Prep & Cooking Time: 70 mins
Cooling: 45-60 mins
Tools: Food Processor, 9″ Spring Form Tin, Mixing Bowl
Hey everyone! Did you have a great weekend?? As we approach mid-December, doesn’t it just feel like one giant memory game of recalling all of the mundane errands, cleaning and end of year tasks you still have to do… including some seasonal meal prep?!
With only twelve days to Christmas, most people probably will have some idea of what they will be cooking. We had a chin scratch a few weeks back and knew that we wanted something a little ‘different’ from last year’s menu. We happened to come across the quirky ‘Tofurky’ that is making an appearance around cyberspace… have you seen it? It has a jaw-dropping effect, but not because it looks like the most delicious piece of faux meat you have ever laid your eyes on. No, it’s ridiculously expensive! Tofurky, No ‘fanky’! At £35 for a stuffed tofu log, (yeah that’s a lot of money for fermented beans and rice right?!), we never even gave it a second thought. I don’t even think that we’ve even paid that much money for meat (back in the day!) let alone tofu… but it did get our creative juices flowing!
We trialled a couple recipes, one being a pie (it was epic!), but have decided on this lovely and simple baked tofu loaf; our goal was to nestle it next to some tasty trimmings and then top it all off with a delicious gravy- which we did! The loaf is healthy (but that’s a given!), a little time consuming but not difficult… and we think that this is the most important thing here. Christmas dinner shouldn’t take you ten minutes to cook, but nor should it be overly expensive, contain five thousand calories or require the skills and planning of a Michelin star chef and his team! It should encompass great food and conversation, enjoyed with the people that you love… which won’t happen if you have to spend most of the day in the kitchen! In fact, for complete cooking ease, you could make this loaf a couple of days in advance and reheat it on Christmas day! The only negative point about this recipe is that you need a food processor or perhaps a hand-held stick blender as the tofu needs to be silky smooth!
It’s important to note that this recipe has fourteen staple ingredients, which may sound like a lot but it isn’t! We haven’t listed fourteen spices and/or ingredients that are only sourced at health food shops! These ingredients are not too obscure or expensive (relatively) and together they help to form the foundations of this round tofu loaf! Ultimately the additional seasonings and flavours are up to you! As tofu goes, it always needs seasoning and as you won’t be marinating it, you’ll need to decide on a few key flavours that you enjoy. We were happy with the ones that we used, but have highlighted (below) on how we will be adapting some of them on Christmas day! We have listed numerous suggestions for you to try- make it great! One suggestion is ‘just think big’; a half teaspoon of salt and one tablespoon of dried herbs won’t cut it! You need to increase your portions to carry the flavour all of the way through!
Continue to watch this space! Throughout the week we’ll be posting our tasty sides and sauces to help make a well-rounded and delicious plant-based Christmas that everyone can enjoy!
Happy cooking everyone! 🙂
Need an easy-print recipe? Print here. 🙂
- Drain and press the tofu between two heavy plates or chopping boards for 30 mins to express any excess water.
2. In the meantime, wash the quinoa in a sieve under cold running water for 30 seconds to help remove some of its bitterness and then cook it according to the packet instructions. NB: Ours took 15-20 mins to cook.
3. If applicable, create some breadcrumbs. Tip: We toasted some delicious chia and soya-based bread and then created some in our food processor!
4. Meanwhile, peel and dice the garlic. Wash, trim the ends and finely slice the spring onion. Wash, remove the stem and core and then dice the bell pepper. Wash, peel, trim the ends and then finely grate the carrot. Wash, trim the ends and then dice the celery.
5. Heat 1 tbsp of rapeseed oil a non-stick frying pan over a medium-low heat (or spray it with some low-fat cooking oil). Add the garlic, spring onion, bell pepper, carrot and celery. Gently fry for 3 mins or until softened. Remove from the heat.
7. Prepare the ‘flax eggs’. Place 2 tbsp of ground flaxseed into a small bowl with 6 tbsp of water. Mix together. Leave for 5 mins to set. Next, wash the sage and thyme, remove the leaves from its stem and then roughly chop them. Wash and dice the chives.
8. Meanwhile, drain off the excess water from the tofu. Pat it dry with some kitchen paper. Crumble it into a food processor. Add 2 tbsp of DF milk. Process until the tofu becomes smooth and ‘mousse-y’.
9. Assemble the loaf!
Step 1: Transfer the tofu mixture into a large mixing bowl.
Step 2: Add the flax eggs, fresh herbs, cream cheese and your desired seasoning & flavourings!
Step 3: Mix until thoroughly combined.
Step 4: Add the vegetable mixture. Fold it through with a spatula. Taste and season it as necessary.
Step 5: Add the breadcrumbs (flour or stuffing mixture!) and the cooked quinoa (or rice).
Step 6: Fold it through and thoroughly combine.
10. Transfer the tofu mixture into the greased tin. Use a spatula or some grease proof paper to help press the mixture snugly into the base of the tin and flatten the surface as much as possible. Tip: The mixture will be a bit sticky, but just lightly flour your hands if necessary!
11. Place it onto the middle oven shelf and bake for 40-45 mins or until it’s’ lightly browned, firm to touch and the edges are slightly coming away from the tin!
12. Remove from the oven. Allow to cool in the tin on a cooling rack for 45- 60 mins. It stays warm for a very long time so you have plenty of time to prepare your side dishes and/or gravy! NB: In our trial run we were able to roast some tasty sides and prepare a sauce in that time it took to cook and set. 🙂
…Whilst your waiting for your tofu to bake, check out our first ‘Christmas meal attempt’! Alex wanted me to to post it (haha)! It’s a shame I didn’t take a picture when Alex first laid eyes on it- priceless! It’s was a monster (12×9″); it certainly ain’t no ‘pixie pie’!
It reminds me of something that would be on the table if #AdamRichman ever came to our house! baha! This pie ended up in the reject pile, not because it tasted horrible (it had three layers of tasty ingredients!), but because it was a tad too fiddly…at least for Christmas dinner. The inspiration came from the combination of an encroute and coulibiac! It’s the perfect example of what you can accomplish when you set your mind to something! If anyone wants the recipe, just send us a message. If we get enough interest we might turn it into a post, not that we are condoning pie-eating on a regular basis (everything in moderation right?!), but we have a long winter ahead (wink, wink)!
Now for the baked and cooled loaf…
Garnish it with anything and everything Christmassy and enjoy with numerous tasty sides!
Refrigerate any leftovers in an air-tight and resealable container; reheat and consume within five days.