Vegan Portobello Mozzarella Sandwich and September Thanksgiving

September 10, 2010 by Keri

A good portobello sandwich is a beautiful thing, and I just happened to have a few portobellos hanging out in my fridge for yesterday’s lunch.  I started by spritzing my mushrooms with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, sprinkling with sea salt, black pepper, and basil, and roasting at 425 degrees for 15 minutes.  While my portobellos were roasting, I buttered the sandwich bread, sliced the Follow Your Heart vegan mozzarella, and washed a few leaves of purple kale.  Once the mushrooms were ready, I assembled the sandwiches with a portobello, mozzarella, and kale, and stuck in the panini press for about 5 minutes, rotating once to get that nice panini criss-cross.

Vegan Sandwich Recipes

Vegan Sandwich Recipes

I’ve always been curious about those Tofurky Vegan Feast meals.  They’re usually marketed for Thanksgiving, but let’s be honest, I’m definitely cooking everything at Thanksgiving.  For me, that’s part of the whole holiday experience!  Besides, one of those wouldn’t feed an entire extended family.  So instead, I told the husband we were having a practice vegan Thanksgiving– Thanksgiving in September!  He liked the sound of that…

Vegan Thanksgiving

Vegan Thanksgiving

Vegan Thanksgiving

Cute, right?  Now it was time to turn all that boxed jumble into a meal.  The box contains a stuffed Tofurky Roast, mushroom gravy, cranberry-apple potato dumplings, and jerky wish sticks.  Recommendations for preparing the roast are printed on the box, and I took their advice for the most part, surrounding it with quartered potatoes, sliced onions, and chopped carrots in a large casserole dish.  I basted with a sweet blend of 1/4 cup tamari, 1/4 cup pineapple juice, and 2 tablespoons brown sugar, and shoved the dish in the oven for 2 hours.

Vegan Thanksgiving

The gravy was simple.  It just needed reheated in a saucepan, with a little water to smooth it out.

Vegan Thanksgiving

The dumplings were also quick to prepare.  I just boiled them for a few minutes and then sautéed to brown.

Vegan Thanksgiving

It turned out to be such a delicious meal- even better than I expected.  The roast is stuffed with a yummy wild rice and bread stuffing, and the dumplings filled with cinnamony cranberry apple mashed potatoes.

Vegan Thanksgiving

Vegan Thanksgiving

The boys finished by making wishes over their Tofurky jerky wish sticks.  What a far better tradition than breaking some poor deceased animal’s bones!

Vegan Thanksgiving

Can you tell I”m a little bit excited about autumn?  The leaves are starting to fall and I’m beginning to get visions of apple picking, pumpkin carving, playing in the leaves, and baking for the holidays.

Does being a vegan during the holidays stress you out?  What’s your best advice for new vegans when non-veg food is being pressed at them left and right, and refusal only leads to interrogation?

HealthBlogger Network
Get To Know Keri

I Eat Trees is a blog featuring my adventures in all things vegan. My favorite recipes, snack food finds, and restaurant trials are all on the menu so enjoy!


  1. Wow, it looks great! How was the tofurky? I tried is about six years ago (pre-vegan) and I didn’t like it. Wonder if they have made improvements? (and/or perhaps I will enjoy it more this time based on eating a different diet?)

    Don’t hate me for this … but my husband and I use Thanksgiving for warm-weather travel. We’re going to Barbados again this year. We opted for a different resort, though, as as this year I’m vegan and I know our “usual” place cannot accommodate. The new place emailed me a sample vegan menu (to.die.for.) so I can’t wait! Christmas in rural Ill/Iowa? That’s another story…

    • Keri says:

      Hmm.. I wonder, but I wouldn’t be surprised if your tastes changed. I know a lot of things my husband didn’t like before going vegan, he now really enjoys after being vegan awhile.

      I don’t hate you! 🙂 It’s actually a great idea! Holidays stress me out a lot because our families live hours apart and no matter which family we spend the holiday with, I feel guilty because the other wants us there too.

