Going meatless is a great way to "green" your Thanksgiving. But meat-lovers have long mocked the idea of vegetarians replicating their most indulgent creation, the turducken—until now. Meet the veggieducken.
Dan Pashman, the host of food podcast The Sporkful, has been getting lots of attention for his veggie-friendly creation. Where the turducken stuffs a chicken inside a duck inside a turkey, the veggiducken wraps yams inside veggie stuffing and leaks inside a banana squash. Slate dubbed Pashman's creation "worthy of centerpiece placement in vegetarian and omnivore homes alike," and it actually looks kind of really delicious:
Previous attempts to vegify the turducken were more focused on sating our apetite for humor than actually good food. These largely failed recipes even had funnier names. (Tofucken, anyone?) The experiments saw home chefs building a variety of fake-meat Frankensteins. A veggie hot dog wrapped in Field Roast wrapped in a Tofurkey sounds funny, but not exactly appetizing. Same goes for this seitan-tofu-tempeh concoction. But one attempt from 2010 got points for looking... like an actual turducken.
Pashman's stroke of semi-genius was to take wannabe meat out of the equation altogether. After all, roasted vegetables can stand all on their own. The New York Times's Mark Bittman would even say they come out the oven tasting better than turkey. "I invented the Veggieducken so that my vegetarian friends could have that same experience," says Pashman. "Spending the day in the kitchen (hopefully drinking), cooking a food so large and complicated that you'd only do it on special occasions, and ending up with a dish worthy of your Thanksgiving table's centerpiece." If the veggieducken tastes as good as it looks, we're sure eco-conscious Thanksgiving diners will thank him for the invention.