Field Roast

101 Artisan Vegan Meat Recipes to Cook, Share, and Savor


By Tommy McDonald

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Hailed as 2015’s Company of the Year by VegNews Magazine, the Field Roast Grain Meat Co. offers their first cookbook, with over 100 delicious, satisfying vegan recipes

In Field Roast, Chef Tommy McDonald shares fundamental techniques and tips that will enable you to make your own vegan meats at home–for everyday (sandwiches, burgers, meatloaf) to holiday (stuffed roast, anyone?), as well as recipes for using them in every meal from breakfast through dinner. The 100 recipes are flexible: want to make your own plant-based meats? Great! Want to use Field Roast products instead? That will work too. All you need are grains, veggies, and spices — easy-to-find whole food ingredients for authentic, hearty taste. With basics such as cutlets and sausages, along with dishes like Burnt Ends Biscuit Sandwich, Chicken Fried Field Roast and Waffles, Pastrami on Rye, Tuscan Shepherd’s Pie, Curry Katsu, (and even some favorite desserts), Field Roast brings new meaning to plant-based meat.





WHEN I FIRST started working at Field Roast, we all had the same black T-shirt with the Field Roast logo on the front and the Merriam-Webster definition of the word meat on the back:

A: food; especially: solid food as distinguished from drink

B: the edible part of something as distinguished from its covering (as a husk or shell)

C: the part of something that can be eaten

D: the most important part

I realize that when most people hear the word meat, they think of the part of their meal that comes from an animal—and so, the idea of grain meat may initially seem odd. But hang tight: we’re onto something here. In crafting delicious meat from grains, we’re following in the footsteps of ancient culinary traditions that have been using grains as a staple in their diet for thousands of years. And for good reason: the outstanding nutritional properties and high protein content can’t be ignored.

For us, grains are the center of the plate and are the foundation of our sausages, burgers, and roasts. The process is simple and time-honored, and the ingredients are immune to fads or trends. In much the way that we’ve broadened our understanding of the word milk to include soy and nut milks, at Field Roast we’re excited about doing the same for meat. Because when you remove animal protein from your meals, you’re not left with an absence or a gap, you’re left with the opportunity to broaden your understanding of what meat is and what center-of-the-plate food can be.


One thing that excited me about Field Roast products from the very beginning is their simplicity. When I’m shopping for food, point of origin is a major consideration: Where did the product come from? Where was it made? What is it made from? When I think of most vegetarian meat products, this is pretty hard to imagine. Grain meat is different: we start with a simple wheat flour, so it’s easy to envision what it’s made from and where it began. It’s a process that can be done in the comfort of your own kitchen without industrial machines and without gums and binders, and one that I’m really looking forward to sharing with you.

Plants Drive Flavor

When you hear the word vegan, what comes to mind? A militant lifestyle rife with kale, tahini, and social justice? You may imagine a pale, scrawny co-op employee enrobed in irony, and perhaps some polyester brown slacks fresh from the Goodwill. But the landscape is shifting, and now we talk about new ideas, bold flavors, clean eating, and good food! Eating vegan, or plant-based, doesn’t require you to change everything about yourself. It could be a couple of weeks a month, a couple of days a week, even a few meals here and there, or it could be every waking moment. Regardless of how often you are eating vegan, now is a wonderful time to do it.

My style of cooking and our philosophy at Field Roast is a departure from a lot of the vegan products and recipes you may already know. Rather than trying to mimic the flavor and texture of animal products, we craft recipes that set out to re-create the spirit of the dish, while showcasing the flavors of the plants it is made from. In other words, why work tirelessly to make a vegan sausage that tastes like pork when you could make one that tastes like what it’s actually made from: peppers, apples, and grains?


