Thanksgiving is right around the corner and I am completely in denial about it! I cannot believe how fast this year has gone by, in less than 2 months it’s going to be 2019, insane! But, whether I like it or not, the holiday season is upon us. For me, the holiday season means only one thing: cooking, and lots of it! I really love making holiday meals, even if it’s usually just me and Brady. On Thanksgiving we usually have one or two friends from Brady’s work over for dinner, but Christmas is just the two of us. That doesn’t stop me from cooking like we have a house full of people though! I love going all out for these holiday meals: Appetizers (yes, plural), mashed potatoes, gravy, meat(less)loaf, roasted veggies, stuffing, fresh baked rolls and at least one dessert (even though I end up being the only one who saved room for dessert).
See, when I was growing up, the holiday season was a time for my big family to get together and eat lots of delicious food. After I met Brady, the holidays became about spending time and eating with his huge family first, and then going to spend time (and eat more food) with my big family. *I thought I had a big family when I was growing up, but then I met Brady’s family and realized what a big family really was.* So, when Brady and I moved away from our families (we grew up about 10 miles away from each other in Northern California) we had to start our own traditions, and I got to create my own holiday menu.
My menu has changed over the years, especially since going vegan, but there has always been one Thanksgiving constant: stuffing. My mom always made really great slow cooker stuffing, and would put her Portuguese twist on it by adding linguiça (literally the only thing I miss since going vegan). Naturally, when it came time for me to make my first Thanksgiving meal, I too made stuffing in the slow cooker. If I’m being honest, I’ve rarely make stuffing in the oven (I make it in the oven pretty much only for non-holiday meals), but I truly think the slow cooker is the way to go. I mean, think about it: frees up space in the oven, quick and easy to throw together, lessens the stress around dinner time. Why wouldn’t you use the slow cooker? But, if you are lucky enough to have free space and/or time, this stuffing is also fantastic in the oven (which is why I have included directions for the oven AND the slow cooker)!
This stuffing is especially delicious because it has all the flavors of fall: squash, brussels sprouts, mushrooms and warming herbs. Combing those tasty flavors with the an easy recipe makes this stuffing a must-have at every holiday table.
Festive Fall Stuffing (With Slow Cooker Option)
- 10 ounce bag of plain stuffing bread cubes
- 1 large onion, diced
- 10 ounces sliced mushrooms
- ½ small butternut squash, de-seeded and diced (or 10 ounces)
- 10 ounces quartered brussels sprouts
- Vegan butter or plastic slow cooker liner
- 16 ounces silken tofu
- ½ cups low sodium vegetable stock
- 1 tbs corn starch
- 1 tsp black pepper
- ½ tsp dried rosemary
- ½ tsp dried thyme
- ½ tsp dried parsley
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp dried sage
- 2-3 cloves of garlic
In the Oven:
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Generously butter a 9×13″ baking dish with vegan butter and prep all of your veggies. In a large well oiled skillet, begin to cook your veggies (just enough to get a little color and get some of the moisture out). Add partially cooked veggies to a large bowl along with bread cubes. In a blender, blend all of the Tofu Custard ingredients together until smooth and pour over veggies and bread cubes. Mix well, and transfer to baking dish. Cover with foil and bake for 35 minutes, then remove foil and cook for 5-10 minutes (until stuffing is completely set. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving.
Generously butter the inside of the slow cooker or add a liner. Prepare all the veggies and add them, and the bread cubes, to the slow cooker. In a blender, add all the batter ingredients and blend until smooth. Add the batter over the top of the stuffing, give it a good stir and cover. Optional: add about 5 tsp vegan butter to the top of the stuffing. This just gives it that extra decadent touch to the stuffing. Yum! Cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 4 hours. Check halfway through and add more vegetable stock (no more than another ½ cup) if it is looking dry. When the stuffing is done, allow it to cool for about 10 minutes before enjoying.