A Meatless Thanksgiving

Cranberry Compote
Tofu "Turkey" with Stuffing
alternate for stuffing
Tofu Whipped Cream
alternate for whipped topping
Posole (Native American Thanksgiving)
Sweet Potato Pie
Vegetable and Rice Stuffed Pumpkin
Sweet Potatoes with Persimmons
Hot Spiced Pineapple Tea
Poached Pears
Pumpkin Risotto
Quick Sweet & Tangy Squash Soup
Cranberry Apple Relish
 Squash and Apple Bake


The Food Forum

Title: Cranberry Compote

1 1/2 c Water
1/2 c Sugar
3 md Ripe pears; peeled
12 Dried apricots
2 Seedless oranges; peeled, sectioned
3 c Cranberries; 1 12 oz bag

1. Cut pears and oranges into 1/2 inch pieces. Cut each apricot into 6 pieces.
2. In a large saucepan, bring the water and sugar to a boil, stirring the mixture occasionally.
3. Stir in pears and apricots, reduce the heat, and simmer the fruit in the uncovered pan for 5 minutes.
4. Stir in the oranges, and continue simmering the fruit in the uncovered pan for 2 minutes.
5. Stir in the cranberries, and cook them over medium heat in the uncovered pan for 5 minutes, stirring the compote occasionally.


Title: Tofu "Turkey" with Stuffing

5 lb Firm tofu

2 T Toasted sesame oil
1 lg Onion, chopped fine
1 And 1/3 cup celery, diced (about 4 stalks)
1 c Mushrooms, finely chopped
3 To 4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 c Sage (may use 1/8)
2 t Marjoram
2 t Thyme
1 t Winter or summer savory
Salt and pepper to taste
1 t Rosemary
2 t Celery seed
1/4 c Soy sauce or tamari
3 c Pepperidge Farm Herb Stuffing

------------------------------BASTING MIXTURE------------------------------
1/2 c Toasted sesame oil
1/4 To 1/3 cup soy sauce or Tamari
2 T Miso
2 T Orange juice
1 t Mustard of choice
1 lb Tofu for the "drumsticks"

Mash tofu or mix well with hands. Be sure that all of the lumps are out. Line a 12" colander with wet cheesecloth over lapping the sides. Add the mashed tofu to the cloth covered colander, press down and cover with the overlapping sides. Place the whole thing in a large bowl. Cover the cheesecloth with a plate that fits inside the colander and place a 5 pound weight on the plate.
Refrigerate and let sit for 2 to 3 hours.

When time is up, start the stuffing. Saute' the onions, celery and mushrooms in the 2 tablespoons sesame oil. When soft, add the garlic and all the rest of the stuffing ingredients, except stuffing, mixing well.

Stir and cook for 5 minutes. Add herb stuffing and mix well.

Remove tofu from fridge and take off weight, plate and top of cheesecloth. Hollow out tofu to within 1 inch of the sides and bottom, placing the tofu in a bowl. Place the stuffing inside the shell and pack in firmly. Cover with the remaining tofu and pat down firmly. Turn stuffed tofu onto a greased baking sheet, flat side down. Gently press on sides of "turkey" to achieve a more oval shape. If desired at this point, you may mold "drumsticks" out of one pound of tofu, and place on each side of the "turkey".

Mix up the basting mixture and baste tofu "turkey" with half of it. Cover the "turkey" with foil, and bake at 400 degrees for about 1 hour.

Remove foil, baste with all the remaining mixture except a few tablespoons and return to oven for 1 hour more, or until the "turkey" is golden. Remove from oven and use rest of basting mix. Using at least 2 large spatulas, move to a large plate. Serve with the gravy of your choice, if you wish, and cranberry sauce. Tastes good leftover (if there is any!) in sandwiches or plain.


(alternate for stuffing....