A New, Old Idea

Grain meat has a rich culinary heritage beginning in China, when Buddhist monks created a method to produce a high-protein dough made from wheat that they called mien ching. What the monks found was that if you took a simple wheat flour dough, submerged it in a bowl of water, and kneaded it thoroughly, a physical change would begin to occur. The starches from the dough would begin to fall away, turning the water a milky white color and creating a firm and elastic dough. That process of washing the wheat made a dough that could contain up to 80 percent pure protein. At this point, the monks would steam or boil the dough, slice it, and cook it with sea vegetables, mushrooms, ginger, and broth. When Buddhism began its migration to other countries, the idea of this revolutionary grain meat traveled from China to Japan, where it became known under many different names and today is known as seitan.

This idea remained in the east until the 1800s, when Chinese and Japanese immigrants brought many of their traditional foods with them, including mien ching and seitan—and the process made its way through Europe and into the United States. The growth in popularity of seitan was slow, much of it remaining largely unknown to the broader culture until the natural foods movement of the 1970s.

A Collision of Culinary Traditions

Chef David Lee spent a time working with different kinds of vegetarian proteins and their application in everyday meals. Seitan and meat made from grains stuck out to him as a great satiating, center-of-the-plate choice that could serve as a vehicle for bold flavor. This grain meat had the makings of a food with the texture and tooth resistance needed for sausages, deli sandwiches, burgers, and roasts. David began tweaking and experimenting with the process, eventually incorporating many classic techniques essential to making charcuterie into his process. David found himself continuing to think about joining these two traditions—the ancient practice of making grain meat and the French culinary tradition of charcuterie—and the possibilities to create a brand new product felt endless. As the product improved, he began working it in to different food design products he was doing for local food makers and the product started to gain some buzz. With a growing demand, David continued to experiment with new ideas and started churning out exciting new products, and with that, Field Roast was born.

A New Paradigm of Real Vegan Meat Is Born

The Field Roast Grain Meat Company was founded in 1997 by David Lee and his brother Richard out of a real desire to see a different vegetarian product on store shelves. So many of the vegetarian protein products available then were made with soy and difficult-to-pronounce ingredients, or relied on dehydrated or previously frozen foods. So, they worked to bring their vegetarian loaves—made with grains, vegetables, and spices—to market, and found a home for them at a local Seattle co-op called PCC Natural Markets. The loaves took off and began popping up in national grocery chains.

As with most small businesses, it wasn’t easy growth—there were lots of kinks to work out, investors to sign on, and staff to streamline, but the late hours and determination started to pay off. Customers were excited to have a vegan option with ingredients you could feel good about eating.

In 2005, Field Roast launched its line of sausages—a big step for the company, as the other vegan sausages on the market were emulsified and spongy. But Field Roast used an entirely new method, working with the wheat grind, binding it, and tying it off using a classic charcuterie technique. These sausages were juicy and toothsome and appealed to a broader audience of grocery shoppers. Finally, Field Roast was catapulted into the mainstream and cemented as a leader in the vegan meat sector. Today, you can find Field Roast’s high-protein vegan meats and cheeses at a number of national grocery stores—everything from sausages to stuffed roasts, deli slices, frankfurters, FieldBurgers, and vegan Chao Cheese Slices. David is as closely involved today as he was in the 1990s, and Field Roast is even more of a family business with his sons Malcolm and Ian having hopped on board.


The Early Days

On a rainy day in November 1851, Arthur Denny landed at Alki Point with a group of family and friends. He was met at the shore by his brother David, who had traveled ahead of the group to scout out a place for a new settlement in the Pacific Northwest. David had spent the fall in a roofless cabin on Puget Sound, and was so defeated by the time the party reached the beach at Alki that the only greeting he could muster was, “I wish you hadn’t come.”

In Seattle we call that SAD (seasonal affective disorder), and it is real. One winter it rained for thirty-three days in a row: that’s enough to dampen anyone’s pioneering spirit. But what the Denny party learned, besides the fact that you should probably put a roof on your cabin, was that once May rolled around and the rain stopped, things were actually pretty nice in their little seaside village.

