Vegan Holiday Cooking

Home-made Tooforkey (Vegan) 

Store bought tofu roasts are rather expensive for their size.  This home recipe takes some time (in fact, I suggest cooking the day before and then heating so it doesn’t tie up your oven), but it’s delicious and big! 

  • 2 cups vital wheat gluten
  • 1/2 c. soy or chickpea flour
  • 3/4 c. nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1 t pepper
  • 1 onion diced  finely (or sub with onion powder)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced finely (or sub with prepared minced garlic)
  • 1 container of firm or extra firm tofu
  • 3.5 c. water + 3 t. vegetable or faux chicken broth powder or concentrate
  • 4 T. soy sauce or liquid aminos
  • 3 T. olive oil
  • 1 t. liquid smoke
  • 1 package vegan gravy, if desired

Blend tofu, 1 1/2 cups of broth, 2 T soy sauce, liquid smoke, 1 T of the olive oil until smooth.  Once in a while, I will get a block of tofu that has been frozen at some point and it will not mix smoothly.  This is not preferable, but it’s not a tragedy.  Just do what you can. Add the finely chopped onion and 1/2 of the minced garlic.

Mix the gluten, flour, yeast, and pepper in a separate bowl.

Combine the two.  This will be much much easier if you have a dough hook and a stand mixer, but it can be done by hand.  If it is too wet to form a dough ball, add bits of soy or garbanzo flour until it is (this can happen if the tofu has more water in it due to prior freezing, if your measurements are a bit off, etc.).  Knead for about 10 minutes.  Cover the bowl with a warm towel and let it sit for about an hour.  It will rise some.  Knead again for about 10 more minutes.

Line a baking pan with parchment.  Shape the dough into a loaf, try to make it not too “deep” – 2-3 inches tall is preferable.  Mix the remaining broth, soy sauce, olive oil, and liquid smoke.  Pour this broth over the loaf and place in oven at 325*.  Bake for about 2.5 hours if you are going to reheat the next day or 3 if you aren’t. You may wish to turn it over half way through. I don’t, but I baste it about every 15 minutes.  Most of the broth will be gone when it’s done (if most of the broth has gone when you turn it, mix up and add another cup of broth).  Remove from oven and allow to “settle” for a while before serving.

As noted above, I recommend cooking this ahead of time.  The next day, place the loaf back into a baking pan, mix your vegan gravy (see recipe below), and pour over it and cover with foil.  Put it back in the oven and heat at 325* until warmed through, about 30-45 minutes.


Roasted Vegetables

  • 4 large sweet potatoes
  • 2 onions
  • 1 lb brussel sprouts
  • 1 lb green beans
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 3 T balsamic vinegar
  • sea salt
  • peppercorn

Chop all veggies to bite sized (remove skin if desired).  You can add in others, like maybe broccoli or beets, if they are handy and sound good.  Mix in oil and seasoning.  Pour onto a large baking sheets (I like cooking this in a stone pans) and place in oven at 450* and cook for 45 minutes (turn veggies in pan every 10 minutes or so for even roasting).  If needed, add foil over pan and cook an additional 10 minutes or until done.


Vegan Gravy

  • 1/4 cup olive oil or vegan butter (we like Earth Balance)
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • ½ diced onion and ½ cup diced mushrooms (optional)
  • 2 1/2 cups broth – either vegetable or faux chicken
  • 3 T soy sauce or liquid aminos
  • 1 t liquid smoke
  • salt and pepper to taste

If using mushrooms and onions, place 2 T. olive oil in frying pan and saute mushrooms and onions until the onions begin to carmelize.  Set aside.  Mix soy sauce and liquid smoke into broth and set aside.  In a large pan, add remaining oil and begin to heat.  Add flour and stir, forming a roux.  Cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly.  Begin adding broth mixture slowly, stirring constantly to prevent any lumping.  Once fully mixed, add mushrooms and onions if using.

Continue to stir gently while bringing gravy to a low boil.  Reduce heat to a simmer and stir regularly until gravy thickens.  Salt/pepper to taste and serve over tofurkey or potatoes.


Vegan Soft Pretzel and Fauxage Stuffing

  • 1 “panful” of stale pretzel nuggets chopped in 1/2 or 1 large loaf of stale bread ripped into bite sized pieces
  • 1 large onion, diced small
  • Diced and sautéed vegan fauxages (I used 4 Field Roast brand)
  • 4 stalks celery, sliced thin
  • 2 cups unsweetened soy milk
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 4 T vegan butter, softened
  • 2 T white vinegar
  • 4 T flour or starch (soy, potato, chickpea, corn)
  • 3 t sage
  • 2 t thyme
  • 2 t black pepper
  • 1 t salt

** You can use white, wheat, or a combination of breads.  Bread can be “staled” by either leaving in oven for a day or two prior or baking on a low temp until dry

Place pretzels or ripped bread in large mixing pan.  Add fauxage, spices, onions, and celery, and flour and toss gently.  In a separate pan, mix softened butter with soy milk and vinegar.  It should take on the consistency of oily buttermilk (sorry).  Add vegetable broth and stir.

