Vegetarian Turkey Recipes
Meet the Turkey
When one is vegetarian --or more strict yet, vegan-- the major holidays present a dilemma if you are having people over to dine, or joining others elsewhere. Vegetarian turkey recipes are everywhere now, as are rather price-y store-bought versions of faux turkey. If you are a vegetarian/vegan going out to family or friends' for Thanksgiving, say, why not try some of the recipes here and take your own fake bird along to share. If you are hosting a dinner that will include vegetarians, you might want to leave some space on your table for Tom's tofu twin. Have fun trying out a couple of the following turkey analogue recipes before the big event! I would suggest that you cut the recipe ingredients in half or even to a quarter for the trial run. Have a family panel give you some feedback on what they think of the experiments before you bake them up on the big day.
Vegan Tofu Turkey Recipe
"Couldbee Turkey" (Raw Vegan- No Tofu)
- 1 C. Almonds
- 1 C. Almond Butter
- 2 medium Tomatoes
- 1 C. Zucchini
- 1/4 tsp. Sage
- 1/2 tsp. Kelp (or other sea vegetable powder)
- Extra-virgin Coconut Oil
- 2 C. Celery
- 2 C. Carrots
- 1 C. Yellow Squash
- 1 T. Fresh Parsley
- 1 T. Flaxseed Meal
In a blender or food processor, whirl up 1 C. of Almonds into meal. Combine with the Almond butter in mixing bowl. Peel and finely chop the Tomatoes into the bowl. Shred Carrots, Squash and Zucchini into the bowl. Dice the celery fine. Add 1 C. to your blender and liquify. You may strain through a nut-milk bag, or just add puree to the bowl with other ingredients. Knead together until it resembles a stiff dough-like consistency. Add more Almonds or Flaxseed if the dough is too thin. Press the mixture into a coconut-oiled pan and chill. Serve on a bed of lettuce with cranberry sauce.
**This is an adaptation of the "Almost Turkey" recipe in Recipes for Life from God's Kitchen by Rhonda J. Malkmus, Hallalujah Acres Publishing, 2002.
How to Make Tofurky® Introduction to "Tour"
Preparing Store-bought Tofurky®
Tofurky® is a popular brand of commercial tofu turkey that is made of organic tofu (from, non-Genetically Engineered organic soybeans) by Turtle Island Foods, Inc. On their company site they state that they do not add preservatives, MSG, or other artificial ingredients to their products and they are kosher and vegan. Turtle Island Foods, Inc. is a family owned and operated companyinHood River, Oregon. I once bought a tofurky but didn't really know how to prepare it so it is handy that Expert Village offers the following series of videos showing how to prepare the Tofurky® for Thanksgiving (or Christmas).
Follow the videos on preparing the Tofurky® down the right of the page in order and learn how to make a complete meatless holiday meal.
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What does a Vegan Eat?
In case you are not sure, a vegetarian can be someone who eats NO animal products or by-products (including dairy, eggs, fish, chicken, shrimp, or animal products in dressings, cakes, etc. ) in which case they are called vegan(pronounced vee-gun or vay-gn) whereas there are quite a few variations in vegetarians-- some may eat eggs and dairy (called ovo-lacto vegetarians) and some may actually eat a little fish or chicken along with their largely vegetarian fare. Raw vegans do not eat vegan fare that has been heated above 118 degrees. Like vegetarians, 'raw vegans' have their range of differences as well-- some will not eat any condiments, for example, and some will partake of olive oil and honey. Some are closer to being 'fruitarian' which means they eat a lot of fruits (example: the usual fruits as well as avocado, cucumber, pumpkin, seeds, and nuts, and other produce that is considered the "fruit" of the plant it goes on). It is probably a good idea to check with your guests at time of inviting to see who eats what these days-- potlucks can generally take some of the challenge out of the situation, but it's nice if the hostess can provide some of the larger, expected foods at the table (for example, the turkey and the fake turkey).
Vegans have made the choice for the way they eat for different reasons. Many are concerned about the welfare of animals in general, and at Thanksgiving, they are especially concerned about the plight of turkeys in factory farms like you see in this brief (thankfully) video by PETA. Believing "you are what you eat", other vegans are more focused on the health benefits of eating an organically-grown, locally-farmed, plant-based diet. Most vegans have at least some philosophical tie to a belief in the connection between vegan diet and lifestyle and the sustainability of our planet.
The Soy Controversy
I have included a raw vegan fake turkey recipe because there are many people who do not consume soy products.
There are those who do eat soy, but with caution, eating only small amounts of soy foods (eg., miso, tempeh, tamari) that contain soy beans that are (1)not genetically engineered and (2)are organically-grown and, often, (3)that are naturally fermented in the traditional ways.
There are vegans who will not touch soy, stating that even if it is organic and non-GMO, that it depresses the thyroid and can cause cancer.
This is a very confusing debate since there are societies that have been eating soy for generations seemingly without deleterious effects, and there are studies that show that many people (babies included) are very allergic to soy products. Here is an article that gives a pretty good look at both sides of the controversy and allows you to make your own informed decision in the matter.
Turkeyless Turkey (Raw Vegan, No Tofu)
adapted from the recipe by Valya and Sergie Boutenko
Page 81 of Eating without Heating
This is a pretty rich raw vegan dish, just for the holidays! You will need to be on top of things and soak the nuts before you go to bed so they are ready the next day... I use mason jars to soak mine.
