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Vegan Food, Family & Travel

Smoky Hungarian Holiday Roast and Vegetables

Hungarian Tofurky

2012 has been a pretty remarkable, confusing, kinda scary, sometimes magical and at times heartbreaking year. While 2013 will always be the year our book comes out and maybe when we finally take that trip to China, 2012 will be a year in my life that kinda felt like five. Ever have one of those years? The ones that make you a whole new person. For better or worse — you’re just not the same. I’ve been making an informal list in my head of events that have made this year unique  — mostly because I like making lists  but also to help me wrap my head around it. See all types of notable things happened. New York City was hit by a Hurricane. I mean it wasn’t the first time this has ever happened… but that sentence still seems like part of the plot to some Bruce Willis epic blockbuster with a message on global warming. An extremely wealthy mega-mogul tried to hold an unnamed non-profit hostage unless the president sent him personal information in an attempt to prove some paranoid conspiracy to take over the world… it was as awkward as this sentence and also felt a little like a plot point in a bad movie. Then North Korea claimed to have found a secret lair of unicorns*. So yeah. 2012 has been an unusual year.


On a personal note, we wrote a book. We went to Istanbul. We launched a newer and prettier blog with pretty new nerdy chickens across the top by the wonderful Josh Hooten from Herbivore Clothing Company. And of course, we almost became parents this year. Which brings me to this recipe.


It might seem weird to say a Tofurky recipe has come to mean so much to two people but it has. The first international trip Dan and I ever took together was to Budapest, Hungary back in 2008. We visited a park full of old communist propaganda art. We celebrated May Day at this huge festival. We saw the most adorable little cars in the world. We ate vegan goulash and drank huge beers. We also learned how much Hungarians love Paprika**– which is a lot. It was a pretty phenomenal week that has made a home in our hearts. So during my recent recovery and losing our daughter, making a recipe that not only uses one of our favorite foods – Tofurky and uses the flavors of one of our very favorite places… well it became the best thing to happen to us during what has been the worst time in our lives.


Before 2008, I wouldn’t have thought I’d have such strong feelings for neglected little ol’ paprika but I do. This spice made from ground peppers comes in as many different flavors and colors as there are snowflakes***.  Some are sweet and some bring the heat. For this recipe we used smoked paprika which is more of a Spanish style from what I can tell but as you may have figured out… I’m a sucker for smoke.

 Smoky Hungarian Holiday Roast and Vegetables

1 Vegan Holiday Roast, defrosted (we recommend using Tofurky for this one for sure)
1/2 pound Brussels Sprouts
1/2 pound Small Red Potatoes, cut in half
1/4 cup Olive Oil
2 Cloves Garlic, minced
Olive Oil Cooking Spray



4 Cloves Garlic, minced
1/4 cup Margarine, melted
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
2 tablespoons Smoked Paprika
1/2 cup Dry White Wine
Dash of Liquid Smoke
1 1/2 teaspoons Oregano, dried
2 tablespoons Braggs Liquid Amino Acids
1 tablespoon Fresh Parsley, diced


Preheat oven to 350. Whisk together all the baste ingredients. In a large bowl, mix Brussel Sprouts, Potatoes, 1/4 cup of Olive Oli and 2 cloves of Garlic until your vegetables are completely  coated.


Spray your dutch oven or casserole dish with cooking spray and place your Holiday Roast in. Then using a baster or ladle, cover your Holiday roast with baste. Place your vegetables around your Holiday Roast. With a spoon, pour 1-2 spoonfuls of baste over the top of your Holiday Roast.


How it will look before going into the oven.
How it will look before going into the oven.

Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Check on it a few times to pour a little more baste over the top. After 30 minutes, take off the foil and pour a little bit more baste over the top. Put your uncovered Holiday Roast back in the oven to bake for another 30 minutes or until your Potatoes are tender.


Serve in large portions with some good beer and bread. 



*How have we not talked about this sooner?

**One of the best things we brought home was actually Paprika flavored vodka. Try it with apple juice if you ever get a chance.

***Yes – I’m exaggerating. Please don’t send me data and statistics on snowflakes. I will accept pictures of baby animals knocking over snowmen.

3 thoughts on “Smoky Hungarian Holiday Roast and Vegetables”

  • As a vegan for three years now, I still find myself attracted to the smell and appearance of some animal flesh, particularly bacon and lamb. I have found that this has as much to do with the assosciations I have with the food as with the meat itself. Bacon for me represents lazy Saturdays when my mother or father would cook breakfast for dinner and we would all sit down to a family meal of bacon and pancakes. Lamb is one of the few things that my mother was skilled at cooking and our dinners of roast leg of lamb, studded with garlic, still resonate powerfully in my mind.It’s this type of memory or cultural association that I think is behind thinks like Tofurkey. I doubt almost any vegetarian is hankering to emulate the dried up, tasteless meat that usually passes for Turkey on most Americans’ plates. What they do want however is to feel normal. In the company of family and friends, most of whom probably don’t understand one’s ideology or its motivations, it is more comfortable to try and appropriate one’s food to the occasion rather than stick out as a sore and problematic thumb like usual (at least in the eyes of others). Tofurkey is an attempt to bridge the gap between upholding one’s ethical beliefs and feeling like a participant in an important cultural event.As for me, I don’t find Tofurkey that attractive and I usually find myself making things like stuffed squash, roasted vegetable soups (I’m hankering to try a seitan/roasted fall vegetable soup in a roasted pumpkin for this holiday season), and multitudes of different sides dishes. Thanksgiving never was and still isn’t an important family holiday for us so I don’t get hung up on the sorts of issues I outlined above. But I don’t begrudge those who do and if Tofurkey, or the much better homemade alternatives, fills that niche, so be it.

  • I did the same with pumpkin seeds from a small bkiang pumpkin (yielded 2 cups pumpkin meat). Rinse the seeds in water and then drain off the water. They don’t need to be dried.then spread seeds on parchment paper and baked it in 350 degree F. oven until lighty browned. It smelled so good, too.Then I tried eating them. It was easy enough to crack them open with my front teeth but there was so little inside of the shell to eat, I gave up. I really didn’t enjoy eating the hulls and doubt they contributed much toward my dietary requirements. I dumped the whole batch in the recycling container along with the pumpkin skin and stem. I saw the few hulls I did eat a few days later as they had not change shape (hulls did turn from toasted brown to white again) after they were processed through my digestive system. (Sorry for being so indelicate.)If your seeds have a large-enough seed inside, then maybe all the work would be worth the trouble.

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