The saddest time of the year for turkeys and many other farmed animals in the Western world, the holiday season has always revolved around food in my family. Since going vegan, I have spent countless Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays with friends and family cooking many traditional—and some not-so traditional—foods that are healthy, delicious, and cruelty-free. I’ll never forget the first year I prepared a homemade tofu turkey. Vegans and meat-eaters alike were impressed with its wonderful flavor and texture.
Note: You can stuff this tofu turkey with anything (think your traditional vegan bread stuffing), but here in Asia, I like to mix things up a bit and use rice!
4 blocks firm tofu
Salt, to taste
1 Tbsp. sage
1 Tbsp. thyme
- Place all the ingredients in a food processor or a high-speed blender and process until smooth.
- Line a mesh colander with a clean kitchen towel and scoop the blended tofu mixture into the colander. Smooth out the tofu and cover with the edge of the towel.
- Put in a large bowl or pot and place something heavy on top (I usually use a plate and a large water jug). Let sit out for a few hours or overnight in the refrigerator.
For the Rice Stuffing:
1 cup brown rice
1 1/2 cups veggie stock
1 Tbsp. olive oil
Salt, to taste
3 Tbsp. sage
3 Tbsp. rosemary
1 Tbsp. tarragon
- Place all the ingredients in a rice cooker and cook for approximately 20 to 30 minutes. Brown rice takes longer to cook than white rice, so be sure to check every 15 minutes, stirring as needed. The rice will cook again with the tofu turkey in the oven, so take it out when it’s still a little tough.
- Remove the rice cooker lid. Allow the rice to cool for 30 minutes or place in the refrigerator overnight.
For the Sauce:
1/4 cup vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 clove garlic
4 Tbsp. olive oil
3/4 cup vegetable stock
3 Tbsp. sage
3 Tbsp. thyme
- Place all the ingredients in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth.
1 baking potato, chopped into large, bite-sized pieces
1 sweet potato, chopped into large, bite-sized pieces
1 carrot, chopped into large, bite-sized pieces
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).
- Scoop out the inside of the “turkey” and save this tofu mixture. Leave a wall of tofu about 1-inch (2- to 3-centimeters) thick. If you take out too much, don’t worry—you can use some of the scooped-out tofu mixture to fix a spot and mold the tofu turkey. Your tofu mixture should now look like a bowl.
- Add the cooled rice stuffing, filling to the top of the “turkey” bowl.
- Take the leftover tofu mixture and smooth over the top of the stuffing, again creating a wall of tofu about 1-inch (2- to 3-centimeters) thick to form the bottom of the tofu turkey.
- Coat the bottom of a baking pan with some of the sauce.
- Carefully place the tofu turkey in the baking pan (flat side down). Don’t worry if it cracks a bit.
- Place the baking potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, onions, and garlic in the pan around the tofu turkey.
- Pour the remaining sauce over the top.
- Bake for 2 to 3 hours, removing every 30 minutes to spoon the sauce from the pan onto the top of the tofu turkey, until the tofu turkey is crispy on top and the vegetables have cooked through.
- Cut like a pie into thin slices. Serve with the vegetables from the pan and top with some of the sauce. Enjoy!
Makes approximately 6 to 8 servings
Posted by Edwina Baier