Enlightened Thanksgiving Roast*
Marie Oser

The Enlightened Kitchen

Thanksgiving marks the beginning of the Holiday Season, a time of year when wishes of Peace and Good Will and gift giving are the order of the day. If you are interested health-supporting options this holiday, there is delicious alternative. What better gift for those you love than a delectable and HEALTHFUL holiday meal? You can enjoy a delicious holiday feast and all the fixings with less than 1 gram of saturated fat per serving. How? Create this bountiful, meatless Thanksgiving meal that is delicious, easy to prepare, as satisfying as the traditional meal, and extremely cost effective!

The Enlightened Thanksgiving Roast is an enticing centerpiece that turns five pounds of firm tofu into an outstanding meal with 12 hearty servings. The finished roast is very tasty and has great texture and eye appeal. Tofu, you say? Yes...and you wouldn¹t know it. With a little advance preparation you can prepare this ³meaty² roast with relative ease.

The tofu is crumbled into a colander that has been lined with cheesecloth, and set up to press in the refrigerator, overnight. It is important to choose a very firm, water-packed tofu and to use a ³nesting² procedure when setting up the colander and bowls. That means placing the largest bowl on the bottom, the colander suspended above, and a third bowl fitting into the colander and topped with a heavy object; pressing the tofu into a firm shape. I like to use two, unopened 26 ounce jars of tomato sauce, laid side-by side.

The crumbling and pressing technique, coupled with a flavorful basting mixture, and a delicious stuffing, produces a delectable roast with all the flavor and texture you expect from a holiday entree. You may prepare this meal the day before and reheat before serving. I really think it is even better the second day. Serve with Enlightened Brown Gravy and jellied cranberry sauce.

Enlightened Thanksgiving Roast*
*from The Enlightened Kitchen, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., © Marie Oser 2002
12 Servings

5 (16 oz. pkg.) firm, water packed tofu
1 1/2 tsp. olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped, with leaves
1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
2 oz. portobello mushrooms, diced
1 (10 oz. pkg.) cube herb stuffing mix
1 cup vegetarian ³chicken² broth, boiling
2/3 cup dried cranberries
1/2 tsp. dried sage

Basting mixture
2 Tbsp. mellow white miso
1/3 cup dry sherry
1/2 cup tamari
2/3 cup fresh orange juice
1 cup vegetarian ³chicken² broth
1 tsp. dijon mustard
1 tsp. granulated garlic

Brown Gravy
2 Tbsp. olive oil
3 Tbsp. whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups vegetarian ³chicken² broth, boiling
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
1 tsp. granulated garlic

Drape cheesecloth over a 12² colander, allowing the sides overlap, set over larger, bowl, Set aside. Mash tofu thoroughly, crumble into prepared colander and fold cheesecloth over top. Position a deep bowl inside the colander over cheesecloth and weigh it down with at least 5 pounds. Place in refrigerator overnight. FOLLOWING DAY:
Prepare stuffing:Heat oil in a large saucepan, over medium high heat. Add garlic, onion, celery, pepper, and mushrooms. Cook mixture 5 minutes, add stuffing mix, broth, cranberries and sage. Stir to moisten, remove from heat and set aside.
Prepare basting mixture: Blend miso with sherry in a liquid measuring cup. Add tamari, juice, broth, dijon, and garlic. Blend, and set aside.

Preheat oven to 400°
Oil spray baking pan lined with foil. Remove top bowl, weight and uncover cheesecloth from tofu. Scoop out a portion of the tofu to 1 inch shell, Fill the hollowed shell with stuffing, reserving extra to bake separately. Cover with remaining tofu and pat down firmly. Place baking pan over colander, face-down. Invert, turning the stuffed tofu onto baking sheet, flat side down. Baste with a third of the mixture, cover roast with foil, and place in oven. Bake for 1 hour, remove foil, baste with half of remaining mixture. Bake uncovered for one more hour, basting again halfway through.
Make the gravy: Heat oil in a medium saucepan 1 minute over medium high heat, Add flour and stir to form a paste. Lower heat and gradually add broth, stirring constantly. Add nutritional yeast and garlic. Stir frequently. Remove Roast and set aside for 10 minutes. Slice into wedges and serve with gravy and additional dressing.

Enlightened Thanksgiving Roast
Nutrition Analysis: per 2 cup serving with stuffing and gravy
Protein 25g, Carb 41g, Fiber 5g, Fat 12 g, Chol. 0 mg, Calcium 215 mg Sodium 1081mg
Calories 370,
Calories from Protein:27%, Calories from Carbohydrate:44%, Calories from Fat:29%

Traditional Thanksgiving Turkey
Nutrition Analysis: per 2 cup serving with stuffing and gravy
Protein 70g, Carb 28g, Fiber .7g, Fat 38 g, , Chol. 213 mg,, Calcium 101 mg, Sodium1211 mg
Calories 757
Calories from Protein:38%, Calories from Carbohydrate:15%, Calories from Fat:47%

Notes on Ingredients:
Tofu-High in protein, rich in phytochemicals, and cholesterol free, tofu¹s ability to absorb flavors make it a very versatile ingredient. Widely available at health food stores, and supermarkets.
Vegetarian Chicken Broth-Broth powder available at health food stores and http://www.healthy-eating.com
Nutritional Yeast-Delicious flakes that are high in protein and B vitamins and add a rich, cheese-like flavor, and creaminess. At health food stores and http://www.healthy-eating.com
Mellow White Miso-Pale beige in color with a subtle, sweet fragrance this highly versatile miso has a rich, creamy texture. Available at health food stores and Asian markets, and many supermarkets.

Marie Oser is a bestselling author, co-host and on-camera chef at www.VegTv.com. Her latest book is The Enlightened Kitchen, John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Marie is the host of the Vegsource interactive board Soy Talk. and can be reached at VeggieChef.com