The holidays are rolling quickly towards us and with them come festivities with family and friends and the inevitable foods of celebration. Unhappily the traditional foods we prepare at this time of year are not usually at the top of the healthy check list.
Whatever holiday you may be celebrating, the centerpiece of your meal is often a golden-brown stuffed turkey. Sometimes it is hard to forsake such a long-standing and delicious custom. Our family finds it easy to avoid the turkey itself when we can have all the other delicious items that go with it. On the day of the big feast we brew up our savoury vegan gravy to enhance our favourite vegetables and, most importantly of all, we make stuffing and cook it outside of a turkey. Voila! A delectable and satisfying dinner to share with family and friends without the animal-based foods that we no longer eat.
Here is our recipe for plant-based stuffing.
PLANT-BASED “TURKEY” STUFFING
Makes about 12 cups
12 slices whole wheat bread or 12 whole wheat dinner rolls
2 medium onions, chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
3 stalks celery, chopped in small pieces
5 or 6 mushrooms, chopped in small pieces
2 tsp poultry seasoning
2 tsp sage
2 tsp thyme
Wine or apple juice
Tear bread or buns into small pieces and place in a large mixing bowl.
In a heavy frying pan, heat a couple of tablespoonsful of wine or apple juice mixed with a couple of tablespoonsful of water.
Over medium heat, sauté onions, garlic, celery and mushrooms until softened (about 5 minutes), adding wine/water mixture when needed to keep bottom of pan moist. Add spices. Continue sautéing while stirring to mix spices in. Add 2 to 3 tbsp soy sauce.
Continue sautéing a few more minutes until mixture is just starting to brown.
Add vegetable mixture to bread pieces and mix together well.
Taste and adjust spicing to your liking.
Spray your “turkey” (a large casserole dish that has a lid) with spray oil. Place stuffing in dish and cover.
Bake about 1 hour at 300 degrees.
Remove the lid for the last ten minutes of baking for a crispy brown crust.
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