Alternative Holiday Favorites

Alternative Holiday Favorites

by: Niki Mosier, Dairy Buyer

There is a growing segment of the population that is becoming aware of what have become “common” food sensitivities.  These sensitivities can include gluten intolerance, lactose and dairy intolerance, and a whole host of other allergies of differing severity and health consequences.  So, no matter what type of holiday event you attend this season, there is bound to be someone in the crowd who can’t eat the traditional holiday favorites. The Co-op has extensive gluten-free, dairy-free and also non-allergy related dietary restriction food solutions to accommodate vegetarian and vegan palates during holiday meals and events.   Also, if you are intimidated by cooking from scratch, check out our freezer section for Quron “Turkey” Roast.  For the semi-ambitious chef, I recommend a recipe that has become a favorite in my family – Uncle Tom’s Almost Famous Tofu Turkey and Stuffing.  This dish, requested even by strict meat eaters, serves sixteen people and can find all the ingredients right at the Oneota Co-op.  And don’t be intimated by the length of Uncle Tom’s recipe.  It’s really easy, and you can even make your own “drumsticks” if you want to kick it up a notch.  Don’t fret, come and get it – at the Co-op.  We are your source for food sensitive and diet restrictive ingredients for the holiday season, and beyond.

Classic Gluten-Free Bread Stuffing
Serves 10-12

Ingredients:

4 cups gluten-free bread, cut into little cubes and lightly toasted
6 tablespoons unsalted butter or margarine,
divided into 4 and 2 tablespoon chunks
1 cup quarter-inch diced onion
1 cup quarter-inch diced celery
1/3 cup quarter-inch diced carrot
16 large fresh sage leaves
1/8 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
1 pinch dried thyme leaves
½- ¾ teaspoon coarse salt
24 grinds of fresh black pepper – to taste
3/4 – 1 cup broth (gluten-free vegetable or chicken)

Directions:

1. Put the bread cubes into a mixing bowl. Melt 4 tablespoons butter in a small skillet. Sauté the onion, celery, and carrot until tender. Then lightly mix in the vegetables with the bread.
2. Using the same skillet, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Toss in the sage leaves. Over medium heat, brown the butter. The butter will be ready when it has a nutty smell and the sage leaves begin to crisp and brown. Remove the sage leaves and place them on a paper towel to drain.
3. Pour the brown butter over the bread mixture. Chop the sage leaves and lightly mix in with the bread and vegetables. Season with nutmeg, thyme leaves, salt and pepper. Use just enough broth to moisten the stuffing. If you stuff it inside the bird, leave the mixture on the dry side. For a separate baked dish, make it a bit moister.
4. Transfer stuffing to an ovenproof casserole and bake at 350 degrees until brown on top.

“Give Thanks” Gluten-Free Gravy
Makes about 2 cups

Ingredients
4 tablespoons hot turkey drippings
4 tablespoons cornstarch
2 cups Gluten-Free turkey or chicken broth
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

1. Wisk together drippings and cornstarch. Gradually add broth, stirring constantly over medium-high heat until smooth and simmering.
2. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

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.