Tofu “Unturkey” with Stuffing and Gravy

  IMG_3197 IMG_3203 IMG_3206 IMG_3212 IMG_3217 IMG_3227 IMG_3234 food summer 2012 083 tofu unturkey cropped

 This is a perfect centerpiece for a vegan or vegetarian family, or for those hosting vegetarian guests. Instead of turkey, tofu is the protein source. It is shaped and filled with a stuffing of your choice. We offer 3 stuffing choices, but if you have a favorite, feel free to use that instead. You can also use two types of stuffing if you like. Serve this dish with your mushroom gravy (or gravy of your choice), cranberry sauce, and all the traditional holiday trimmings.

Makes about 12 servings.

Part 1: Tofu
4-5 pounds medium firm tofu
3 Tbsp chicken-style seasoning (or tamari)
¼ cup nutritional yeast (optional)
1 tsp sage or savory
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp crushed rosemary
  1. Mash tofu in a large bowl.  Stir in seasonings.
  2. Line a large colander with a single layer of cheesecloth.
  3. Transfer tofu mixture to colander. Press tofu to flatten up to the edges of the colander, keeping the depth of tofu about the same on the bottom and sides of the colander.Fold edges of cheesecloth over the tofu so it is completely covered by cheesecloth
  4. Place a bowl that fits well on top of the tofu and weigh it down with a heavy object (cans work well).
  5. Let tofu stand in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours or overnight.
Part 2: Stuffing
Option #1: Traditional Bread Stuffing
1 loaf whole wheat bread, toasted to make coarse bread crumbs
2 Tbsp non-hydrogenated margarine (e.g. Earth Balance) or olive oil
5 ribs celery, chopped
2 onions, chopped
2 cups fresh mushrooms, chopped
1 cup parsley, chopped
2 large potatoes, cut into 2 or 3 pieces
½ cup pecans or walnuts, chopped (optional)
4 Tbsp fresh herbs (sage, rosemary and thyme) or
2 Tbsp poultry seasoning plus 1 tsp each of sage and thyme
2 large cloves garlic, minced (optional)
1 tsp salt
Pepper to taste
  1. In a medium sized pot, boil the potatoes. Drain and mash.
  2. In a large skillet melt margarine or heat oil. Add onions, celery, mushrooms and garlic (if using). Sauté until tender.
  3. Put bread crumbs in a large bowl. Stir in onion mixture and mashed potatoes.
  4. Add parsley, nuts and seasonings and mix well.
Option #2: Wild Rice Stuffing
1 cup wild rice
1 cup brown rice
4 cups vegetable broth
2 Tbsp non-hydrogenated margarine or olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 cups mushrooms, chopped
4 ribs celery, chopped
1 large red pepper, chopped
1 cup parsley, chopped
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp minced ginger
3 Tbsp fresh herbs (sage, rosemary and thyme), minced
1 tsp each sage, rosemary thyme and savory
¼ cup tamari
  1. Wash rice in a sieve. Heat vegetable broth in a large saucepan. When boiling, add rice. Cover and cook about 50 minutes or until all water is absorbed.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large, nonstick skillet sauté onions, celery, mushrooms, peppers and garlic in margarine or oil until tender.
  3. When rice is done, transfer it to a large bowl. Combine rice with vegetables.
  4. Add parsley, seasonings and tamari.
Option #3: Cornbread Stuffing
2 T olive oil or non-hydrogenated margarine
1 large onion, chopped
1 cup mushrooms, chopped
4 ribs celery, chopped
2 large cloves garlic, minced
½ cup parsley, chopped
4 Tbsp fresh herbs (sage, rosemary, thyme, savory, marjoram)
1 tsp each sage, rosemary, thyme and marjoram
¼ cup tamari
Pepper to taste
1 recipe cornbread, cut into ½ inch cubes (see separate recipe)
  1. Heat oil or margarine in a large, non-stick skillet. Add onions, celery and mushrooms. Cook until tender.
  2. In a large bowl, combine cornbread, vegetables, tamari, seasonings and parsley. Toss well.
Part 3: Basting Liquid
¼ cup toasted sesame oil
¼ cup tamari
Black and white sesame seeds (optional)
Assembly of the Tofu Unturkey
  1. Unwrap cheesecloth from the inside of the tofu.
  2. Pack tofu with stuffing of your choice.
  3. Select a large round baking pan. Oil pan. Place roasting pan on top of colander, then flip down.
  4. Remove the cheesecloth.
  5.  Baste tofu with tamari and sesame oil.
  6. Pat with sesame seeds (if desired).\
  7. Bake at 350 degrees for about 2-3 hours. Baste every ½ hour or so.
  8. Using a couple of large flippers, transfer tofu to a large round serving platter. Decorate with greens and cranberries or mandarin oranges, if desired.
Mushroom Gravy
1 Tbsp canola or olive oil
1 onion, diced
3 cups mushrooms, sliced
3/4 cup whole wheat or unbleached flour
6  cups water
1/2 cup tamari
1 Tbsp miso
1 tsp each marjoram and thyme
½ tsp basil
Black pepper, if desired
  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan and sauté onions and mushrooms for about 5 minutes or until tender.
  2. Mix flour with 1 cup of water .
  3. Add the rest of the water to the onion and mushroom mixture. Bring to boil over high heat, stirring often.
  4. Stir in the tamari, miso and seasonings.
  5. Slowly blend in the flour mixture then simmer uncovered over medium heat for one-half hour, stirring occasionally.
Variations: Add 2 cloves fresh garlic and/or ½ cup fresh parsley.
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup whole wheat flour
¾ tsp salt
1 Tbsp baking powder
2 Tbsp ground flaxseed
1½ cups soymilk
¼ cup oil
2 Tbsp liquid sweetener (honey, maple syrup or jakomi)
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Mix all dry ingredients in a medium-sized bowl.
  3. Combine milk, oil and liquid sweetener in a small bowl or measuring cup.
  4. Add liquid ingredients to dry ingredients and stir until smooth. Do not over-mix.
  5. Spray an 8 x 8 inch pan and pour batter into pan.
  6. Bake for about 30 minutes or until golden brown.