A few more recipes…

Here are a few more Thanksgiving-worthy vegan recipes.

Marinated Tofu “Turkey”

There are lots of options for replacing turkey on Thanksgiving, from the infamous “Tofurky” to delicious recipes like this and this. This recipe is for simple, unpretentious, marinated tofu. It’s easy, quick, tastes good with gravy, and both my children and my mother in law liked it.

Ingredients:

2 lbs. tofu (count on 1/4 – 1/2 lb. per person)                                                                      1/2 cup good quality soy sauce                                                                                          1 cup hot water                                                                                                                  3 bay leaves                                                                                                                      1/2 tsp dried rosemary                                                                                                          2 cloves garlic, sliced or crushed with the side of a knife                                                     1 tsp sugar (maple syrup or honey is fine)                                                                             1/2 tsp paprika (optional)                                                                                                 1/4 tsp turmeric (optional)                                                                                                   a few slices of onion

Method:

1. Slice the tofu into 1/4-1/2 inch thick rectangles. Place in a shallow dish or container. Combine all ingredients in marinade and pour over tofu. Let sit for at least an hour, or cover and refrigerate overnight.

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I like to marinate tofu in a flat container with a leak-proof lid. That way I can turn the whole container over from time to time to make sure the tofu is marinating evenly.

2. When your ready to cook, heat a large skillet or griddle over medium-high heat. Add oil (enough to coat generously). Shake excess marinade from tofu (if you really want to be safe from splattering oil you could even blot it dry with a paper towel). Place in pan – you will need to do this in batches, since overcrowding will inhibit browning. Cook on first side until it begins to get nice and brown. Flip and repeat on the next side. Serve with gravy (recipes following).

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Accept-No-Imitations Real-Food Mushroom Gravy

If you don’t use or can’t find imitation foods, this recipe is for you. If you want something even faster and easier, scroll on down to the next recipe.

Ingredients:

2 eight oz. packages of mushrooms                                                                                    1/2 medium onion, diced                                                                                                 1/2 tsp. salt                                                                                                                        3 TBSP olive, coconut, or sunflower oil, plus more for sautéing mushrooms                       3 TBSP flour                                                                                                                        1 1/2 cups warm water                                                                                                       2 tsp good quality soy sauce

Method:

1. Clean and roughly chop half of the mushrooms. Heat a small saucepan over medium heat. Add about a teaspoon of oil, the chopped mushrooms, onion, and salt. Cover pan. Cook, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms and onions are soft.

2. Clean the rest of the mushrooms and slice them thinly. Heat a large skillet over high heat. Add a little oil (just enough to coat the bottom) and sauté mushrooms, in batches to prevent overcrowding, until they turn deep golden brown. Set aside.

3. Puree the mushroom-onion mixture until smooth in a food processor or blender, adding a little water if necessary.

4.  Combine water and soy sauce and put them within easy reach. Return your small saucepan to the burner. (No need to wash it.) Heat over medium-high. Add your 3 TBSP of oil, swirling pan slightly so it all gets warm. Add flour to oil. Immediately stir vigorously with a wooden spoon to fully combine the flour and oil. Cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly, until the mixture darkens slightly in color and the flour begins to smell just a tiny bit toasted.

5. Slowly pour in water/soy sauce mixture while stirring vigorously with a wire whisk. Whisk until thoroughly combined. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring frequently. Once the first bubble bursts, turn heat down and cook for just another minute or two, until gravy begins to thicken. Add in pureed mushrooms and stir gently until thoroughly combined. Gently stir in sautéed mushrooms. Taste and add more salt if necessary. Enjoy over marinated tofu or Vegan Cornbread Stuffing.

Fake It While You Make It Imitation Turkey Gravy

This is quicker and easier, with a more familiar texture than the mushroom gravy. My family actually preferred the mushroom variety, but that may just be because my kids love mushrooms. Actually, I’m sure you could stir some sautéed mushrooms into this gravy

Ingredients:

3 TBSP Organic Smart Balance, Earth Balance, or other REGULAR (not Light, which is full of water and will not work), vegan butter-alternative                                                            3 TBSP flour                                                                                                                       2 tsp Better Than Bouillon No Chicken Base (or other chicken-stock substitute) dissolved in 2 cups hot water                                                                                                          1/4 tsp paprika (optional, for color)                                                                                  1/8 tsp turmeric (optional, for color)

Method:

1. Have all ingredients measured out and on hand. Add your spices, if using, to the flour. Heat a saucepan over medium-high. Add Smart Balance. When Smart Balance is completely melted, add flour to pot. Stir immediately and continue stirring for about 1 minute, until mixture begins to darken slightly and smell slightly toasted.

2. Gradually pour in liquid, whisking constantly with a wire whisk to prevent lumps. Bring mixture to a boil. As soon as the first bubble pops, turn the heat down and continue to cook, stirring constantly, for a minute or two, until it thickens to desired consistency.

3. Feel free to customize with your own herbs or spices. I thought it might even be good with a touch of curry powder.

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