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vegan thanksgiving dressing

Can be made "gluten free"
 Philosophy of this recipe:
This is a "strong, bold" smoked mushroom, walnut dressing.  The idea behind a dressing is that you take your favorite non-overcooked bold, bold soup, then soak croutons, rice, corn tortillas, or whatever medium you would like to soak in the veggies and stock.   The amazing flavor of the "soup" or stock you are making will form the dressing.  It does not have to be exactly like mine....but, mine is really, really good.  The water chestnuts add a great crunch and the flavor is outstanding.  This dressing is mostly vegetables with very little bread (compared to most)

Food processor
large casserole pan for the dressing (lasagna size)
large saute pan  ,  toaster for bread

1/4 cup canola or light oil, and another 1/4 cup light oil for mushrooms
1 each  ,  small onion
4 each  ,  celery stalks
3 each  ,  large carrot stalks, peeled
1/2 cup  ,  minced chives
1  8oz  ,  can water chestnuts, sliced
1 cup  ,  chopped walnuts
5 cups  washed and sliced crimini mushooms  ,  1/4 cup chopped flat italian parsley  ,  2 tsp   smoke flavor (if you do not have a smoker)  ,3 TBL vegan BBQ sauce (i used smokey maple)  2 TBL  thyme  ,  1 TBL   tumeric  ,  1/4 cup nutritional yeast  ,  salt to taste  ,  2 cups of water  ,  1/4 cup  vegan dried bacon bits  ,  6 slices of whole wheat bread (or use whatever kind of bread or soaking medium you would like)

  • Place cut up onion, celery and carrots into food processor and pulse until chopped
  • Saute the onion, celery and carrots in the first 1/4 cup of oil until lightly cooked.
  • Turn off stove on saute pan and add nutritional yeast, spices except for parsley and salt.  Add walnuts and bacon bits.
  • Add water and bring to boil, turn down to simmer, only for around 3 minutes
  • Pour mixture into casserole pan and set aside
  • Cut bread into small pieces and toast bread (if using bread), set aside
  • Add second 1/4 cup oil to saute pan (no need to wash pan) and heat up, add mushrooms and saute around 2-5 minutes, add smoke flavor and BBQ sauce while flipping mushrooms.  Turn off and wait until you assemble.
  • Add toast croutons to casserole "water" mixture until covered and mix well.  Start adding salt and tasting to make sure you have enought salt, a little at a time.
  • Add mushroom mixture and combine, add parsley and waterchesntnuts, keep checking for salt
  • Finally, press down and determine if you need to add a little more water...if you do, please add.
  • Cover and place in the frig--reheat in oven with cover and you might have to use a little water if it seems dry.  
  • Tastes best when left to sit in frig overnight for around 1 or 2 days

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