  2. Trina says:

    guess I might have to try that for thanksgiving, seeing as Quorn has eggs in there roast.

  3. Justine says:

    This is my first year to be vegan for the holidays, and I am sure it will be interesting to say the least. Luckily, I am not the only vegetarian so it will be that much easier. I will just volunteer to make a couple of dishes and make enough for everyone to have some if they choose. My family is pretty used to me eating ‘weird stuff’ so I am not too terribly worried about it.

    I’ve always been curious about the Tofurkey- glad you like it!

  4. I have only become a vegan this year, so i am a bit stressed. Last year about a week before thanksgiving is when i first went vegetarian. No turkey for me! But my family are redneck meat & buttery potato type of people. So this holiday is going to be stressful. But luckily i have this wonderful blog to help me with inventive vegan ideas for the holidays. Thank you so much Keri!!

    • Keri says:

      I know it’s easier said than done, but don’t be stressed out. It definitely took me some time to gain the confidence, but now I find people asking me honest questions about my lifestyle rather than making rude remarks and trying to pick silly arguments. 🙂

  5. MelissaG says:

    Wow! I wish I’d had that yummy looking sandwich for lunch today. Looks so good!

    Being a vegan never stresses me out…at the holidays or otherwise. I’m proud that I’ve made this life choice for myself and that it benefits both the animals and the environment! My best advice for those newbie vegans around the holidays is to bring some really tasty vegan food to your holiday family meals. Vegan desserts are the best at winning people over! And I find that if you can veganize a familiar recipe (I do green bean casserole) people are more willing to try it than if it’s something like Curried Quinoa with Seitan. There will probably always be people who are pushing you to eat meat at family get-togethers. I still get that even though I’ve been veg for 27 years! Just hold firm to your convictions and know that it’s THEIR issue not yours if they have a problem with your veganism.

  6. Happy Aly says:

    I made a Tofurkey for last Thanksgiving!! My mom is a vegetarian and so she and I baked the whole feast, also. It was delicious! Though disturbing, because it certainly tasted an awful lot like turkey, which I wasn’t at all ready for!
    I LOVE Thanksgiving. It very well may be my favorite holiday. I had a potluck for friends last year and we had about 20 people at our house! Some were vegan, some not, but it was fun all around.
    I think the a good idea for new vegans could be to go for a tofurkey, really. It’s a nice transition, unless you are trying to feed more than 3 or 4 and then things get hairy. A good fruit stuffing is an option as a side, as well as yams, and if one wants more of an entree for TG instead of tofurkey, I’ve found stuffed portobellos are a great go-to!
    I think a lot of people get the impression that being vegan means you are withholding some delicious food from yourself. Not the case. A kind reminder that one isn’t *denying* themselves something, but choosing something *different* can be a polite way of saying “no, really, I don’t eat that crap.”

  7. George Armstrong says:

    Very nice. Thought I should also say it looks like the contact forms on your site aren’t working.

  8. Sunny says:

    You’ve totally inspired me to want to buy a panini press. 🙂 That portobello sandwich looks amazing (and simple – which is awesome ’cause I have zero cooking skills).
    And Thanksgiving dinner in September – Genius!
    LOVE your site! 🙂

  9. Jessica says:

    We have just recently discovered the wonder that is tofurky slices!!! My son’s lunchbox now has a bigger variety of yummy sandwiches. This looks so good, I can’t wait to try it!
    Side note, your shoes are adorable!!!!! Care to share brand/store? Thanks!!

    • Keri says:

      Thank you! They’re from Vegan Chic, made by Simple Shoes, and the style is “Gumshoe”. They’re last year’s style, but I’ve seen a few pairs around on vegan sites still! 🙂

  10. Ange says:

    I’m so glad you posted this because this will be our first Vegan Thanksgiving and I was just talking to a friend of mine about the Tofurky but had no idea what the roast would look like.
    Can’t wait!