A Vegetarian Alternative to the Holiday Bird

A Vegetarian Alternative to the Holiday Bird

by: Niki Mosier, Grocery Buyer

No matter what type of holiday event you will attend this season, there is bound to be a vegetarian or two in the crowd. The Co-op has endless options sure to please any vegetarian or vegan you need to cook for. Come on in and wander around, you will be surprised at what you will find. One recipe that has become a favorite in my family, even requested by those strict meat eaters, is my Uncle Tom’s Almost Famous Tofu Turkey and Stuffing. It serves sixteen people and you find all the ingredients at the Co-op. Don’t be intimated by the recipe, it’s actually really easy. You can even make your own “drumsticks.”

Uncle Tom’s Almost Famous

Tofu Turkey and Stuffing

Faux Turkey:

5 pounds of firm tofu

1 pound of firm tofu – for the drumsticks – optional

Homemade Poultry Seasoning – makes ½ cup

¼ cup sage

2 tablespoons each – marjoram, thyme and savory or rosemary

1 tablespoon celery seed

1 tablespoon pepper

Stuffing – makes 5 cups

2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil

1 large onion, chopped fine

1 1/3 cup celery, diced (about 4 stalks)

1 cup mushrooms, finely chopped

3 to 4 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon homemade poultry seasoning

salt and pepper to taste

1/4 cup soy sauce or tamari

4 cups whole wheat bread cubed

Basting mixture:

1/2 cup toasted sesame oil

1/4 to 1/3 cup soy sauce or tamari

 

Directions:

Mash tofu or mix well with hands. Be sure that all of the lumps are out. Line a 12” colander with wet cheesecloth overlapping the sides. Add the mashed tofu to the cloth covered colander, press down and cover with the overlapping sides. Place the whole thing in a large bowl. Cover the cheesecloth with a plate that fits inside the colander and place a 5 pound weight on the plate. Refrigerate and let sit for 2 to 3 hours.

When time is up, start the stuffing. Saute the onions, celery and mushrooms in the 2 tablespoons sesame oil. When soft, add the garlic and all the rest of the stuffing ingredients, except bread cubes, mixing well. Stir and cook for 5 minutes. Add bread cubes and mix well.

Remove tofu from fridge and take off weight, plate and top of cheesecloth. Hollow out tofu to within 1 inch of the sides and bottom, placing the tofu in a bowl. Place the stuffing inside the shell and pack in firmly. Cover with the remaining tofu and pat down firmly. Turn stuffed tofu onto a greased baking sheet, flat side down. Gently press on sides of “turkey” to achieve a more oval shape. If desired at this point, you may mold drumsticks out of one pound of tofu, and place on each side of the turkey.

Mix up the basting mixture and baste tofu turkey with half of it. Cover the turkey with foil, and bake at 400 degrees for about 1 hour.

Remove foil, baste with all the remaining mixture except for a few tablespoons and return to oven for 1 hour more, or until the turkey is golden. Remove from oven and use rest of the basting mix. Using at least 2 large spatulas, move to a large plate. Serve with the gravy of your choice, if you wish, and cranberry sauce.  Garnish with fresh parsley or sage.