Saturday, November 15, 2008

Holiday Roast Roll

I've adapted this recipe to gluten-free and tested it on my family. I'll post
the recipe as I prepared it and then add a note at the end, telling of what I
will do differently for Thanksgiving dinner this year. This is festive and
delicious! It sounds much more difficult to prepare than it actually is.

Tofu Roll:

2 lbs (900 g) firm tofu, not silken
4 Tbsp (1/4 cup) cornstarch
2 Tbsp (6 tsp) nutritional yeast
2 tsp powdered agar
1 1/2 tsp onion powder
1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt

3 1/2 cups 'Herbed Stuffing' (recipe to follow)

You'll also need: parchment paper, plastic wrap, and aluminum foil.

1. In a food processor, puree all roll ingredients, stopping to scrape down the
sides, as necessary. Mixture will be fairly stiff; don't add liquid. Preheat
oven to 350 degrees F (175 C).

2. On a work surface, lay down two 16-inch (40 cm) long pieces of plastic wrap,
over-lapping them about 2 inches (5 cm), lengthwise. Spoon tofu mixture onto
plastic wrap and spread out into an 8 x 12-inch rectangle, about 1/2 inch
(1.25 cm) thick. Make sure thickness is even all around.

3. Lay a third sheet of plastic wrap on a work surface, and on it mound the
stuffing, forming it into a roll about 11" (28 cm) long. Carefully transfer
the stuffing roll to the center of the tofu rectangle (eliminating plastic

4. Now is the time to summon an assistant. With one person on each end of the
plastic wrap, bring the two sides together. The tofu will meet over the top
of the stuffing roll, encasing it. Gently press together and smooth out any
places, including ends, that have stuffing showing through; twist and tie
ends with twine to seal.

5. Securely wrap roll in 2 layers of aluminum foil, making sure no plastic is
exposed. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Remove
from oven, let cool in wrappings, and refrigerate until 1 hour before

6. To serve, carefully remove aluminum foil and plastic. Wrap with fresh foil,
place on a baking sheet, and bake at 350 F (175 C) until heated through,
about 30 minutes. Remove foil and transfer roll to a serving platter.
Decorate as desired. (Nice decorated with portobello mushroom slices and sage
leaves). Serve with mushroom gravy.


Herbed Stuffing (recipe):

1 large onion, diced
1 Tbsp (3 tsp) vegetable oil
3 celery ribs, diced small
1 Tbsp (3 tsp) dried sage
1 tsp chopped rosemary
1 tsp caraway seeds
5 cups bread cubes (I used gluten-free cornbread, tapioca and rice breads)
1/2 to 3/4 cup vegetable stock (I used water and Chicken-style seasoning)
salt(and pepper)

1. In a large skillet, or Dutch oven over medium heat, saute onion in oil,
stirring frequently, until golden, about 15 minutes.

2. Stir in celery, sage, rosemary, and caraway seeds and continue cooking for
about 2 minutes.

3. Add bread cubes and toss to combine.

4. Turn off heat and slowly add vegetable stock, tossing to combine, until
mixture is moistened. Season to taste with salt and pepper.


*** Generally I don't use plastic wrap in baking, nor do I allow aluminum foil
to come into contact with food. I decided to follow the instructions given, but
to add several layers of parchment paper between the food and the plastic wrap.
I'm not sure this really protected us from the dangers of baked plastic, but I
decided it was "once a year" and we would probably be okay.

*** Next time I will add more flavoring to the tofu mixture. It was a bit bland
(although we did not serve it with gravy, which would help). The flavor and
texture was great, but I think it needed more onion powder, garlic powder, and
some Bragg's Liquid Aminos. We don't use pepper either, so omitted it from the

*** The stuffing was delicious, but it didn't stick together enough to satisfy
me. I think gluten bread crumbs become doughier. Next time I'll add either a
flax gel or tapioca/potato starch to the stuffing. The stuffing recipe contains
a bit more than the tofu mixture may with to leave about 1/2 cup of
the stuffing mixture out of the filling.

*** The end result is beautiful! This makes a rolled "log" of "skin" that looks
like a regular vegetarian roast. When sliced it makes beautiful rings of shell
and stuffing inside. I think cashew gravy would be a delicious addition to this

*** I'm quite delighted to find a recipe that is vegan, gluten-free, and FESTIVE
for the holiday table!

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