Tofurkey and Pumfurkey

Posted by – November 13, 2017
Categories: Food & Nutrition

A newbie to the world of vegan cooking, I was admittedly a little bit (okay, really) intimidated by the holy grail of vegetarian Thanksgiving: the To-furkey. But I needn’t have been! The recipe below is easy to follow and, as author Crystal June Maderia points out, is a great one to cook with kids. This particular to-furkey packs a powerful nutritional punch, incorporating superfood (and supertrendy) seaweed. If you’re not up for tofu, or if you have dietary restrictions, plop the stuffing into a pumpkin or squash for a festive soy-free adaptation. For more great recipes from Crystal, check out The New Seaweed Cookbook.


Vegan To-furkey with Brown Rice and Amaranth Stuffing and Miso Gravy


  • 1 stem celery, finely chopped
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ cup mushrooms, finely chopped (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
  • 1½ cooked brown rice
  • 1 cup cooked amaranth
  • 1 tablespoon fine orange zest
  • ½ cup soaked arame
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 small apple, diced
  • ½ cup parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons lemon thyme, minced
  • 2 tablespoons wheat-free tamari (or substitute)

*If your local grocery store doesn’t stock amaranth, you can substitute quinoa or another gluten-free grain.


  • 4 pounds fresh firm or extra-firm tofu, pressed and drained
  • 1 teaspoon agar powder
  • 1 tablespoon fresh summer savory, or 1 teaspoon dried
  • 2 tablespoons zesty peck (recipe below)
  • 2 tablespoons arrowroot powder
  • 1-3 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons wheat-free tamari (or substitute)
  • ½ cup kombu dashi
  • 2 shallots, roasted


  • 3 tablespoons arrowroot powder
  • 3 cups kombu dashi or vegetable broth
  • wheat-free tamari (or substitute) to taste
  • 1 cup mushrooms, diced (optional), or 1 tablespoon dried shiitake mushrooms ground into a powder (optional)
  • ⅛ cup miso
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil

Zesty Peck:

  • ¾ cup fresh rosemary
  • ¾ cup fresh sage
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon thyme
  • 2 heads crushed garlic (¼ cup)
  • ¼ cup dried sea palm fronds
  • 1 tablespoon crushed black peppercorns
  • 3 tablespoons organic lemon zest
  • ¼ cup smoked dulse

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Before you start, drain and press your tofu (I used a full tea kettle).

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To make the stuffing:
Sauté the celery, onion, garlic, and mushrooms in the cooking oil on medium-high heat until the onions are translucent. Add the rice, amaranth, orange zest, arame, and water. Cook until the liquid is absorbed. Remove from the heat and add the apple, parsley, thyme, and tamari. Set aside. Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a baking dish with baking paper.

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To prepare the tofu base:
Use a food processor to crumble the tofu. Add the agar, savory, Zesty Peck, and arrowroot powder, and blend well. With the processor running, slowly add enough water until the tofu mixture is smooth. Line a colander with cheesecloth or muslin. Pour ⅔ of the tofu mixture into the lined colander, spreading on all sides and on the bottom to a thickness of ⅔ of an inch and let rest for 15 minutes. Pour the cooled stuffing into the tofu-lined colander and cover with the remaining tofu mixture. Gently invert the stuffed tofu into the baking dish and remove the cheesecloth. Pour the tamari, dashi, and shallots into the pan as well, and place in the oven. Bake for 1 hour, basting every 15 minutes with liquid from the bottom of the pan.



*If you’re using a pumpkin:
Scoop out the pumpkin guts; I suggest saving the seeds for a tasty snack. Skip the tofu base and stuff your pumpkin (or squash), then roast. I did mine at 375°F.

Before serving, make the gravy:
Make a slurry with the arrowroot powder, ½ cup of the dashi, and tamari, and set aside. Remove the shallots from the baking pan and cook with the mushrooms (if using) and bring to a simmer on medium-high heat. When the liquid has reached a simmer, lower the heat and add the arrowroot slurry, stirring constantly. The gravy will be cloudy at first, but as the arrowroot is heated it will thicken and turn clear again. Remove from the heat. Add the miso and blend well, making sure that all of the miso is combined. Season with fresh pepper to taste. Just before serving, drizzle the to-furkey with sesame oil. Serve with baked sweet potatoes, roasted cauliflower, and steamed kale.



Tags: Recipe Vegetarian & Vegan Crystal June Maderia
About the Author

North Atlantic Books (NAB) is an independent nonprofit publisher committed to a bold exploration of the relationships between mind, body, spirit, culture, and nature. Founded in Vermont in 1974 and operating in Berkeley since 1977, NAB has been at the forefront of publishing a diverse range of original books in bodywork and somatics, ecology and sustainability, health and healing, Indigenous cultures and anthropology, psychology and personal growth, social justice and engaged activism, and spirituality and liminality. NAB’s Blue Snake Books imprint is one of the largest sources of internal and historical martial-arts books in the world.