Vegan Thanksgiving, Healthy, Compassionate and Eco-Responsible!

Awesome vegan holiday recipe

In America, Thanksgiving marks the beginning of the Holiday Season as across the country family and friends gather to enjoy an extravagant feast. For vegetarians and vegans, attending this annual event can be challenging and often opt to host their own gathering.

Vegans live eco-responsibly because they avoid animal products of any kind.  We can all show respect for the planet by hosting a meatless meal this Thanksgiving and actually save money in the process. Factory Farming, Unnatural, Unhealthy and Unsustainable

This Thanksgiving, be kind to your health, the animals and the earth by making my Festive Holiday Roast. This is my one of my favorite vegan holiday recipes. It is so delicious, really easy and super fun! You will be amazed to see how cool it is to turn five pounds of firm tofu into a really tasty meal with 12 generous servings. 

Tofu?  Yes … and you wouldn’t know it.  Most of the preparation is done in advance.

The tofu is crumbled and pressed overnight with a simple “nesting” technique that creates the meaty texture. The largest bowl is on the bottom with the colander in the middle. The third bowl is on top with a weight pressing the tofu into shape and I find that two 28-ounce cans of tomatoes work well.

Festive Holiday Roast
From The Enlightened Kitchen, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., © Marie Oser
You may make the roast a day in advance. Reheat covered with foil.
12 Servings

5 (16 ounce pkgs.) firm tofu (not super firm)
1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped with leaves
1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
2 oz. Portobello mushrooms, diced
1 (10 oz. pkg.) cubed stuffing mix
1 cup vegetarian “chicken” broth, boiling
2/3 cup dried cranberries
1/2 teaspoon dried sage

Basting Mixture
2 tablespoons mellow white miso
1/3 cup dry sherry
1/2 cup tamari
2/3 cup fresh orange juice
1 cup vegan“chicken” broth*
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon granulated garlic

Brown Gravy
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups vegan “chicken” broth*
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
*Edward & Sons Not Chick’n Bouillon Cubes  in boiling water (widely available)

 

A day in advance
Drape cheesecloth over 12” colander, place it over the largest bowl. Set aside.  Mash each block of tofu with a fork. Crumble tofu into the prepared colander and fold the cheesecloth in over the tofu. Position a deep bowl over the tofu-filled colander and weigh it down with canned goods. Place in refrigerator overnight.

The next day
Prepare stuffing: In a 5-quart saucepan, heat oil over medium high heat.  Add garlic, onion, celery, pepper and mushrooms. Cook mixture 5 minutes and add stuffing mix, broth, cranberries and sage. Stir to mix and moisten, remove from heat and set aside. Prepare basting mixture: Blend miso with sherry in a medium liquid measuring cup. Add tamari, juice, broth, Dijon mustard, and garlic. Mix thoroughly and  set aside.

Preheat oven to 400° – Large round baking pan Line baking pan with foil – Spray with olive oil cooking spray
Remove top bowl with weight. Uncover pressed tofu.  Scoop out a portion of the tofu from the center leaving a 1-inch shell and set it aside.  Fill the hollowed shell with stuffing. Reserve extra to bake separately. Cover with reserved tofu and pat down firmly. Place baking pan firmly over colander face down. Invert the colander carefully, turning the stuffed tofu onto the baking sheet, flat side down. Baste with one-third of the basting mixture, cover roast with foil and place in pre-heated oven.  Bake 1 hour, remove foil and baste with half of remaining basting mixture.  Bake uncovered for one more hour, adding remaining basting mixture 30 minutes into second hour.

Make gravy
In medium saucepan, heat oil 1 minute over medium high heat. Stir in flour, forming a paste. Reduce heat and gradually add broth, stirring constantly. Add nutritional yeast and garlic.  Stir frequently. Remove Roast and set aside for 10 minutes. Slice into wedges and serve with gravy and additional stuffing.

Festive Holiday Roast
Nutrition Analysis: per 2 ¼ cup serving with stuffing and gravy*
Calories 335, Protein 25g, Carbohydrates 37g, Fiber 5g, Fat 11g, Cholesterol 0mg, Calcium 195mg Sodium 990mg

*nutrition analyses are calculated on weight, the actual volume is generally higher.

Marie Oser is a best-selling author, writer/producer and host of VegTV. Her latest book is The Skinny on Soy.  Follow Marie on Facebook and Twitter