Weekly Wire
Weekly Alibi Holiday Foods to Keep the Peace

By Gail Davis

NOVEMBER 29, 1999:  The holidays are fast approaching, and during this season of celebration and feasting it can be hard for carnivores and vegetarians to coexist. So, in the interest of peace at the dinner table, here are some foods that everyone can appreciate.

The Great Unturkey®
This faux bird is made up of five pounds of delicately flavored seitan (a firm and chewy product made from wheat gluten) dressed in an amazingly realistic turkey "skin" made from yuba (derived from the skin that forms on soy milk as it is heated). The Great Unturkey is stuffed with a savory bread stuffing and comes with a scrumptious dark gravy. Available by special order from health food stores or call Now & Zen, Inc. at (800) 335-1959 or www.nowandzen.com.

Tofurky Feast®
This is a vegan stuffed tofu "turkey" roast that can be carved into thin, delectable slices. It is filled with wild rice bread crumb stuffing and includes four dark tempeh "drummettes," made from fermented soybean cake and shaped like drumsticks! A rich brown giblet gravy is the perfect topping to the meal, and each Tofurky comes packed with two pull-apart Tofurky Jerky Wishstix. For ordering and info, call Turtle Island Foods at (888) TOFURKY, or go to www.tofurky.com.

Vegetable Terrine
D'Artagnan is a company best known for exquisite fresh game and fois gras, but they also offer this three-layered terrine of wild mushrooms, roasted red bell pepper and spinach. Gorgeous to look at, delicious to eat! For information and ordering, call D'Artagnan at (800) 327-8246 or go to www.dartagnan.com.

Gourmet Tamales
Making and eating tamales is a holiday tradition in communities all over Latin America, but you can enjoy delicious homemade vegan tamales (no chicken broth, pork fat or lard) without all the work. Order savory and sweet dessert flavors like spicy potato in banana leaf, green mole and vegetables, corn, scallion and jalapeño, roasted red bell pepper in chipotle sauce, pineapple taisin, pumpkin spice and strawberry apple from Gourmet Tamales at (760) 729-0387.

Rice Nog
This dairy-free, cholesterol-free egg nog alternative is made from organic brown rice and sweetened with raisins. It's sure to knock Santa's socks off! Available at a health food store near you. Go to www.grainaissance.com for more info.


To help with your holiday gift giving, here is a short list of special treats that make it easy to create personalized gift baskets for meat eaters and vegetarians alike. Who wouldn't be thrilled to find a collection of these edible goodies under his or her Christmas tree or Chanukah bush?

Dark Chocolate Confections
Consider giving an array of deep, rich, dark chocolate candies for Christmas, Chanukah or any special occasion. Specialty items made from chocolate include a solid chocolate menorah complete with decorated wafer-cookie candles. All items are dairy-free, but a few contain egg white, so be sure to inquire when ordering from the Chocolate Emporium at (888) CHOCLAT or www.choclat.com.

Allison's Cookies
These individually wrapped cookies made with organic ingredients and unrefined sugars will delight kids of all ages. Flavors include mint chocolate chip, lavender lemon, cardamom pecan, snickerdoodles, old fashioned chocolate chip and pecan chocolate chip. To order, call Allison's Cookies at (206) 567-5292.

Cowboy Caviar
Don't you just love the name? These sumptuous blends of fresh eggplants, tomatoes and spices make sensational appetizers if you can resist eating them straight from the jar! (I know I can't.) Varieties include jalapeño, California caponata, red bell pepper and black olive. To order, call Cowboy Caviar at (510) 594-8051.

La Paolina Fruit Conserves
From an organic farm in the hills of Tuscany comes this delightful fruit treat. The charming handwritten labels add an air of quaint elegance to each jar. Available in four flavors: wild plum, apricot, peach and raspberry. For mail orders, call Grace's Marketplace at (212) 737-0600.

Mixed Nuts in Clover Honey
Extraordinarily attractive packaging makes me wonder whether anyone actually breaks open these jars or if people just keep them on display. If opened, the wildflower honey, almonds, cashews and pecans are delectable served warm over vanilla ice cream, fresh apple pie, French toast or waffles. Call Stonewall Kitchen at (800) 207-JAMS for more information.


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