you, and we'd love to hear from you.
Got a favorite vegan treat that you think we should cover on the podcast? Send your suggestions to [email protected]!
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