Saturday, September 25, 2010

Faux Turkey Breasts with Mashed Parsnips and Potatoes

This is my tester Thankgiving meal. Well kinda...of course I will add a lot more than just two sides. Mostly, I just wanted to test out the turkey recipe. Last year I had only been vegan for 4 months when Thanksgiving came around and I had no idea how to make my own turkey. I saw recipes online where you combine a lot of tofu, mold it and steam it but it didn't sound right to me. So I ended up buying a Tofurkey but promised myself that next year I would make my own.

These turkey breasts are so good and really not that complicated to make. The added spices, especially the sage, filled my house with the warm aroma of Thankgiving. The only thing is that they are really fragile. So when I tried to move them from the baking sheet to a plate, a piece of the end broke off on one. I had to be really careful with them and take each one out slowly using a spatula. I'll be attempting this recipe again sometime before Thanksgiving. Maybe next time with a little wheat gluten to help keep it from breaking apart so easily. But for now, these worked out just fine : ]

Faux Turkey Breasts
Makes 8

* 1 pound tempeh
* 12 ounces water-packed firm tofu, drained
* 1/3 cup yellow miso
* 3 Tb Dijon Mustard
* 1/4 cup plus 2 Tb canola oil
* 2 large onions, finely chopped
* 3 Tb Holiday Herb Mix ( Recipe Below )
* 1 1/2 tsp sea salt
* 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1. Using a food processor fitted with a shredding disk, shred the tempeh and tofu ( the mixture will appear crumbled ).

2. In a small bowl, stir the miso and mustard to blend. Set the tempeh mixture and miso mixture aside.

3. Heat the 1/4 cup oil in a large, heavy frying pan over medium high heat. Add the onion and saute for 8 minutes, or until translucent.

4. Stir in the herb mix, salt, and pepper, then stir in the tempeh and miso mixture. Saute for 8 minutes, or until golden brown. Set aside until cool enough to handle.

5. Preheat the oven to 350 F and brush 1 Tb of the oil over a heavy, rimmed baking sheet.

6. Use your hands to shape the tempeh mixture into eight patties, using about 3/4 cup for each; make oval patties that are 4 to 5 inches long, about 3 inches wide, and tapered at one end to resemble chicken breasts.

7. Arrange the patties on the prepared baking sheet and brush the remaining 1 Tb oil over the patties.

Prepared up to this point, the patties will keep for 2 days, covered and refrigerated.

8. Bake for 35 minutes, or until golden and heated through.

Holiday Herb Mix
Makes 3 Tb

* 1 Tb and 1 tsp dried sage
* 2 tsp dried marjoram
* 2 tsp dried rosemary
* 2 tsp dried thyme
* A twist or two of freshly ground black pepper

1. Stir all the ingredients in a small bowl to blend.

Mashed Parsnips and Potatoes
Serves 6

* 2 pounds potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes
* 1 pound parsnips, peeled and coarsely chopped
* 1 cup unsweetened plain soymilk
* 2 Tb olive oil
* 1 tsp sea salt
* Pinch of freshly ground black pepper

1. Pour enough water into a large pot to come 1 inch up the sides. Set a steamer basket in the pot, cover and bring the water to a boil over high heat. Place the potatoes in the basket and steam for 20 minutes, or until very tender.

2. Transfer to a large saucepan and mash until smooth. Cover and set the potatoes in a warm place.

3. Meanwhile, use the same method to steam the parsnips for 20 minutes, or until very tender.

4. Add to the potatoes and mash until smooth.

5. Place the saucepan over low heat and stir in the soymilk, olive oil, salt and white pepper. Cook for 5 mintues, or until heated through.

6. Transfer to a bowl and serve.


  1. Your photography is perfect!!! All the food looks really decadent.

  2. Sounds like a great idea! I had no idea you were such a new vegan. You've done and learned so much in such a short time.

  3. What a good idea to do a Thanksgiving trial run for your new dishes. I bet even in need of some tweeking, this is better than Tofurkey.

  4. I haven't yet found a good faux turkey for Thanksgiving. I like that you are starting early to find a winning combo. Now if I could only bring myself to be so proactive.

  5. How did I miss this? It looks so good, Jacklyn. I'm going to show it to Cauldron Boy to see if he wants me to make it:)...

  6. I'm glad I won't have to resort to Tofurkey now! Thank you, m'dear!

  7. Great idea to do a test-run so that there are no bad surprises on the big day. Your turkeys look so convincing, and in a good way! Looks like it will be one awesome meal, and you're inspiring me to step up my game here!

  8. oh, come on! Gotta give a shout out to the originator of these recipes: Ann Gentry of Real Food Daily! I love sharing other peoples recipes, too but please give's the right thing to do!