Thursday, November 12, 2009

Two Canadian Thanksgiving Dinners

For some reason I didn't post this after Canadian Thanksgiving, so I'll post it in time for American Thanksgiving. I hope that everyone has a delightful day off (if you get one) and I hope that you enjoy the fruits of the autumn harvest in good company and with lots to be thankful for.

I was lucky enough to eat two Thanksgiving
dinners during Thanksgiving weekend. The first was at my friends, Kevin and Sophie's new home, joined by her sister and my brother. We had mashed root vegetables, roasted root vegetables, steamed brussels sprouts and swiss chard, green leafy salad and tofurkey slices. We also managed to fit in some pear ginger crisp and chocolate pumpkin cake, but we ate them without taking photos ;(

Here's the recipe for tofurkey slices. I've been making these since mom made them for me when I first became vegetarian in 1997.

Tofurkey Slices 1 pound firm tofu, rinsed and patted dry Marinade: 3/4 c. water 3 tbsp soy sauce 3 tbsp nutritional yeast ½ tsp poultry seasoning** ½ tsp coriander ½ tsp onion salt ½ tsp garlic powder Coating: 1/4 c. flour 1/8 c. cornmeal 1/8 c. nutritional yeast 1/4 tsp onion salt 1/4 tsp salt dash black pepper Cut tofu into 1/4 inch or appropriately sized slices and place them in a wide, shallow mixing bowl or shallow baking pan. Place all ingredients for marinade in a bowl and whisk them together. Pour marinade over tofu slices, ensuring all slices are covered. Cover and place marinated tofu in refrigerator. Let tofu set for several hours or overnight, turning slices a couple of times. When you are ready to cook the tofu, combine the ingredients for the coating mix in a bowl and stir well with a fork. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mist baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray, set aside. Remove each tofu slice, shake lightly to allow extra marinade to drip off and dredge each piece in the coating mix, allowing for total coverage. Arrange tofu on baking sheet. Mist tops lightly with cooking spray. Bake tofu for 15 minutes or until bottoms are golden brown. Flip slices over and bake for another 9 or so minutes, until other side is golden brown. Makes 10 or more slices. (4 -5 servings) ** or rosemary, sage, summer savory. Eat plain hot or cold, with make it into a sandwich.

My second Thanksgiving dinner wa
s at home on Thanksgiving Monday with my lovely bedfellow, Bruce. I made mashed potatoes, a mixture of white and pink sweet potatoes-- they were sooo sweet and delicious-- Bruce's favourite part of the dinner--, ginger-glazed carrots, a recipe test from Jae Steele's upcoming cookbook "Ripe From Around Here," mushroom gravy that's been a standard in my kitchen during holidays for years, and a complicated-looking but actually really simple mounded tofu turkey courtesy of my friends Mat and Dave of the award-wining radio show Let's Get Baked.
Tofu Turkey & Fixin's Turkey: 5 pounds of firm tofu Stuffing: 2 tbsp oil 1 large onion 1 cup celery, diced 3 to 4 cloves garlic, minced 2 tsp marjoram 2 tsp thyme 3 tsp Herb de Provence 1/4 cup soy sauce or tamari 2 cups bread crumbs 1 cup wild cooked wild rice salt and pepper to taste Basting mixture: 1/2 cup toasted sesame oil 1/4 to 1/3 cup soy sauce or tamari 2 tablespoons miso 2 tablespoons orange juice 1 teaspoon mustard 1/2 cup nutritional yeast Mash tofu together in a bowl. Line a Colander with cheese cloth and dump tofu in. Use a plate to press out the excess water from tofu. leave a heavy weight on the plate for an hour or two to drain as much water as possible (preferably in the fridge). take colander full of tofu and hollow out a place for stuffing. In a sauce pan fry up the garlic, onion, and celery. when they are sufficiently brown mix in the rest of the ingredients for the stuffing thoroughly and dump it into the hole that you have made in the tofu. pack it tigthly and flip onto a baking sheet. Cover the tofu turkey with the basting sauce and bake at 375 for an hour or so until it is golden brown. If you have the time you can cook it longer and a lower temperature and baste it a couple more times for extra amazing flavor experiences. Enjoy!


* 8tablespoon vegetable oil
* 3-6 cloves of garlic, squashed and minced
* 3 slices of yellow onion, chopped
* 8tablespoon all-purpose flour
* 2tablespoon nutritional yeast
* 4tablespoon low sodium soy sauce or tamari
* 2 1/2 cups water (to start)
* 1/2 teaspoon ground sage (dry)
* Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
* 1/4 cup red wine (optional--but a huge help)
* 2 tablespoon
s balsamic vinegar
* 6 sliced mushrooms (optional)

I can't take all the credit for this great gravy. Unfortunately I cannot recall exactly where I came upon it. My apologies to the original source. I made some slight adjustments. I often opt for a plain ol' mushroom gravy, but this is the deluxe one I like to prepare.

In a medium saucepan heat oil on a medium or medium-low heat. Add garlic and onion and cook until slightly tender and translucent.

Add the flour, yeast and soy (or tamari) to make a paste or roux. Be careful not to let it burn. GRADUALLY add the water, stirring constantly. With frequent stirring, bring the gravy to a boil and allow it to thicken. Add pepper, mushrooms, vegan wine and balsamic vinegar. If you don't want to add vegan wine, you might try a bit more balsamic vinegar or a red vegan wine vinegar in its place.

If the gravy is too thin (unlikely) add a small amount of cornstarch which has been dissolved in some cold water. (Dissolving the cornstarch in water first will prevent lumps.)

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