Since those early days, Seattle has seen periods of immense growth, providing the timber to build many West Coast cities in the 1800s, holding firm as a supply port for the Alaskan gold rush, and attracting innovators and industry pioneers to work for such companies as Microsoft, Boeing, Starbucks, and Amazon. Trade has driven Seattle’s growth, and has attracted people of all ethnicities and cultures to experience, work, and raise families here. And of course that means a rich diversity of music, history, art, and food.

Growing Up in the PNW

I was born in Seattle in 1986 to a big, loving, and loud family. The best kind. Both my parents worked when I was a kid, so my siblings and I were always expected to help out around the house, and prepare our own meals. During the summers this was especially important as we had all those extra hours around the house that were usually spent at school. We did a pretty good job of keeping ourselves busy, and it was always made much easier when I was sent off to work out at “the Ranch,” my granny’s house.

Granny lives in the tiny town of Joyce, Washington, famous (to us) for their wild blackberries and idyllic summers. Joyce skirts up to the Strait of Juan de Fuca, a waterway that separates Washington State from Vancouver Island. During my summers there, I helped care for all the animals (cows, chickens, pigs, rabbits, cats, a goat named Fart, a duck, and her dogs), and learned how to clear brush, haul hay, and split and stack firewood.


It was during those summers that I learned to love food, largely because I’d played such a big part in growing and harvesting it. At the Ranch, I’d learned how to barbecue on a rusted-out steel drum welded onto a crank arm–adorned frame (the grill of a lifetime). We grilled everything during the summer because it was just “too dang hot to turn on the oven,” according to Granny. Once I was old enough to get a real job, I started working in kitchens, trying to save money for college. I bounced around to kitchens big and small, clean and dirty, busy and really busy. As I learned more, I also learned how much I already knew: that making good food was about understanding everything that went into it.

Today I think back to the Seattle of my youth and the experiences that have brought me to where I am today—and a lot has changed. Seattle is definitely more of an urban metropolis than it was decades ago. And I have to say, a lot of my friends who live here or in other cities around the country tend to favor convenience over anything when it comes to cooking meals at home or feeding themselves. I get that; we all lead busy lives. But I think we can strive to have a better relationship with our food. It could be as small as watering a potted basil plant on your windowsill. Or it could be simply asking some questions or doing a little research on an ingredient you’re not familiar with next time you’re eating out or traveling. Vegan or not, knowing what we’re putting on our plate (and in our body) and where it comes from has become my passion. I hope a little of it rubs off on you, too.

The Recipes: Make Them Your Own

So many recipes set off in one direction and, after I’ve made them a number of times, they end up looking completely different. I’m sure the same is true for you. Don’t like asparagus? Swap in broccoli or zucchini. Out of wild rice? Brown rice will do just fine. Cooking is fluid and, to be honest, I think it’s more fun when we take recipes and make them our own, so please feel free to make swaps and tweaks based on your tastes and preferences. You’ll notice in many of the recipes here we suggest our Field Roast brand products, which you can either make at home using the methods I lay out here or buy at your favorite grocery store.

Vegan Meat Is for Everyone!

Eating a vegan meal and maintaining a vegan diet are two completely different things. And while this is most certainly a vegan cookbook, this book was written for everyone. Throughout these pages, you’re going to find flavor-packed, plant-based recipes that I hope will become new favorites—food you’ll want to share with family, friends, and co-workers. You’ll find some of my favorite comfort foods, including vegan macaroni and cheese, stuffed burgers, and ranch potatoes, but you’ll also find more refined favorites, such as chilled asparagus salad and white bean and eggplant crostini. There are more involved recipes where we’ll actually teach you how to make our grain meat, but there are dozens and dozens of simple, fuss-free recipes you can pull together on an average weeknight, too. So, really: there’s something for everyone here. Vegan or not, let’s dig in.


ALTHOUGH WE make Field Roast products on a large scale at our Seattle headquarters, you don’t need fancy equipment or machinery to get the same results at home. Here’s a guide to the most helpful pieces of kitchen equipment to tackle the recipes in this book—it’s not meant to be exhaustive, but more a call-out to some of the most-used and more essential tools of our trade. Let’s do this.

