A Vegan Thanksgiving: Homemade Tofurky!
This was my third Thanksgiving as a vegan. The first was pretty bleak, consisting mostly of mashed potatoes and repreated sides of grilled asparagus. Delicious? Yes. Lame? Also, yes.
Last year was better: Alex's family made an effort to provide us with several vegan-friendly dishes...but we didn't have a main course or dessert and we were again left with hungry tummies.
This year, we decided to go big or go home...hungry again.
So we went big. Homemade cranberry sauce, herbed scalloped potatoes, mashed potatoes with a cremini & roasted onion gravy, cashew-cream pumpkin pie, and finally the centerpiece: homemade tofurky.
I might also mention that this year was awesome for another reason: it was the first year that Alex's family and mine were able to share a Thanksgiving meal together.
It was wonderful and full of family stories, new traditions, and a lot of really delicious food. A real success, if I do say so myself. I even got officially welcomed into the family with my own cup clip. I'm the green bird...can you guess why??
We even got my Dad to help out with making the Tofurky! He was a little hesitant to try it, but he was a good sport. Plus, once we explained all of the chemicals and junk we wouldn't be ingesting by making our own Tofurky, he was pretty impressed!
Read to make your own homemade tofurky? Good! We based our recipe off of the original by Sarah Kramer. You'll need:
1 lb firm or extra-firm tofu
1 1/2 cups boiling water
1/2 tablespoon dill
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon marjoram
1/2 teaspoon sage
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 cup olive oil
1. Slice tofu lengthwise (skinny side) into about 12 1/4 inch slices. Lay onto a baking sheet and set aside. (We also thought of using a turkey shaped cookie cutter here instead, but we couldn't find one...but how cute would mini-turkey shaped tofurky's be??)
2. To make the tofurky marinade- essentially this is where all the 'turkey' flavor comes from- boil water. You'll need 1 1/2 cups boiling water for the marinade so boil just over that to allow for some evaporation while cooking.
3. Whisk together 1 1/2 cups boiling water with the spices, garlic, and olive oil.
4. Pour about 3/4 of the marinade over the tofu slices. Cover and refrigerate for 3-24 hours, flipping and re-coating tofu slices in the marinade every couple hours. (The longer you marinade the tofu, the more flavor it will have. If you can do a full day, do it.)
5. Once marinated, preheat oven to 350 degrees, pour remaining 1/4 of marinade on tofu and bake for 60 minutes, flipping halfway through cooking time. When ready to serve, fry tofurky slices in a frying pan until both sides are browned.
6. Serve with delicious Thanksgiving foods like mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, and stuffing or eat it as leftovers in a 'turkey' sandwich!
Refrigerate for up to a week in a sealed container.
And one last thing I wanted to share with you guys: I found a really neat website that I'll be using for a lot of my holiday ordering. Called EatSeed.com, they offer nuts, seeds, and seed blends for EVERYTHING. I just recently ordered a seed blend with hemp, sunflower, chia, and pumpkin seeds that i've been using every morning in my oatmeal. SO delicious & so convenient having them all in one place. Plus they have totally reasonable prices and shipping is fast! Check 'em out at Eat Seed!