Title: Stuffing

1 c Chopped onions
1/2 c Pureed onions
2 c Chopped celery
1 c Pureed celery
1 c Chopped or grated carrots
1 lb Fresh mushrooms or 8 oz
Canned mushrooms, sliced
2 T Dried parsley
1 t Poultry seasonings or more to taste
Ground black pepper to taste
Ground sage to taste
1 lg Bag of Pepperidge Farms Whole wheat/white bread mix stuffing cubes (no without seasonings)
Vegetable broth to add moisture, if needed (about 1 cup)

Heat onions, celery, carrots, mushrooms and spices/herbs in a large pot until it all boils. Simmer for about 5 - 10 minutes or until the chopped onions are translucent. Cool for 10 minutes, then add the stuffing mix. Mix well, adding vegetable broth if necessary for moisture. Place in a big covered baking dish and cook in a preheated 350 oven for 30 minutes. Taking the cover off during the last 10 to 15 minutes should get you a crusty top for the stuffing.

Variations: you can add some of that vegetarian Italian sausage that comes in links, browned first, to the mix for a more traditional taste. And chopped apples, chopped spinach or any other vegetable you like can probably be added.


Title: Tofu Whipped Cream

1 lb Soft tofu
1 T Vanilla extract
1/4 c Sugar
1/4 c Soy milk

Combine tofu, vanilla, and sugar in a blender or food processor and process until smooth. With the machine running, gradually add the soy milk through the feeder cap. Refrigerate until serving time. It will keep for a week, but can also be frozen.


(alternate whipped topping....

Title: Silken Tofu Whipped Topping

10 1/2 -oz package extra-firm or Firm tofu, reg. or low fat
2 To 4 Tbls. sweetener of your choice
2 T Lemon juice
1/4 t Vanilla extract
1/8 t Salt
1/8 t Almond extract
Soymilk as needed

Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor and process until very smooth. Add more soymilk a teaspoon at a time if the mixture is too thick; blend well. Place in a covered container; refrigerate until chilled.

Makes 1 3/4 cups


Title: Posole (Native American Thanksgiving)

2 lg Cans of hominy
3 or 4 cans of vegetable broth or stock
2 or 3 green chiles (roasted and peeled)
1 lg  onion, diced
3 or 4 large carrots, diced
3 or 4 stalks of celery, diced
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 t Each oregano, garlic, cumin
1 T Chile powder
Fresh cilantro, minced, (2 Tbsp)

Yet another appropriate Thanksgiving dish is Posole, which is indigenous to the Native American southwest. Posole is really considered most traditional around Christmas time and is always served New Year's Eve and/or New Year's Day for good luck. However, Pueblo peoples have made posole for generations and it is a staple winter dish.
Sauté the onions and celery until the onion is transparent. This can be done with water and veggie stock or with spray-type coatings. Dump everything else in and bring to a low boil. Simmer until you like the texture. The hominy should be really soft, almost to the break-up-and-really-form-a-thick-stew stage.

Serve posole with cornbread and a crisp green salad. If you wish to add any animal protein, the original recipes call for pork or ham or chunks of turkey work.


Title: Sweet Potato Pie

2 c Cooked mashed sweet potatoes
5 Egg whites, slightly beaten (or egg substitute)
1 c Brown sugar (granulated)
1 t Cinnamon
1 t Nutmeg
1/4 t Allspice
1/2 t Vanilla
1/2 t Salt
1 c Evaporated skim milk or Low-fat sweetened condensed Milk

------------------------------PHYLLO PIE CRUST------------------------------
4 t Sugar (optional)
1 Box Phyllo dough

------------------------------OPTIONAL TOPPING------------------------------
1 c Chopped roasted chestnuts

Preheat oven to 425. Lightly spray 2 pie pans with nonstick cooking spray.

FILLING: use a pressure cooker to cook the sweet potatoes until very soft and not stringy.

