Today there are many vegan and vegetarian holiday options available. I see tofu turkeys, naturally sweetened desserts and banks of prepared grains and vegetables, cranberry sauce and mincemeat pies using organic ingredients and no animal food in the bigger health food stores. It's ironic that now, with all that's available, I would never dream of not cooking for the holidays or at any other time. Cooking is too much fun especially at this time of year.
I offer a few of my tried and true holiday recipes. Making the "Holiday Roll" can be fun for the whole family. I only had one quite lame (pardon the pun) photo of the Thanksgiving duck that Corey, my daughter's boyfriend, now my son-in-law, who grew up in Boston, created. I apologize to all ducks.
- 2 cups org. brown rice soaked overnight in 4 c. water
- pinch of salt
- 2 Tablespoons e.v. olive oil
- 1 onion or half a leek, chopped
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 1 apple, diced
- handful of fresh sage, chopped
- half a cup of currants
- half a cup of org. apple juice sweetened cranberries
- dried org. apricots, soaked in apple juice to soften
- half cup almonds or pine nuts
- 1/4 cup grated ginger for ginger juice
For the Covering
- 2 blocks of organic tofu
- 1/2 cup arrowroot flour
- 1 teaspoon each of savoury, sage, rosemary
- soy sauce
- sesame oil
While the rice is cooling, saute the onion in olive oil until translucent. Add the leek, celery and sage. Saute until slightly wilted, then add the chopped apple, dried fruit and nuts. Stir in the rice. Season with shoyu. Grate the ginger on a ginger grater or the fine side of a box grater. Squeeze the pulp (with your hands is best) over the mixture. Set aside to cool down. Taste and adjust seasonings as required.
In the meantime, drain the tofu (wrap it in paper towels and place in a colander), then place tofu in a bowl and mash with your hands and combine with the arrowroot flour and seasoning. You want to end up with a smooth dough resembling playdough.
Tofu is very cooling. It has a cooling effect on the body. That is why it should be taken in small amounts and not very often. Be mindful to not reach for tofu as the fall back position all the time. Pretty soon, as you as kneading the tofu, your hands will start to freeze.
So get your kids to help or work quickly. Or, if you have one, use a suribachi like I did. You still have to use your hands at the end to get the right texture.
Preheat over to 350F, line a baking sheet with parchment and place the filing on the tray. Shape the filling. Then cover with a thin layer of the tofu mixture making sure that the filling is all covered and smoothing over any cracks. Whisk the shoyu and sesame oil (olive oil is okay also) and brush over the roll. Place in the oven and "baste" from time to time. Bake for about 25 minutes until the tofu is cooked and a bit of a crust is formed.
Serve with mushroom gravy.
- 1 pound mushroom, thinly sliced
- 1 small onion or 1/2 leek, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon olive or sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons arrowroot powder diluted in 1/2 cup water
- 1 Tablespoon tahini, diluted with the arrowroot powder
- 1 Tablespoon (or to taste) of org. shoyu
- parsley or green onion for garnish