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A delightful alternative to turkey that works well with all the traditional trimmings.

VEGGIE-KEY – serves 8 to 10

Group I – Bean and Grain Mixture

  • 3 cups cooked lentils (retain excess cooking water) (1 cup dry)
  • 3 cups cooked brown rice (slightly mushy)
  • 1 cup wholewheat bread, crumbled
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats or cornmeal (uncooked)
  • 1/4 lb. butter, melted
  • 1 cup walnuts, finely ground
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds, finely ground
  • 1/3 cup tamari

Group II – Garbanzo Beans

2 cups cooked garbanzo beans (optional) (2/3 cup dry, cooks in 2 hours)

(retain excess cooking water)

Group III – Stuffing Mixture

  • 1 tablespoon mustard seeds
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 bunch celery, coarsely chopped
  • 6 cups wholewheat breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon savory
  • 1 tablespoon sage
  • Dash of black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons tamari
  • 8-ounce can of water chestnuts, thickly sliced (optional)
  • 1 cup mung bean sprouts (optional)

Group IV – Tofu Covering

  • 8 pieces of tofu, fairly firm
  • 1/4 lb. of butter melted
  • paprika

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Step One: Combine all ingredients in Group I. Make sure all ingredients are well mixed together. Use your hands or a large mixing spoon. You could use a blender or food processor, but it might make the mixture too liquid. Set mixture aside.

Step Two: In a separate bowl, mash garbanzo beans into a thick, mushy consistency. (This can be done in a blender or food processor with a minimum amount of liquid; use water beans were cooked in.)

Step Three: Assemble Group III ingredients as follows: Melt butter, sauté mustard seeds until they pop; add celery and saute until soft. Add breadcrumbs and enough water to moisten (use water leftover from cooking beans). Cook for another 5 minutes, then add seasonings. Remove from heat and add water chestnuts and bean sprouts, if desired. (Note: When adding water to mixture on stove, be careful to add it slowly and check to see if enough has been added a minute or two later, since the bread will take a brief time to absorb the liquid.)

Step Four: Putting it all together: Put a thin layer, about 1/2″ thick of the bean and grain mixture on a greased baking pan. Then mound handfuls of the stuffing mixture on top of this, patting into a rounded mound, or any other desired shape. Then take handfuls of the remainder of the bean and grain mixture and pat between hands until flat, and then place over the stuffing, sealing it in entirely. Then take the garbanzo bean mixture and, in a similar fashion, place over bean and grain mixture.

Step Five: Moving on to Group IV ingredients: Take the tofu pieces and cut thinly widthwise, place tofu on top and all around mounded ingredients, using toothpicks to hold it in place. Pour melted butter onto the tofu (or spread with a pastry brush) and sprinkle with paprika. Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Then remove foil and bake another 15 minutes so tofu can slightly crisp, Serve with vegetarian gravy and all the Thanksgiving fixings.

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