Animal People holiday recipes

From ANIMAL PEOPLE,  October 2013: (Actually published on November 20,  2013.)

ANIMAL PEOPLE holiday nut roast

Mix together: 2 pounds of firm tofu, mashed well 2 cups of coarsely chopped walnuts (Other nuts may be substituted, such as sunflower seeds or pecans.)   Thoroughly blend in:   1/4 cup of soy sauce 2 teaspoons thyme leaves 1 teaspoon basil leaves 2 tablespoons of dried parsley or 1/2 cup of chopped fresh parsley 1 finely chopped onion 1 teaspoon minced garlic (Seasonings may be altered to choice.  For example,  a teaspoon of sage may be added,  or you may add more garlic)   Finally,  add:   1 cup of dried breadcrumbs 1/2 cup of whole wheat flour   Mix all ingredients well.  Turn into oiled pan(s) and form into a 1-inch thick loaf.  Rub the top of the loaf with a very thin coating of olive or other vegetable oil.  Cover the pan(s) with foil, and bake for one hour at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Take the foil off the pan and cook about 10 minutes longer,  until the top of the loaf is browned.  The loaf tastes best when crispy. Serve with cranberry sauce, applesauce,  or apple butter.  Good with vegetarian gravy and cornbread dressing (you can adapt any traditional recipe by simply substituting vegetable broth or water for the customary meat broth).

Vegan cornbread

Mix dry ingredients: 1 cup white flour 3 Tablespoons sugar 3 teaspoons baking powder 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 cup corn meal Mix wet ingredients: 1 cup of soy milk 1/4 cup vegetable oil   Stir the two mixtures together until fully moistened.  Turn batter into oiled square or round cake pan.   Bake 20-25 minutes,  until just brown,  at 350 degrees.

ANIMAL PEOPLE festive tofu roast  (serves 15-20)

Start with six pounds (96 ounces) of extra firm tofu—the type sold in plastic wraps,  not in tubs of water.  If you can only obtain tofu that is sold in tubs of water,  you will have to mash it up well,  put it in a cheesecloth-lined colander,  put a heavy (5-pound) weight on it, and leave it for several hours (or overnight) so that as much water as possible drains out of the tofu. Do not freeze the tofu,  as that will change the texture of it so that it will not bind to the oil and soy sauce that will be mashed into it. Finely mash the tofu with your hands along with 10 fluid ounces of toasted sesame oil and 6 fluid ounces of soy sauce. Lightly oil the bottom of a large baking pan with toasted sesame oil (pan size at least 12” wide by 17” long and 3” deep). Shape the tofu mixture into a 2” deep loaf in the baking pain, leaving enough room between the tofu mixture and the sides of the pan for a quantity of the oil to cook out. Place the pan in the top half of the oven so that the bottom of the roast does not become overly crisp.  Do not cover the pan. Baste the top and sides of the roast with a mixture of two fluid ounces of toasted sesame oil and 4 fluid ounces of soy sauce three times,  at intervals of 30 minutes (in other words,  after the roast has baked 30 minutes, then after it has baked 60 minutes,  and then after it has baked 90 minutes,  after which it will bake a final 30 minutes). Bake a total of two hours in a preheated 350 degree oven. After taking the roast out of the oven,  let it cool for about 10 to 15 minutes and then lift it out of the baking pan using spatulas and a cookie sheet to slide under it so that the roast doesn’t break up while being lifted.  You can serve the roast on the cookie sheet or slide it onto a more elegant platter.   ––Kim Bartlett

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