This year for Christmas Day dinner, I made the same centrepiece as one year ago: seitan turkey roast with wild rice stuffing. This scrumptious vegan dish is similar to commercial products like Tofurkey or Cheatin’ Roast. Only better.
For side dishes, we had stuffing balls; veggie bacon-wrapped sausages; various roasted veggies: potatoes, oca, parsnips, carrots and brussels sprouts; along with braised leeks. All served with homemade turkey-style veggie gravy and lingonberry sauce (which is like cranberry sauce), accompanied by delicious homemade wine from our postman and friend, Hugh.
A vegan feast!
I decided to do the seitan turkey a bit different from last year. The technique of kneading the seitan dough, letting it rest, then kneading it again is rather time-consuming. And I found that it is not necessary to do it this way, as the texture of the seitan is not any different than simply using a basic seitan deli slice recipe. This method involves blenderising the wet ingredients, then stirring in the dry ingredients to make the dough. No kneading and no waiting.
I made the seitan turkey the day before. This meant that on Christmas day all I had to do was wrap the roast in the beancurd sheet (optional, but gives it a nice crispy “skin”) and heat it in the oven. I think the texture is a bit better if the roast is left to rest in the refrigerator overnight, but it isn’t absolutely necessary.
If you don’t want to use beancurd sheet to make a “skin”, I suggest basting the roast so that it doesn’t dry out. There are a few basting suggestions on the Tofurkey site.
I’m posting this seitan turkey roast recipe as the “new and improved” version over last year’s.
Happy Christmas to all creatures!
Seitan turkey roast with wild rice stuffing (version 2.0)
|30g||ground raw cashews or almonds||5 tablespoons|
|1||vegan chicken-style bouillon cube||1|
|(enough to make 2 cups of bouillon)|
|1 tablespoon||soy sauce||1 tablespoon|
|3 tablespoons||mild vegetable oil||3 tablespoons|
|34g||finely chopped onion||1/4 cup|
|2 tablespoons||nutritional yeast||2 tablespoons|
|1 teaspoon||minced fresh garlic||1 teaspoon|
|1 teaspoon||salt||1 teaspoon|
|1/2 teaspoon||freshly ground pepper||1/2 teaspoon|
|1/2 teaspoon||dried sage||1/2 teaspoon|
|1/4 teaspoon||minced fresh rosemary||1/4 teaspoon|
|1/8 teaspoon||dried thyme||1/8 teaspoon|
|160g||vital wheat gluten flour||1 cup + 3 tablespoons|
|1 teaspoon||arrowroot or cornflour (cornstarch)||1 teaspoon|
|40g||wild rice, rinsed||1/4 cup|
|2 tablespoons||vegan margarine||2 tablespoons|
|60g||finely chopped onion||1/2 cup|
|40g||finely sliced mushrooms||1/2 cup|
|1 stick||celery, finely chopped||1 stick|
|90g||fresh breadcrumbs||1-1/2 cups|
|60-120ml||veggie chicken-style broth||1/4-1/2 cup|
|2 tablespoons||dried cranberries, finely chopped||2 tablespoons|
|2 tablespoons||walnuts or pecans, finely chopped||2 tablespoons|
|to taste||salt, pepper, sage, thyme & rosemary||to taste|
|40x50cm sheet||bean curd skin||16×20″ sheet|
|1 tablespoon||mild vegetable oil||1 tablespoon|
|1 teaspoon||soy sauce||1 teaspoon|
1. First, make stuffing. Rinse rice thoroughly with cold water. Bring a small pot of water to the boil, add rice and simmer for 40-45 minutes, until grains are beginning to pop.
2. Heat margarine in a heavy skillet over medium-low heat and saute onion, celery and mushroom until tender, about 5-10 minutes.
3. When rice is cooked, add to the sauteed vegetables along with the breadcrumbs, cranberries and pecans; mix thoroughly. Add enough broth to make the mixture moist but not soggy. Add salt, pepper and herbs to taste. Set dressing aside.
4. If you’re starting with whole cashews or almonds, grind them in the blender first while it’s still clean and dry, then remove and set aside.
5. Crumble the tofu into the blender. Put the bouillon cube in a glass measuring cup and add a couple tablespoons of boiling water to dissolve the cube. Add the soy sauce, then add enough water so the mixture equals 100ml (6-1/2 tablespoons). Add this to the blender.
6. Add remaining ingredients to blender EXCEPT gluten. Blenderise until completely smooth. Empty into a large mixing bowl.
7. Whisk together the gluten and arrowroot or cornflour (cornstarch), then stir into the wet ingredients and mix until evenly combined. You’ll have a soft dough.
8. Place a large piece of cling film (Saran wrap) onto the work surface. Turn dough out onto the cling film and press flat into a 25x38cm (10″x15″) rectangle.
9. Spread stuffing evenly over dough, leaving a 1″ border at the edges. Roll into a log (starting from the short end), then press the ends together to seal. Make sure the log is short enough to fit into your steamer. You can gently press the log into a shorter, fatter shape if it’s a bit too long.
Seitan turkey before rolling
Seitan turkey after rolling
10. Wrap the log in a piece of baking paper (parchment paper), then in muslin and tie the ends with cotton string. If you don’t have baking paper and muslin, feel free to wrap the roast in foil (I personally don’t like to have foil in direct contact with food, but hey, you can live dangerously). If you use foil, use at least a double layer so that the expanding roast doesn’t burst the foil. Also, don’t wrap it super-tight… leave a bit of expansion room.
Seitan turkey wrapped in muslin
11. Bring water to boil in a pot that has a steamer insert. Steam turkey for two hours over gently simmering water, turning a quarter turn every half hour. Check water level regularly to ensure the pot does not boil dry and add boiling water as necessary.
12. The roast can be prepared ahead of time to this point. If preparing ahead, let cool and refrigerate.
13. For “skin” on turkey: Preheat oven to 400F (200C). When finished steaming, let turkey cool until it can be handled. (Or remove from refrigerator if prepared ahead of time.) Unwrap from muslin and baking paper/parchment. Take the sheet of beancurd skin and dip it into a bowl of warm water until it softens. Don’t oversoak it or it will start to fall apart. Fold beancurd skin in half and place on work surface. Place turkey on top of beancurd skin, fold in the sides and wrap around the turkey.
14. Combine oil and soy sauce. Brush over surface of turkey.
15. Bake in preheated oven for 30-45 minutes, rotating halfway through, until “skin” is crispy. Slice and serve with gravy and all the trimmings.
Vegan turkey gravy
|2 tablespoons||soya creamer||2 tablespoons|
|3/4||vegan chicken-style bouillon cube (enough for 1-1/2 cups water)||3/4|
|1 tablespoon||nutritional yeast||1 tablespoon|
|1 teaspoon||soy sauce||1 teaspoon|
|generous 1/8 teaspoon||granulated onion||generous 1/8 teaspoon|
|1/8 teaspoon||granulated garlic||1/8 teaspoon|
|to taste||sage, thyme, salt and freshly ground pepper||to taste|
|2 tablespoons||cold water||2 tablespoons|
|2 tablespoons||cornflour (cornstarch)||2 tablespoons|
1. Bring 310ml (1-1/4 cups) water to a simmer with bouillon cube. Add soya cream, onion, garlic, sage, thyme, salt & pepper.
2. Mix 2 tablespoons cold water with cornflour (cornstarch) until blended.
3. When broth mixture is simmering, slowly whisk in cornflour (cornstarch) mixture, until gravy is as thick as you like it. Continue to gently simmer for another couple of minutes.
Serve with seitan turkey roast.