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Mushroom-Tofu-Pecan Stuffed Vegetables

One 14- to 16-ounce block firm tofu
4 medium acorn, delicata, or buttercup squash, or 4 large bell peppers (any color) (or a combination of the two)
2 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil
1/2 teaspoon ground fennel seeds
3 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons dry sherry or white wine (optional)
4 cups 1/2-inch bread cubes
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 cups chopped onions or leeks
2 cups chopped celery
4 cups sliced mushrooms (16 ounces whole)
1 teaspoon ground dried sage
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried marjoram
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 1/2 cup water
1 cup toasted and chopped pecans
2 cups shredded cheddar, smoked cheddar, or Fontina cheese (optional)


If the tofu is firm and fresh, there is probably no need to press it. Otherwise, press it for at least 15 minutes (see Notes). Preheat the oven to 400F. Lightly oil a rimmed baking sheet sheet. Cut the squash or peppers in half from stem end blossom end. Leave the stems on the pepper halves to help them hold their shape. Remove the seeds. If using squash, arrange it cut side down in the prepared baking sheet, add about 1-inch of water, and cover with aluminum foil. Bake just until tender, about 40 minutes for most acorn squash, but the time will vary depending on size and type. If using bell peppers, brush the halves with oil inside and out and bake cut side down (no water, no cover) for 15 to 20 minutes until tender but still holding their shape. Remove from the oven and set aside. Reduce the oven temperature to 350P. While the squash or peppers bake, in a bowl, whisk together the oil, ground fennel, soy sauce, and sherry, if using. Cut the tofu into 1/2-inch cubes and gently toss with the marinade. Set aside for 15 minutes. Toast the bread cubes on a rimmed baking sheet in the oven for about 5 minutes. Set the bread cubes aside. Spread the tofu cubes on the baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes, stirring once or twice, until slightly browned and chewy. In a large covered pot on medium heat, warm the oil. Add the onions and celery and cook, stirring often, until the onions are soft, about 8 minutes. Add more sherry, if you like. Add the mushrooms, sage, thyme, marjoram, salt, black pepper, and water, cover, and cook for about 10 minutes. Add the baked tofu and toasted bread cubes to the cooked vegetables and toss. Stir in the pecans. Removed form the heat and set aside for a few minutes to allow the bread cubes to sfoten and the flavors to meld. Add more salt and black pepper to taste. Turn the baked squash or peppers over on their baking sheet and mound about 1 cup of the stuffing in each half. Sprinkle with shredded cheese, you like, cover, and bake at 350F for about 20 minutes.

Source: www.cookstr.com