I have a bad habit of interpreting everything as a direct challenge, and most of my misplaced determination stems from having to prove to myself that I am capable of achieving ridiculous goals. (Surprisingly, I can’t think of a time that this has ended poorly for me, and even if it had, with ROIs like vegan clam chowder, I’d be hard-pressed not to keep rolling the dice.) Impressing my culinarily uncreative family at Thanksgiving is one of those goals.
Unlike most vegans or vegetarians coming from meat-and-potatoes families, instead of dreading Thanksgiving, I get excited about the food challenges that it presents me.
I’m far past the stage of worrying about what to eat, for the following reasons:
- I kick ass at cooking, so that’s sorted.
- My wonderful godmother has something akin to coeliac, and eschews wheat, dairy, and soy. This means that I have someone other than myself for whom to cook, and I usually try to make an adventurous dessert for us to share.
- I’m too proud and convinced of my own moral superiority to mind any comments that others make, although I am willing to have a non-mood-killing conversations about my food choices, at least before and during the meal.
A few years back, I determined to make my own vegan turkey. I named him Tofom the Tofurkey. Here are some pictures of Tofom the Tofurkey:
This year, since I was cooking for myself only, I used only one package of tofu as opposed to the five that I used to fashion Tofom, plus another for drumsticks (six!). You can apply multiplication accordingly.
Also, all components of this can be made up to a few days ahead of time and stored in the fridge, and will taste better that way, too.
Here are the links to the other components of the recipe:
Vegan Tofurkey Recipe
By November 26, 2010Published:
- Yield: 1 Loaf (or equivalent) (4 Servings)
- Prep: 1 hr 5 mins
- Cook: 1 hr 5 mins
- Ready In: 2 hrs 10 mins
A perfect centrepiece to any vegan or vegetarian Thanksgiving, this tofurkey recipe is easy, fun, and comes complete with stuffing and marinade! It goes well with any other Thanksgiving dish that you're blessed enough to enjoy, and it's November, so the only thing that you should be drinking at Thanksgiving is a magnum (or two) of Beaujolais.
- 1 14 oz. package extra-firm tofu rinsed, drained, wrapped in a kitchen towel, and pressed
- a few sage leaves
- some thyme, rosemary, or similar herbs leaves picked
- 1 t vegetable bouillon
- 1/2 t low-sodium tamari or soy sauce
- 2 T large-flake nutritional yeast (nutch)
- a shake onion powder
- In a food processor, blend the tofu until smooth.
- Turn into a mixing bowl and stir in the rest of the ingredients.
- Line a colander with a few layers of cheesecloth and turn the tofu mixture into the center.
- Twist up the cheesecloth around the mixture and place an evenly distributed weight on top. (A plate with a few cans of beans or vegetables on top works well.)
- Place the colander on a plate and place the whole thing into the fridge for an hour while you prepare the marinade, stuffing, and gravy.
- Once you're ready to stuff and bake, decide how you want to shape your tofurkey. (Optionally, name it now.) I opted to bake it in a simple loaf pan, but you may want to shape it into a round, log, lewd shape, or moulded masterpiece.
- Shape the tofu and hollow out the walls until they're about an inch thick, reserving the hollowed-out portion.
- Place your stuffing in the cavity and cap with the reserved mixture. Make adjustments to the shape as necessary, bearing in mind that it will flatten out and poof up while baking.
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF (170ºC).
- If not in a loaf pan, place Tofom on a non-stick or lightly oiled baking sheet.
- Brush with marinade until well covered. Let sit for 10 minutes, and then brush a second time with enough marinade so that you've used up about half.
- Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes.
- After 20 minutes, remove the foil and brush/baste again.
- Cook for 45 minutes, basting every 10-15 minutes or so until the marinade is gone.
- Remove from the oven and let cool before slicing and serving with gravy.
- Garnish with springs of thyme, orange zest or peel, and a dollop of cranberry sauce if desired.