- 1/2 pound almonds, soaked overnight
- 1/2 pound walnuts, soaked overnight
- 1 pound carrots, finely grated
- 1 medium onion
- 1 T. raisins
- 1 T. hempseed or flaxseed oil
- 1 T. caraway seeds or fennel seeds, ground
- 1 T. Italian Seasoning
- Celtic Sea Salt or Kelp to taste
Combine all ingredients and blend in a food processor. If the mixture is not
firm enough, add one or more of the following to thicken: dill weed, dried garlic, dried onion, dried parsley flakes, nutritional yeast, psyllium husk powder, ground flaxseeds.
Form into drumsticks, sprinkle with paprika or freshly ground black pepper just before serving.
Have You Ever Cooked A Fake Turkey?
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Why Eat Turkey at Thanksgiving Anyhow?
We have all (outside the United States, I mean) heard that the Pilgrims had a great nosh-up of wild turkey when they celebrated their first, and subsequent, thanksgivings in New England. And this is why we eat turkey every year at Thanksgiving. Well, according to what I read online, in 1621 when the Plymouth Colonists and the Wampanoag Indians sat down together at the table for their first Thanksgiving feast, they had the possibility of a whole hoard of critters to gorge on: wild turkey, yes, but also lobster, seal, eel, goose, duck and cod fish. Are we absolutely certain that they didn't just fill their tummies with Indian corn pudding and wild goose? Goose is said to have been the contemporary celebratory foul-- Queen Elizabeth the first is rumored to have gobbled down goose as the Spanish Armada sank, and when she was given the 'good news' of this, she ordered a second goose. There is speculation that the roasted turkey replaced the English roasted goose because the turkey was just so much more abundant in the New World. In 1943, Norman Rockwell painted the picture called "Freedom from Want" that appeared on the cover of the Saturday Evening Post . It seems that Herbert Hoover's 1928 presidential slogan promising "a chicken in every pot" got bloated up a little as this grand turkey on every family's holiday table. Americans related to the turkey imagery as a sure sign of "abundance" in their nation, something to be thankful for. Europeans, however, saw the turkey as a symbol of American imperialism and over-consumption of world resources. For Americans, and Canadians as well, the turkey at Thanksgiving was a touchstone in all family gatherings. There were games and rituals that just focused on the turkey (such as 'getting the Pope's nose' and 'pulling the wishbone') until, seemingly, the spiritual associations between the turkey and Thanksgiving for plenty just morphed into this thing called "Turkey Day".
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Cranberry Sauce Recipe
What would turkey be without cranberry sauce? I feel just the same way about fake turkey-- it should still have a lovely cranberry sauce or cranberry relish to go with it. The humble cranberry is a healing berry. Did you know that the flavenoids in cranberries is said to inhibit bacteria from sticking to the walls of the bladder? (but if you are drinking cranberry juice, consume only the unsweetened variety because refined sugar, high fructose corn sugars, and sugar facsimiles will only promote more bacteria to form). There is also some indication that cranberries have a compound in them that will prevent the build-up of plaques in the arterial walls, thus preventing cardiovascular disease. Is that amazing or what?
CRANBERRY SAUCE RECIPE
This recipe is tangy and delicious, on tofurky, etc., but also as a pancake sauce!
- 1- 12 oz. package of frozen cranberries (do not thaw)
- 1 large apple of any variety
- 1/2 C. fresh orange pieces, including the peel (washed)
- 1/3 C. liquid raw honey or drops of Stevia to taste
- Place frozen berries in a blender and whirl up, a few at a time (so they don't get pureed entirely). Pour blended berries into a bowl and set aside
- Place all the orange slices in the blender and add the liquid raw honey or stevia. Whirl up together with cranberries
- Peel and grate the apple into the orange-cranberry mix
- Put the sauce in the fridge and chill for at least 1 hour
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I Miss Turkey Leftovers! (Not)
I was a young matron in the day of 1001 Ways to Use Up Left-Over Turkey and I have some distinct recollections of feeling ill after the turkey tetrazzini, turkey sandwiches, turkey soup run of trial recipes. We stopped cooking turkey back when one son claimed to be allergic to chicken and turkey and the other one went vegan. Now that I have seen that sad video about the factory-farmed turkeys, I know that I definitely won't be lapsing and snarfing a turkey sandwich when out for lunch.
Too, one is more apt to get a food-bourne disease from turkey that has been left out on the counter overnight (listeria or salmonella for example) than from a nut-carrot based turkeyless turkey. (not that I am suggesting that you should leave any food out in a room over night).
However you choose to celebrate Thanksgiving, have a happy, safe and connected time with your family and friends!
And for Dessert...
- 4 Great Pumpkin Cookie Recipes - Vegan and Gluten-Free
Here are 4 great pumpkin cookie recipes that are vegan and gluten-free: healthy and tasty for the holidays!
- Harvest Recipes for Mini-Carrot Cakes and Easy Curry Carrot Soup, Vegan and Gluten-Free
Two delicious healthy recipes for harvest carrots: mini-carrot cakes and easy carrot curry soup. Both recipes are Vegan (egg-free, dairy-free) and Gluten-Free.