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Tuesday, November 20

Vegetarian Thanksgivings

If you're following along at home, you know that the House of Mama Stacey is vegetarian.  I didn't officially leave meat behind until 1999, however my mother had one heck of a time with me even as a child.  I had to have my hamburgers made especially thin when my mother made them because if they were too thick, I wouldn't eat them.  I remember telling her they tasted like "blood".  I was probably just tasting iron or something, but it is a strong memory for me.

I had an aunt that went vegetarian in the early 90's and she shared food with me on occasion.  In high school I had a few schoolmates that were vegetarian, but I still had mixed feelings about it.  Like any omnivore, I thought that there couldn't possibly be anything good to eat without meat, even though I wasn't a huge fan of it. 

Vegetarians seemed to haunt me.  Two roommates and a neighbor were vegetarian back when faux meats were still pretty rough.  I remember my neighbor trying to entice me with vegetable sausages packed in can with oil and water.  They looked disgusting and I passed on vegetarianism for 2 more years.  But eventually my destiny caught up with me. 

Doodle Bug was born into it and has only had meat a dozen times [usually by accident or because someone felt that he'd be stunted without it] in his 10 years.  My partner struggles off and on with meat eating as he's from a strong "meat and potato" background.  He's good with vegetarianism at home, but at a restaurant or family functions where meat is available, he's likely to cave to his temptations.

I do not make turkey for Thanksgiving, of course.  But people come for dinner anyway.  I alternate between making a stuffed tofu turkey (similar to the photo to the left) and offering up a frozen faux meat "roast".  I always make my homemade veggie gravy and stuffing along with a varying array of sides like rum cake, yams, cranberry orange relish, scalloped potatoes, etc.

There are dozens of tofu-turkey recipes on the web.  You can even find them on mainstream recipe collections like Allrecipes or cdkitchen.  I tried to find my recipe, but it's missing in action today.  It involves mushing and seasoning tofu, then pressing it into a cheese-clothed strainer for a day.  You fill this tofu dome with stuffing, cover the top, flip, oil and bake.  The outside is cripsy, the "turkey" is flavorful, and the stuffing is super moist.  This is close to the recipe I use.

Our favorite faux roasts, from what is available in our area, are Tofurky and Quorn.

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