Thanksgiving 2014: Baked Rosemary Pecan Tofu with Homemade Gravy, Shredded Brussels Sprouts, Twice-Baked Corn Bread Stuffing & Orange Cranberry Sauce


Thanksgiving 2014 is almost here! This is my practice run and my contribution to the vegan Thanksgiving universe. There are so many menus to choose from and so many possibilities including past ones on this blog.

This year, I created a new cornbread stuffing based on my Great Grandma Leeza’s but better because the cornbread is homemade and gluten-free. I also made a lovely rosemary pecan crust (which could easily be used on tempeh and on any night of the week) and instead of the usual roasting of the Brussels sprouts, I shredded them and cooked them on the stovetop. Gravy and orange cranberry sauce round out the meal.

Our sweet, savory, memorable, traditional, and comforting Thanksgiving meal is our way of celebrating thankfulness. And this year we adopted a flock of turkeys! Check out this amazing way to save a bunch of turkeys.

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Notes: These measurements serve 4 to 6 people. The cornbread should be made the day before. Both the cranberry sauce and gravy can be made ahead of time. I chose to make the Brussels sprouts on the stovetop so all of my kitchen stations were being utilized and everything was ready at the same time.

Rosemary Pecan Tofu
1 package of extra firm tofu
Flour, about a 1/2 cup
Vegan milk, about a 1/2 cup (use unsweetened vegan milk)
2 cup pecans
2 sprigs of rosemary

Press the tofu for as long as you have time for and then cut it into 8 rectangles.

Take the rosemary off the sprig and place in the food processor with the pecans. Process until they are a fine meal. Set up a breading station by pouring each element into a bowl.

1 – flour
2 – vegan milk
3 – rosemary pecan mixture
4 – lined baking sheet for crusted tofu

Dredge the tofu in the flour, then the milk, and then the pecans. Place on the baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes in a 350 oven.

New Year’s Day Gravy (makes about 1 cup)
1/2 cup apple juice
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons tamari
1 sprig of rosemary
2 to 3 tablespoons chickpea flour (or other flour)
2 to 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast (or more, to taste)

Place ingredients into a pot and bring to a boil. Whisk together until the gravy is thick. If it gets too thick, add water.

Twice-Baked Cornbread Stuffing
I use 3 cups of the cornbread for the stuffing. Save the rest for later. I also use corn flour for this version because I like that is (a) gluten-free and (b) kind of crumbly.

1 cup cornmeal
1 cup corn flour
1/2 cup vegan sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 flax eggs (1 flax egg = 1 tablespoon ground flax + 3 tablespoons water)
1 cup vegan milk
1/4 cup oil

Preheat the oven to 400. Make the flax eggs.

Mix the cornmeal, corn flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Add in the flax eggs, milk and oil. Mix well.

Pour into a small baking dish and bake for 20 to 25 minutes.

1/2 onion
1 leek
2 cloves of garlic
2 stalks of celery
2 carrots
2 tablespoons dried herbs (sage, marjoram, rosemary, thyme)
1 sprig of fresh rosemary
1/4 cup fresh parsley
Salt, to taste
3 cups cornbread

Sauté the vegetables in oil or water with a pinch of salt until all are soft. Rub the dried herbs in between the palms of your hands and then add to the vegetables. Finely chop the parsley and mix into the vegetables.

Break up the cornbread into a crumble and mix with the vegetables.

Turn out into baking dish and press down. Bake in a 350 oven for 30 minutes or until the top starts to brown.

Orange Cranberry Sauce
2 cups of fresh organic cranberries
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup maple sugar
The zest of 1 orange

Bring to a boil. You will start to hear the cranberries start to pop, lower the heat. Then use a spoon to press out all of the cranberries that haven’t popped. The sauce will get thick. If you like the texture, stop here. I like it super smooth, so I put the sauce through my Foley food mill to take out all of the skins.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts
1 dozen small Brussels Sprouts
2 shallots
1 tablespoons grapeseed oil
Big pinch of salt

Shred the Brussels sprouts. Thinly slice the shallots. Place into a saucepan with the oil and a pinch of salt. Bring up the heat and cook until the mixture smells great and starts to brown.

Plate it up and enjoy!

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