DELICIOUS TV’S CRISPY SAVORY TOFU CUTLETS

14-ounce package extra firm organic tofu, drained and pressed dry

3 tablespoons non-GMO organic corn starch

3 tablespoons nutritional yeast

1 tablespoon Kosher salt

Organic high-heat canola or other vegetable oil

Cut the pressed tofu into slabs, place them on a clean dish cloth, and pat dry. Sprinkle Kosher salt on a small plate, then combine corn starch and yeast on another small plate. Dredge the tofu slabs first with the salt, then with the corn starch-yeast mixture.

Heat ¼ inch of oil in a large, well-seasoned cast-iron skillet and when it’s hot but not smoking, add the coated tofu slabs. Be careful not to burn yourself – the moisture in the tofu can cause it to spatter when it hits the hot oil.

Don’t try to move or stir the slabs until they’re starting to brown – this takes about 5 to 7 minutes. Fussing with the tofu slab can cause them to break apart. You want to sear them.

When the tofu can be easily moved with tongs, a spatula or by shaking the pan, it’s OK to turn the pieces over to brown the other sides. When the slabs are crispy brown on both sides, remove from pan.

Serve hot with cranberry sauce on the side and vegan “trimmings” like bread stuffing, mashed potatoes and salad. Leftovers also make a great sandwich. Serves 4.

CHRIS MCCLAY’S ULTIMATE SHEPHERD’S PIE

This was one of the dishes served at the recent all-vegan Gentle Thanksgiving potluck.

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 large onion, chopped

1 large carrot, chopped

4 ounces mushrooms, chopped

1 tablespoon tomato paste

2 tablespoons tamari

1 cup vegetable broth

1 teaspoon fresh marjoram (or ½ teaspoon dried)

1 teaspoon fresh thyme (or ½ teaspoon dried)

4 veggie burgers (such as Amy’s brand), thawed and chopped

½ cup peas

¼ cup ground walnuts

3 cups mashed potatoes

Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and carrots and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add mushrooms and stir occasionally for 3 minutes. Stir in tomato paste, tamari, vegetable broth, marjoram, thyme and salt and pepper. Take off heat and spoon filling mixture into a 2½-quart casserole dish. Stir in veggie burgers, peas and walnuts. Top with mashed potatoes and place in oven. Bake until potatoes are hot and bubbly and the top is golden brown, about 30 minutes.

AVERY YALE KAMILA’S PUMPKIN SEED CROQUETTES

3 cups cooked sweet brown rice

2 cups salted pumpkin seeds (if you can’t find salted, use unsalted and add a teaspoon of sea salt)

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 medium onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 tablespoon tamari or soy sauce

1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

½ cup water

3 cups organic carrots, grated

1 tablespoon fresh sage, chopped

1 teaspoon dried organic celery seed

1 teaspoon dried organic basil

BASTE:

½ cup olive oil

½ cup tamari or soy sauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Add pumpkin seeds to food processor and pulse a few times. Then add olive oil, garlic, tamari, sesame oil and water. Mix until it has a creamy texture. If it’s too sticky, add more water. Mix pumpkin seed mixture in a bowl with brown rice, carrots and seasonings. Mix until well blended. Saute onion until caramelized, and add to pumpkin seed mixture.

Oil a baking pan. Take roughly a ½ cup of the mixture into your hands and form a ball. Then roll it into an oblong croquette. Press the croquettes onto the oiled baking pan.

Once the pan is full, whisk the baste ingredients together and brush it over each croquette. Place the pan in the oven and bake for 45 to 60 minutes. Baste the croquettes after 20 minutes. Serve with mushroom gravy and cranberry sauce. Makes 20.

PARKVIEW ADVENTIST MEDICAL CENTER’S RAW PUMPKIN CHEESECAKE

CRUST:

1 cup raw pecans

1 cup dried flaked coconut

¾ cup dates

Generous pinch of sea salt

FILLING:

3 cups raw cashews, soaked for at least 3 hours

¾ cup raw agave nectar

½ cup fresh carrot juice

1/3 cup fresh lemon juice (from 2 to 3 lemons)

1 cup virgin coconut oil (any consistency is fine)

½ teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon vanilla extract, or seeds scraped from a 1-inch vanilla bean

½ teaspoon nutmeg

½ teaspoon ginger

¼ teaspoon allspice or ground cloves

Zest of half a lemon

32 ounces cooked pumpkin

In a food processor, process pecans and coconut until fine but not oily. Add dates and sea salt, and process again, scraping down the sides as necessary. The crust is ready when it holds together when pressed against the side; if necessary, add water by the teaspoon until it does. Tumble mixture into 9-inch round pan covered with plastic wrap, and pat into the bottom, or use the bottom of a glass to press the crust firmly into the pan. Set aside.

Combine all filling ingredients in a blender and process until completely smooth, scraping down the sides as necessary. This may take several minutes. Pour filling onto prepared crust. To release bubbles, tap the bottom against a counter several times, then run a knife through the mixture in a figure-eight pattern. Smooth the top.

Transfer to the freezer, and chill until firm and thoroughly cold. This may take up to several hours.

To serve, gently lift the plastic overhang and transfer to a platter. Ease out the plastic from underneath. Using a small offset spatula, smooth creases from the sides. Cut with a sharp knife, rinsing it with hot water between servings to ensure perfect slices. Makes 15 to 20 servings.