Mash very well. (use a regular mixer)

Combine sugar, spices in a little bowl. Last add vanilla with the spices and then mix into the potatoes.

Beat your egg whites and mix it in with the potato mixture. Slowly mix in your evaporated skim milk and set aside.

CRUST * take the entire stack of phyllo sheets from the box. Turn pie pans over and cut the entire stack to the appx. circumference of the pan to end up with a stack of circular dough.

Quickly, (dough dries out very fast and sticks together) layer 1 or 2 sheets of phyllo on each of the pans, spray very LIGHTLY with non-stick cooking spray and sprinkle with sugar and repeat until crust is the thickness you desire. (For 2 pies I used all the phyllo dough in the box)  moisten fingers to seal the edge of the crust and crimp as with a "normal" crust.

Cover edges of crust loosely with foil.

Pour filling into the phyllo crust. Sprinkle chopped chestnuts and cinnamon on top if desired.

Bake for 15 minutes at 425. Reduce temperature to 350 and bake for about 30 minutes more.


Title: Vegetable and Rice Stuffed Pumpkin

1 Pumpkin (14 or 15 inches in diameter) or 2 smaller ones
4 T Sugar
2 T Tamari sauce
1 c Water
1/2 lb Fresh shelled chestnuts
1/4 c Un-sulfured raisins
1/4 c Un-sulfured apricots, chopped
1 Granny Smith apple, chopped (or any tart apple)
1/2 c Walnuts, broken but not too Small
1 Stalk celery, chopped
1 md White onion, chopped
1 md Red onion, chopped
1 cn Corn, drained
1 md Sweet green pepper, chopped
1 md Sweet red pepper, chopped
1 md Zucchini squash, chopped
1 md Yellow squash, chopped
2 md Fresh jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced
2 c Cooked brown basmati rice
1/4 t Mace
1/4 t Tumeric
Black pepper
1/2 t Cinnamon
4 T Tamari sauce

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Wash pumpkin and cut off the top, angle the cut so that the top will fit back on more easily, use a big spoon to scoop out strings and seeds. Mix sugar and 2 tbs. tamari sauce (you can warm them in the microwave so they will mix more easily ) and spread evenly over insides of pumpkin. Line the bottom of a large pan with single piece of aluminum foil folded over itself 3 or 4 times, pour 1 cup water in pan, place top back on pumpkin and place in baking pan, cover the pumpkin and the pan with foil. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until pumpkin is just starting to become tender, the thicker the pumpkin the longer it will take.
2. Steam the nuts for about 15 minutes. Rinse them in cool water and slip off the brown skins. Chop chestnuts coarsely.
3. Combine chestnuts with raisins, apricots, apple, walnuts, celery, white and red onions, corn, green and red pepper, jalapeno peppers, mace, tumeric and rice, mix well. Add the 4 tbs. tamari and mix again.
4. Dust the inside of the pumpkin with the cinnamon. Pack the pumpkin with the filling and replace the pumpkin top. Return pan to oven, add water to cover the bottom of the pan and bake for 45 to 55 minutes.
5. If you are going to serve the pumpkin on something other then the pan it was cooked in BE CAREFUL. The bottom of the pumpkin may be VERY soft. Wrap the foil from the bottom of the pan up around the pumpkin as you pick it up, this will keep the bottom intact.

When serving this recipe, scrap the inside of the pumpkin with the serving spoon and mix the pumpkin into the stuffing.

If you have leftovers do not leave it in the pumpkin. Remove the filling and scrape out the pumpkin and store in your refrigerator. Tastes great the day after.


Title: Sweet Potatoes with Persimmons

1 c Water
1 lb Fresh sweet potatoes, peeled & cut
1/2 c Sugar
2 Persimmons, sliced
Juice of 1/2 lemon and lime

Put all ingredients into saucepan and cook, stirring occasionally, until sweet potatoes are done and medium syrup is formed.


