Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Whole Foods Vegan holiday, Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner review!

With the holiday season here,I figured it would be a great time to post about my experience ordering a holiday (Thanksgiving) meal from Whole Foods in Ottawa, Canada.
Whole Foods just opened in Ottawa in November of 2014 at the newly rebuilt Lansdowne Park.
I ordered my meal online and entered my credit card info and then did not hear back from the store,so assumed my order was fine.
No issues when I went to get my food, an employee unpacked my bag to show me all the items and even told me how to reheat each item.
This was very helpful and unexpected.
One small issue I did have,but did not mention was that the Vegan Roast was different from the description-but the employee did not mention anything about this.
It was not a huge issue, as I had never tried any of the vegan roasts before,but thought the hazelnut/kale/cranberry roast sounded so good.

First I will post how each item came in the package and then a nice picture of my food arranged on a plate.

Gardein Veggie Roast and package.

This was what I was given instead of the "Vegan Roast en Croute (454g), made with cranberry,apple,hazelnut and kale".Instead I got this Gardein roast that was almost 1kg and also had 2 gravy packets in it.
The roast was still frozen when I got it,but I did slice it easily and ended up just cooking a portion for me-I was the only person here when I made my food.
But since the roast was frozen,I did save half in the freezer-that way I can eat some later-the best before is 2016 sometime.
The Gardein roast was good and it is the first time I tried one of these products. Usually I like tofu,so thought I would like this. The rice stuffing with this was very good too.
Whole Foods carries this roast year round and it costs $20 in the frozen foods section.

Gardein Roast sliced

This is what the roast looked like uncooked. The appearance is very similar to real turkey!
I have a very good chef's knife, so slicing this still mostly frozen was very easy to do!

Vegan Mushroom Gravy and Cranberry Sauce.

Here is the Vegan Mushroom Gravy (454ml) and what was supposed to be Cranberry Relish (226ml).
The mushroom gravy was the correct size and was very tasty-but it reminded me more of a soup as it was not really thickened. The taste was great,so that this was a bit thin did not bother me-you could put this on vegetables, turkey or even have it as a soup if you want!
The description for the cranberry part was written "Cranberry Relish (226ml)", but what I got was 454ml of cranberry sauce.
I like cranberry sauce,so not really a huge issue,but no one seems to be able to tell me what cranberry relish is supposed to be and I did ask at least 5 different employees at the store.
I usually make my own cranberry sauce and do not buy canned cranberry sauce,but if you do not want to make your own this one here is really good.

Herb Stuffing and Green Beans

On the left side of the picture is the Traditional Herb Stuffing (340g). I did not weigh the stuffing and am not really sure what traditional stuffing would really be as everyone I ask has a different version.
Some people just buy Stovetop, my mother makes stuffing with celery,herbs and some fancy bread. Others use rice or even meats or tofu.
This stuffing had some cranberries in it and was very good. There seemed to be a bit more than 340g of stuffing-next time I will remember to check on my kitchen scale.
On the right side is the Green Beans with Toasted Garlic and Leeks (340g). The green beans were very fresh and still crunchy when I got this dish-maybe if I did more than just reheat a small portion the green beans would have been more cooked? I eat green beans uncooked all the time and did not want to heat the whole dish as it is too much for one person.
There was not too much garlic, so this was good. I do not usually have green beans seasoned like this,so it was a nice change.

Vegan Mashed Potatoes

The vegan mashed potatoes (340g) were very good and made with soy milk instead of dairy. I actually like this better and usually do not eat mashed potato often. I do not remember what herb was in this,but it was good!

Final Presentation!

The pic above is the final presentation or plating for my meal. I wanted to make my food look nice for myself and thought this turned out quite well!
The plate for this meal is made by Fiesta in the US.

Another plate of food!

Above is another plate of food! I was hungry enough to eat 2 big plates of food that day.
If you have any vegan guests, this meal package is a great deal and everything tasted really good.
The price was also $29.99 and this is supposed to serve 2 or 3 people-but that even seems like a lot of food for 3 people.
I do plan on ordering this same meal package for Christmas dinner, as this was very tasty and would be good in case any vegetarian family members do decide to drop by.
Hopefully this review is helpful in deciding what to feed y our vegan friends and family!

-Have you tried any of these dishes? What did you think?

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