BAMBOO STEAMER BASKETS These come in many sizes and are stackable, so they are great for steaming lots of sausages at once. All you need is a set of two or three and a large pot to set them on. Start with 2 quarts of water at a gentle boil, and add a pint of water every 30 to 40 minutes. I also use these to steam my stuffed roasts, I have a 14-inch basket that I bought at the Asian supermarket down the street from my house for pretty cheap, and these roast recipes should fit perfectly.

BUTCHER’S TWINE For tying off roasts and sausages, and countless other kitchen needs. This can be found at most grocery stores or kitchen supply stores. I buy mine in a big spool from the restaurant supply store.

CHEESECLOTH For wrapping the roasts and our meat grinds, cheesecloth is essential. You can find it at any well-stocked kitchen store, or online at a specialty grocery retailer (see Sources, here).

DUTCH OVEN OR LARGE POT For a few of the recipes in this book, you’ll need a large, heavy-bottomed pot. I reach for my Dutch oven at home, but any large pot should do the trick.

FOOD PROCESSOR To make our meat grind, the jumping-off point for many of the recipes in this book, you’re going to need a food processor. At Field Roast, we actually use a meat grinder, but in a pinch you can get great results with a run-of-the-mill food processor instead. We also use the food processor as a shortcut for making piecrusts and minced vegetables.

HIGH-SPEED BLENDER A high-speed blender, such as a Vitamix, is so helpful in blending up dressings and sauces, and while I generally hate clutter on the countertops, this is one exception I make at home. They aren’t cheap, but in my opinion, the machine is worth every penny—and will last for years.

MEAT GRINDER There are many different types of meat grinders, but the one I use attaches right to my KitchenAid stand mixer. You can find these online, or at a well-appointed kitchen shop. This attachment will also double as a sausage stuffer with the right “sausage horn” attachment.

SALAD SPINNER I use a lot of seasonal vegetables and fresh herbs in my cooking, and my favorite way to quickly wash and prep them is with a basic salad spinner.

SAUSAGE CASING Most sausage casings available are made using animal parts, which won’t work for us. LEM Products makes plastic hot-dog casings (26 mm) that fit perfectly on to the sausage horn attachment for the KitchenAid stand mixer. These are durable and easy to use, and can be ordered from LEM Products directly (see Sources, here) or even Amazon.

SAUSAGE STUFFER OR SAUSAGE STUFFER ATTACHMENT Unless you’re making a lot of sausage at home, chances are a sausage stuffer isn’t hanging out in your cupboards. If you have a KitchenAid stand mixer at home, the good news is the company makes a great attachment that works as a grinder and a sausage stuffer. Sometimes you can find them online as a kit; otherwise you may have to buy the “sausage horn” separate from the grinder.

THERMOMETER An instant-read thermometer takes a lot of the guesswork out of cooking—something I’m always grateful for.

UTENSILS AND SUCH Every well-stocked kitchen should have a good whisk, a chef’s knife with an 8- to 10-inch blade, and a paring knife with a 4- to 5-inch blade. A few stainless-steel or wooden spoons are great for stirring, and stainless-steel tongs are essential for cooking on the stovetop or for pulling hot food off the grill. The Microplane is my go-to for zesting fresh citrus, and while not completely necessary, a mandoline is great for making thinly sliced vegetables quickly and uniformly for salads and slaws.


Many of the ingredients in this book are things you may already have at home or, at the very least, can easily find at your neighborhood grocery store. But there are a few that may be less familiar, so I wanted to take a minute to run them by you so we’re all on the same page.

Everyday Staples

We always have the following ingredients on hand to make our meat grind, sausages, roasts, and burgers. In that way, they’re essential pantry ingredients around here—as critical to us as flour and sugar are to a seasoned baker.

GARBANZO FLOUR A pulse flour made from ground chickpeas, also known as gram flour. We use this in our roast recipes to add tenderness and soften the bite of the strong high gluten flour. You can find garbanzo flour in most natural grocery stores and Whole Foods Market; it’s also available online.