Title: Hot Spiced Pineapple Tea

2 c Water
2 c Pineapple juice
1 t Whole cloves
2 Sticks cinnamon
1 Lemon, halved and sliced

Heat water and pineapple juice in a saucepan until it boils. Add cloves, cinnamon, and lemon and lower heat. Simmer 10 minutes over medium heat. Remove cloves and cinnamon and serve hot.


Title: Poached Pears

4 Pears, preferably Bosc
2 t Fresh lemon juice
1 c Cranapple juice

Halve, peel, and core the pears. Sprinkle freshly cut pears with lemon juice to prevent browning. Place in microwave-safe dish and cover with cranapple juice. Cover and cook on high 6 - 8 minutes or until pears are fork tender. (Check the pears after 6 minutes; the fresher the pears, the longer they'll take to cook.) Spoon juice over pears, cover, and let stand 30 minutes or refrigerate overnight.


Title: Pumpkin Risotto

3 c Pumpkin flesh, peeled and cubed
4 Shallots, chopped
5 c Chicken-like or veggie stock
2 c Arborio rice (Japanese rice also works)
1/2 t Powdered saffron (optional)
1 c Dry white wine (sub. water or stock)
1 T Fresh sage
Salt & freshly ground black pepper

Wrap cubed pumpkin in foil and bake at 350o for 30 min. While it is baking, sauté shallots in a little white wine, water or stock. In a separate pan, bring the stock to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer. Puree pumpkin and set aside. Add rice to shallots and cook 2-3 minutes over moderate heat stirring frequently. Add wine and saffron and cook, stirring constantly until all the liquid has been absorbed. Add the pumpkin and 1 c stock stirring constantly. After that is absorbed, add the stock 1/2 cup at a time stirring constantly until absorbed until the rice is cooked (about 15-20 min). If you run out of stock add hot water. The risotto should be thick and creamy in consistency and just a little runny. When done remove from heat, add the sage, salt and pepper to taste. If you want to add 1/4 c grated parmesan it would add 1 gram fat/ serving.


Title: Quick Sweet & Tangy Squash Soup

1 Clove garlic (opt)
1 Dsh olive oil
1/4 t Ginger, minced (or more)
1 md Onion, chopped fine
3 c Your favorite stock (2/13oz cans)
1/4 c Brown sugar
1 T White sugar (or more)
1 t Cinnamon
1/2 t Orange zest chopped fine (or more, up to 1 t)
3 Apples, peeled & chopped small
2 pk Frozen cooked winter squash (Green Giant) thawed

Toast the garlic, if used, in a few drops of olive oil. Add the chopped onion, sauté in part of the stock. Add remainder of stock and rest of ingredients. Cook, uncovered, over medium heat until apples have cooked down and soup has reduced to a light creamy consistency.


Title: Cranberry Apple Relish

1 c Sugar
1/4 t Gd cinnamon
1/4 t Gd cloves
1/4 t Allspice
1 lb (4c) cranberries
2 md (2.5c) tart apples, cored & chopped

Mix sugar, cinnamon, cloves and allspice in a 3 qt. microwave pan. Add cranberries & apples. Microwave on high (covered) for 10 minutes - stirring twice till cranberries pop
Uncover - Microwave 2-3 minutes till slightly thickened.


Title: Squash and Apple Bake

2 lb Butternut or buttercup squash
1/2 c Brown sugar, packed
1/4 c Butter or margarine, melted
1 T Flour
1 t Salt
1/2 t Mace
2 Baking apples, peeled, cored - cut into 1/2" slices

Cut each squash in half. Remove seeds and fibers; pare squash. Cut into 1/2" slices. Stir remaining ingredients together, except apple slices. Arrange squash in an un-greased 11-1/2x7-1/2x1-1/2-inch baking dish. Top with apple slices. Sprinkle sugar mixture over top. cover with foil. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 50 to 60 minutes, or until squash is tender.
Serves 6.

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