Add liquid to dry ingredients and fold in. Spoon mix into baking pan, cover with foil, and cook at 350* until warmed through.  If it gets too dry as you cook, add a little more veggie broth.  After thoroughly warm, remove foil and continue cooking until top browns, visible liquid evaporates, and stuffing “sets” enough.  Time depends on what else you have going in the oven and the depth of the pan.  I would expect at least an hour covered and another 15-20 uncovered. Do not try to make a double batch in 1 pan unless you have time to cook it for at least 2 hours.


Vegan Holiday Mashed Potatoes

This is a boring mashed potato recipe with extra fat for special occasions.

  • 5 lb chopped potatoes (peeled or not)
  • ½ cup vegan butter
  • ½ container vegan cream cheese
  • unsweetened soy milk as needed
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Chop potatoes (skins off) and put on to boil. When potatoes are tender, drain. Add cream cheese and butter and mash, adding soy milk as needed. Salt and pepper to taste.


Cranberry Relish

  • 1 lb fresh cranberries
  • 1 naval orange plus 1 T of orange zest
  • 1/2 cup raw sugar

Place cranberries in a food processor and chop until fairly fine.  Add oranges and pulse until shredded and mixed.  Stir in sugar.  Chill and serve!


Vegan Spinach Dip

  • 1/2 cup vegan mayo
  • 1 cup vegan sour cream
  • 1 lb spinach, chopped (either fresh or use 1 10 oz package frozen spinach, thaw, and squeeze out water)
  • 1/2 onion, finely diced
  • 1 small can water chestnuts, diced (optional)
  • 2 t dill
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1/2 t turmeric
  • * or you can skip the onion and spices and just use a packet of onion soup mix!

Mix and chill overnight. Serve with bread or pita points.


Vegan Pumpkin Cheesecake

Adapted from recipe at 40 Aprons

  • 2 cups spiced wafer or ginger snap crumbs
  • 5 tablespoons vegan butter or margarine melted
  • 1 cup sugar 
  • 3 8-ounce containers Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese 
  • 1 cup firm or extra firm tofu
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 15-ounce can pumpkin purée 
  • 2 T cornstarch
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon clove
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

Melt the vegan butter and stir into cookie crumbs. Press into a springform pan or pie pan about halfway up the sides. Bake at 375º F for 5-6 minutes. Remove from oven.

Lower the oven temperature to 350º F. Place Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese in a food processor and pulse a few times, until quite soft. Add cornstarch, sugar, vanilla extract, pumpkin purée, tofu spices, and lemon juice, and process until smooth.

Pour mixture into prepared crust and bake for about 45 minutes, or until top sides begin to turn slightly golden-brown. The center will not set but will firm up later in the fridge. When finished baking, remove from the oven and let cool to room temperature. Refrigerate until chilled.


Vegan Shortbread Cookies

  • ½ cup almonds, walnuts, or pecans
  • 1 ½ cups flour
  • 2/3 cup  sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp almond extract
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 14 T vegan butter

Pulse the almonds and sugar in a food processor until mixture resembles sand. Add remaining ingredients and pulse until combined. Add flour and pulse until a soft dough forms.

Divide dough among mini muffin cups, using about 2 measuring teaspoons of dough per cup. Flatten each cookie with a damp finger and sprinkle with sugar.

Bake cookies at 325* for 8-12 minutes, depending on size. When done the cookies will be golden brown on the edges and bottoms, and be just starting to color on the tops.

Cool cookies about 10 minutes for them to firm up before removing them from the pans. Cool to room temperature before eating.

Veggie Bean Barley Soup in the Pressure Cooker

Image of barley soup in a ladle.
Soup Season!

I love soup in the cold months, especially on a rainy day. Do you? This hardy soup is easy and can be frozen, as well. It can be cooked in a pressure cooker (or Instapot) or a standard pan.

Ingredients

  • 10 cups of vegetable broth or water and broth mix
  • 1.5 cup uncooked barley
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced (sauté in the olive oil if desired)
  • 2 cans canned diced tomatoes
  • 2 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 zucchini’s, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons of dried parsley
  • 1 bag of frozen corn kernels
  • 3 cups cooked navy beans (or 2 cans)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Process

Sauté onions in olive oil if desired. Add onions, oil, and other ingredients except corn, beans, salt and pepper to the pressure cooker. Bring to high pressure and cook 10 minutes. Lower temperature to low and bring pressure down. Add corn and beans and continue to simmer until cooked. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Delicious!

Apple, Persimmon, Cranberry Crisp

 

When two friends show up with gifts – one with persimmons and one with apples, it must be time to make a pie!

Ingredients

Filling

  • 5 persimmons, peeled and sliced
  • 4 apples, peels and sliced
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 3 tablespoons turbinado sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ginger
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest

Crumble

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup oats
  • 8 tablespoons vegan butter
  • ½ cup turbinado sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Process

Mix all filling ingredients and place in a deep pie pan or baking dish.

Mix all crumble ingredients and cut butter in (or mix and pinch with hands) until evenly distributed and sprinkle over the filling mix (note: I pressed it down a little too much on this one).

Bake at 400* for 35 minutes. Add time until the crumble is browned.