Thanksgiving Day is upon us in Canada, one of my aboslute favorite holidays. Sharing a festive meal with family and friends and enjoying the beauty of autumn can be hard for vegans when the star of the show is a big dead bird. Making your own tofurkey complete with stuffing, cranberry sauce and gravy is very simple and sooooo very tasty! Surround the tofurkey with a host of yummmmy yegan side dishes: mashed potatoes with veggie stock and Earth Blance butter, roasted yams with a sprinkle of cinnamon, green beans or brussel sprouts with toasted almonds and lemon zest, carrots with agave orange glaze. . .skies the limit! My Nana used to make boiled, mashed turnips for Thanksgiving. . .ick.
Roasted Tofurkey, Mushroom Sage Stuffing and Gravy
-2 bricks of extra firm tofu
-1/4 cup soy sauce + 1/3 cup for basting liquid
-1/4 cup nutritional yeast
-1 tbsp garlic powder
-1 tbsp poultry seasoning
-fresh ground pepper
-2 tbsp sesame oil
-1/4 cup Earth Balance Butter
-4 shallots (or one small onion and 3 cloves of garlic) diced
-2 stalks of celery, finely diced
-2 cups of wild mushrooms, diced
-6 cups dried bread cubes (available in the bakery of your friendly neighborhhod grocery store)
-2 tbsp finely chopped sage leaves
-approx 2 cups of veggie stock
-1/2 cup veg oil
-3 cloves of garlic, minced
-1/2 cup all pourpose flour
-1 tsp poultry seasoning
-1 cup dry white wine
-1/4 cup soy sauce
-2 cups veggie stock
STEP 1 - Tofurkey Phase A: Place two paper towels on a plate. Place the blocks of tofu on the paper towel. Place another paper towel over the tofu. Top with a plate and place heavy cans and other objects on the tofu. Leave for 1 hour so all the extra water drains out.
STEP 2: While the tofu is being pressed, prepare the stuffing! Heat the Earth Balance butter in a pan over medium heat. Saute the shallots, celery and mushrooms with a sprinkle of S&P until the shallots are translucent, the celery is soft and the mushrooms are well cooked.
Transfer the veg from the pan to a large mixing bowl and toss with the bread cubes and sage. Add the veggie stock and mix. You want the bread cubes to be very moist and the stuffing should be pretty sticky, so add more veggie stock as needed. Season with S&P and set aside.
STEP 3 - Tofurkey Phase B: Place the tofu, 1/4 cup soy sauce, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, poultry seasoning and pepper in a food processor and pulse until it becomes a smooth paste. Alternatively, you can use your hands or a potato masher for this job!
Line a colander with cheese cloth or a paper towel and place it over a plate or bowl. Put the tofu mixture into the lined colander and press it down so it's nicely packed in there and the top is flat. Place a small plate on the top and a heavy can or two on the plate and let sit in the fridge for two hours.
STEP 4 - Tofurkey Phase C: Remove the cans and plate from the tofu. With a spoon, caaaareeeefully scoop out the inner part of the tofu, as if you're making a bowl out of it, leaving a 1" border. Set the scooped tofu aside. Fill the cavity with stuffing just to the rim of the tofu bowl. Cover the stuffing with the reserved tofu, sealing the tofurkey and making the top nice and flat.
Oil a baking sheet well with veg oil and place on top of the colander. In a quick, fluid motion, flip the colander onto the baking sheet and release the tofurkey dome. Remove the cheesecloth/paper towel from the tofurkey dome.
STEP 5 - Tofurkey Phase D: Mix together the remaining soy sauce and sesame oil and baste the tofukey with it. Cover the Tofurkey with foil and place in a pre-heated 400 degree oven. Roast the tofurkey for 25 minutes, remove the foil, baste again and bake for an additional 25 minutes or until the tofurkey is golden brown. Baste again before serving.
STEP 6: GRAVY!!! While the tofurkey is roasting, heat the veg oil in a large saucepan over medium high heat. Add the garlic and saute until translucent. Add the flour and poultry seasoning and cook for one minute, stirring constantly.
Add the wine, soy sauce and veggie stock and whisk to combine (no one wants lumpy gravy!). Bring the gravy to a boil and cook until thickened. Add more stock if tooooo thick. Season with S&P.
To serve: Slice the tofurkey into wedges and serve alongside mashed potatoes, your fave veg side dishes and a sea of vegan gravy!