VEGAN BEEF, CHICKEN, AND VEGETABLE BASE These vegan bases are highly concentrated flavored pastes that come from reducing stock until almost all the liquid is gone. Most natural foods stores offer vegan versions of chicken and beef flavors, which are a blend of plant flavors meant to closely resemble the same profile. We use these bases in these recipes to add rich plant flavors to our meats.

VITAL WHEAT GLUTEN Vital wheat gluten is one of the core ingredients of our meats. It is a very high protein flour from wheat. This is the product of the “washing the dough” process. Essentially this is wheat flour with the carbohydrates (starches) washed away. You can find vital wheat gluten in most natural grocery stores, Whole Foods Market, and also online.

Vegan Dairy

COCONUT CREAM Coconut cream is much richer than coconut milk. It can be purchased at most grocery stores, especially specialty grocers and Asian markets. The cream that rises to the top of a can of coconut milk is also considered coconut cream.

PLANT-BASED MILKS When you see a recipe calling for plant-based milks, feel free to use your favorite—I usually reach for almond, but any nut, soy, or alternative milk will work just fine, just make sure they are unflavored and unsweetened.

VEGAN BUTTER I always have vegan butter on hand to use in everything from fluffy biscuits to silky sauces. For a long time I used only Earth Balance Buttery Spread, which has a low melting point, more like margarine, and has a buttery flavor. Recently I have started to see vegan butters with a higher melting point that more closely resemble butter. Miyoko’s Creamery makes a delicious cultured product that you can find in most natural foods stores, and also online. The recipes in this book ask for both, but can be interchanged depending on preference or availability.

VEGAN CREAM CHEESE Cream cheese comes up in a lot of our recipes, and I can’t recommend Kite Hill brand enough (available nationwide). It’s a naturally cultured product made from delicious and expertly crafted almond milk.

VEGAN EGGS I rely on two vegan egg products in the kitchen, and they both play a different role. First up is Vegg, which comes in a powder that you mix up to make an actual egg yolk. Imagine a runny vegan egg yolk to use on top of salads, benedicts, and stirred into sauces. Vegg relies on black salt and nutritional yeast, which gives it that characteristic egg flavor and color. If you have trouble finding it, you can use equal parts nutritional yeast instead. Second, I can’t live without Follow Your Heart vegan eggs, which you can mix up to be more of a full egg to use when you’re looking for both the yolk and the white—or to make killer scrambled eggs. You can use other powdered egg substitutes in a pinch, but I have found that the Follow Your Heart vegan egg has some unique properties that make for great flavor and texture.

VEGAN MAYO I like Just Mayo brand better than most vegan mayos because it doesn’t separate when you add it to something hot, so it’s great to cook with—and readily available at most grocery stores.

From the Fields

Throughout these pages you’ll see regional ingredients getting a lot of play: apples and pears, hearty greens such as kale and arugula, beets, fennel, and mushrooms (especially chanterelle, oyster, and trumpet). Cooking with local ingredients whenever possible just ensures they’re fresher as they haven’t had to travel as far, and here in Seattle we’re lucky to have a few great year-round farmers’ markets that make the hunt, so to speak, pretty easy. The following are a few fresh ingredients that are, sadly, not local and may not be as familiar in your home kitchen.

JACKFRUIT This is a large, spiky tree fruit common in Southeast Asian cooking, which you can find canned in Asian markets or well-stocked grocery stores. We use young jackfruit in our recipes. While jackfruit typically has a sweet flavor, when it’s young it’s more firm and much less sweet, and when it’s cooked down, it shreds easily like carnitas or brisket, so it’s a great plant-based center-of-the-plate option.

KIMCHI In general, kimchi refers to any fermented vegetable, but napa cabbage is definitely the most common inclusion in this colorful Korean side condiment. Thanks to its recent popularity, kimchi is now really easy to find at a well-stocked grocery store or Asian food market.

