An all-natural, fresh, soft and tasty than store-bought tofurkey. Try something different with Thanksgiving dinner this year, make it meatless. It’s like a Thanksgiving present for the planet. A study of the veggie-loving Adventist community in California found that even non-organic vegetarian diets used 2.9 times less water, 2.5 times less energy, and 13 times less fertilizer than meat-centric eating. Go organic and the benefits get even bigger. Your body will thank you, too, if you swap out the meat for a Tofurkey. The vegetarians at your table will undoubtedly love it if your dinner features something they can eat, especially a dish that recalls the traditional poultry they’ve given up. Non-vegetarians can enjoy knowing that vegetarian dinners, even those that aren’t 100 percent organic, take less of an environmental toll than meat-centric suppers. Tofurkey is definitely the best-known brand of veggie-based turkey alternatives; it’s handcrafted from tofu to look somewhat turkey-like, and stuffed with a vegetarian stuffing. But it’s far from the only option. The downside of buying store-bought Tofurkey is there aren’t many certified-organic meat alternatives out there. Use your own certified-organic tofu and ingredients when you make at home.
As families gather around the country to celebrate Thanksgiving, intense stress and emotions build up. Organizing family gatherings, arranging food often leads to criticism. Children and teens often are uncomfortable being around unfamiliar people. Even though people deal with many negative factors in family gatherings, most of the time people forget these unpleasant interactions quickly. The holiday gatherings are a great time to develop kids social, creative, empathy skills. Asking kids to creatively solve a holiday organizing problem, will bring their creative skills. Gatherings are not just about keeping the family together, it is also about teaching our children a family culture. Food brings families together because food and happiness are closely connected. When you are hungry, you think eating any readily available greasy food is the life saver. But after you eat, you feel guilty of stuffing yourself with unhealthy sugars and fats. The times when you home cook a good and healthy dinner for yourself or your family and friends make you so happy and full.
Most vegetarian Americans and consumers who want healthy alternatives are buying meat substitutes. But are these products any better than meat? The answer is – Yes. Cutting back on meat will help prevent high cholesterol, heart diseases, diabetes, high blood pressure and cancer. But most meat substitutes are highly processed and full of chemicals. Many are made from soy protein isolate, wheat gluten, and other textured vegetable proteins. They also include unhealthy amounts of extra salt, fat, and sugar. Each one of these additives have their own side effects on our bodies as weight gain, increased glucose levels in the blood, hypertension etc. Watch for imitation tofurkey in the market. They look and taste better than real tofurkey. But not all are created equal.
I found homemade tofurkey recipe at chowhound.com. Chowhound is my favorite recipe site. I decided to give Tofurkey a try, but with all-natural, unprocessed ingredients. Also to match my Indian taste buds, I replaced miso with fresh tamarind juice. I always change recipes to fit my Indian taste buds. This recipe is an all-natural version of Tofurkey. But trust me, this recipe turned out way fresh, soft and tasty than store-bought tofurkey.
A Portland, Oregon man has millions of reasons to be thankful today and its all thanks to his creation 20 years ago, Tofurkey.
Seth Tibbott is a millionaire many times over because of the faux turkey made of tofu. Tibbott was among the few vegetarians in the US in the 1970’s, but those vegetarian side dishes and salads just weren’t as appealing as a real turkey, the traditional Thanksgiving centerpiece.
Tibbott started experimenting with more appetizing ways serve soy. He created pumpkins stuffed with soy and even gluten roasts, but no one seemed to bite. Then Tibbott, a professional soy crafter, came up with Tofurkey roasts in 1995.
Read more about this story here.
Place an ultra-fine cheesecloth in a colander. Place colander on a plate, so that drained water can stay inside a large bowl and line it with two layers of ultrafine cheesecloth; set aside.
Place tofu and remaining ingredients in a food processor. Add remaining tofurkey ingredients and blend until mixture is smooth.
Transfer to the colander, smooth the top and fold the cheesecloth over to completely cover the tofu mixture.
Place a plate on top of the cheesecloth and place a few heavy items to drain water. Refrigerate for 12 hours.
Take tofu from the colander. Using a spatula, spread tofu mixture to the baking pan into an even layer.
Arrange the stuffing over the tofu. Leave 1/2-inch space.
Spread the remaining tofu in an even layer over the stuffing, completely covering it, and smooth it to the edge of the pan. Spread glaze with a brush.
- 2 packages firm tofu
- Spices for tofu
- 3 green chilies
- 1 cup mint
- ½ cup thyme
- ½ tsp - pink Himalayan salt
- 3 tbsp - fresh squeezed thick tamarind juice
- 1 tbsp cumin powder
- ½ tsp fresh ground coriander powder
- ⅛th tsp garam masala
- ¼th tsp pepper
- For stuffing
- ½ cup brown rice or quinoa
- 1 celery stalk
- ½ carrot
- ½ cup beetroot leaves - optional
- ½ cup thyme.
- 1 tbsp ghee
- ½ tsp pink Himalayan salt
- For glaze:
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- For gravy - optional
- ½ cup diced onion
- 1 tsp - cashews
- 1 tbsp cup besan (gram flour)
- ⅛th tsp pepper
- ⅛th tsp cumin powder
- 1 tbsp - ghee (vegans replace with coconut oil or other oil)
- 1½ cup water
- The night before: Drain, blend tofu with all spices and keep it pressed. The glaze and stuffing can be made the day before.
- Place an ultra-fine cheesecloth in a colander. Place colander on a plate to capture drained water.
- Place tofu and remaining ingredients in a food processor and blend till mixture is smooth, for 2 minutes.
- Transfer to the colander, smooth the top and fold the cheesecloth over to completely cover the tofu mixture.
- Place a plate on top of the cheesecloth and place a few heavy items to drain water. Refrigerate for 12 hours.
- Prepare the glaze:
- Whisk together all ingredients until well mixed.
- Optionally prepare gravy:
- Sift besan. Add ½ cup of water, whisk well. Make sure of no lumps.
- Blend onion, and cashews with little water to paste.
- Add oil/ghee to a saucepan and heat to medium. Add blended mixture, water, and salt. Close lid, cook for 20 minutes stirring occasionally.
- Add besan batter, pepper, cumin powder, and water. Stir and cook for another 5 minutes. Besan thickens the sauce. Add water if needed to keep it gravy consistency. Keep aside to cool down.
- For the stuffing:
- Heat ghee in a medium saucepan. Add onion, celery, thyme, carrot, beet leaves.
- Stir and cook for 2 minutes. Add salt and pepper. Stir occasionally, cook until veggies are soft.
- Add brown rice and stir. Add water and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until rice is tender about 45 minutes. If any water is left, keep cooking until all water evaporates.
- Heat the oven to 375°F. Spray baking pan with oil or pam spray and place a baking sheet.
- Take tofu from the colander. Using a spatula, spread tofu mixture to the baking pan into an even layer.
- Arrange the stuffing over the tofu. Leave ½-inch space.
- Spread the remaining tofu in an even layer over the stuffing, completely covering it, and smooth it to the edge of the pan.
- Spread glaze with a brush. Bake in the oven until the top is dark golden brown, about 60 - 75 minutes. Add more glaze if you like.
- Cut into slices and serve. Optionally serve with gravy.