If you saw my Facebook page over Thanksgiving, you'll have noticed that I'm not a fan of meat analogues. Tofurkey just doesn't do much for me, but what's a veg girl to do when confronted with hungry omnivores for a holiday meal? Enter the Special K roast. I had never heard of it until I moved to Portland, where everyone seemed to have tried it and where everyone had their own version. The version below is mine, adapted to be vegan, but you could also make a rich vegetarian version of this by replacing the tofu with an equivalent amount of drained cottage cheese. The first time I made it, I used brand name Kellogg's Special K, but this year I tried it with whole grain Heritage Flakes. Whole-grain fanatic that I am, I have to admit that the Special K works better because it gets softer and functions better as "glue" for the whole thing. I use onions, celery, and bell pepper (the "Holy Trinity") instead of the traditional onions, celery, and carrots combo (mirepoix) because where I come from that's just how seasoning rolls. And, well, because it reminds me of my mom at this time of year.
1 medium onion, minced
3 stalks of celery, minced
1 bell pepper,* minced
oil for sauteing
1 cup finely chopped pecans
1 cup finely chopped walnuts
2 14 oz. packages of extra-firm tofu
1/2 cup of nutritional yeast flakes
1 12 oz box of Special K cereal
1.5 cups of soy milk**
2 large handfuls of chopped Italian parsley
3/4 tsp sea salt
Bragg's liquid aminos to taste
Saute the onion, celery, and bell pepper until soft. Mash the tofu with a potato masher, and add the remaining ingredients. Mix well. Spray a large casserole dish with oil and spread the mixture flat. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes until the top is brown and crispy. Cut into squares and serve hot. Leftover squares make a great sandwich filling.
*Green bell peppers are a traditional part of the the "Holy Trinity" of Creole cooking, but a red bell pepper is festive.
**Unsweetened soy milk will work best here.