KOMBU A member of the kelp family, kombu brings immense umami flavor to everything it touches. Look for it dried and packaged in Asian food markets or well-stocked grocery stores. See here for a more in-depth look.



  • "We have been wicked fans of Field Roast for years and consider them one of the pioneers in the plant-based meats space, making it easy for more people to embrace animal-free options. Tommy is a badass, fellow plant-pusher and a talented chef in getting people to open their eyes to the endless possibilities of plant based comfort foods."—Chad and Derek Sarno, founders of Wicked Healthy, @wickedhealthy Brothers. Chefs. Plant-Pushers.
  • "What I love about Tommy McDonald's Field Roast cookbook is that there are both easy DIY (from scratch) vegan meat recipes as well as recipes containing Field Roast. The choice is yours! This is one of the best vegan savory 'meats' cookbooks I've ever seen. Standouts are Pastrami Roast, Little Saigon Meatloaf, Steakhouse Roast as well as soups, salads, appetizers and sauces. Eating vegan just got a whole lot better!"
    Chloe Coscarelli, vegan chef and cookbook author
  • "Plant meats are the future of food, and chef Tommy McDonald has been leading the way for years now with his innovative, satisfying, and flavorful Field Roast creations. Finally, home cooks have a chance to craft the same roasts, sausages, and crumbles we know and love from this pioneering plant-based brand. Field Roast is a bold, celebratory collection of recipes for any eater. It's proof that meatless living can be hearty, healthy, forward-thinking, and steeped in culinary tradition at the same time."
    Gena Hamshaw, author of The Full Helping blog and Food52 Vegan
  • "Being a Southern gal who loves meaty dishes, Field Roast is a saving grace in my kitchen; these recipes will rock your palate and make your friends and family SO happy! Hoorah for plant-based meat!"
    Kathy Freston, New York Times bestselling author of The Lean, Veganist, and Quantum Wellness
  • "I'm already salivating on the pages, which have unleashed a savage urge in me to rush into the kitchen to dig into vegan charcuterie. Smoked Potato and Artichoke Sausage, anyone?"
    Miyoko Schinner, author of The Homemade Vegan Pantry and founder of Miyoko's Kitchen
  • "No matter readers' culinary-skill levels (learn how to craft from-scratch charcuterie or simply swap Field Roast's store-bought products into recipes), this book cements the iconic company's place as one of the industry's top meat-making maestros."—VegNews
  • "This book is perfect for anyone who's ever bemoaned the lack of creative meal options for vegans... Written for vegans and omnivores alike, the photography is as stunning as it is savory...The oven-centric dishes are perfect for cooking up cozy meals come sweater-weather season."
  • "A how-to for making plant-based roasts, sausages and deli slices. The recipes don't spill the beans (or more precisely the vital wheat gluten) on the company's signature products, but they do serve up 15 unique plant-based meat recipes and more than 100 other recipes that use those meats (or the store-bought variety)."—Portland Press Herald
  • "Yum!...Chef Tommy McDonald shares...fundamental techniques and tips, as well as vegan recipes for using them in every meal from breakfast through dinner...Burnt Ends Biscuit Sandwiches anyone?"—The Entertainment Report, ?The Best Cookbooks of the Year?
  • "This is a beautiful cookbook...The recipes are well written, easy to follow, and the ingredients are mostly available in markets specializing in vegan supplies...The recipe layout is good, mostly designed to keep instructions and ingredients on a single page. The head notes are nice, and the many Chef's Notes are useful as well as sidebars...The photo illustrations are stunningly beautiful, and the step-by-step photo series are excellent. So is the extensive index."—Tulsa Book Review
  • "Field Roast's artisan vegan meats are some of the best on the market. Tommy McDonald, Field Roast's Executive Chef, is now sharing 101 artisan vegan meat recipes that you can prepare in your own home."—Vegetarian Journal

On Sale
Sep 12, 2017
Page Count
240 pages

Tommy McDonald

About the Author

Tommy McDonald is head chef at the Field Roast Grain Meat Co. He lives with his family in Seattle, Washington.

Learn more about this author