Meatless Monday before Thanksgiving

We were running some errands this weekend, attempting to get ahead of the holiday gift shopping. But, it never fails that I will undoubtedly be scrambling around the week (if not the weekend prior) to Christmas.  As we were deciding between a couple of small gifts for our granddaughter, Roger announces that he’d like veal Marsala! I know I gave him a funny look, and asked “what?”  He was thinking about how much he loves the flavors of a Marsala dish, that I used to make with chicken. So I said “I can repeat that dish and make it plant-based, and you know I love a good challenge”.

Actually, I didn’t see this as much of a challenge. I just had to decide what I would include with the noodles, mushrooms and onions. Aha…a few leftover pieces of seitan and half a package of firm tofu in my fridge! Here’s what I pulled together.

Seitan Marsala

Serves 2-3

Prep and Cook Time: 25-30 minutes


Either: 6 oz. regular seitan or 6 oz. firm tofu (or both like I did!)

8 oz. of mushrooms of your choice, sliced

1 small onion, diced

Fresh ground black pepper

1 1/2 cups Marsala wine

2 cups other vegetable such as peas, kale or broccoli

What to Do:

Seitan and Tofu flour dredge

Seitan and Tofu flour dredge

I sliced the seitan and tofu and marinated them in the Marsala wine. Next, I dredged them lightly in gluten-free flour (any flour will do).  Then, I put the seitan and tofu pieces on my stovetop grill, using a little of the Marsala marinate to keep it all from sticking.

Mushroom onionsMeanwhile, I sautéed the onions for about 5 minutes in the rest of the Marsala marinade, added the sliced mushrooms, lots of ground pepper, frozen peas because I wanted color and the sweetness they add. I let it steep, covered for about 5 minutes.

The noodles I chose this weekend were the Shirataki fettucine.  I’ve talked about these noodles

Shiratakibefore, and really enjoy the ease of using them. If you’re going to try them, don’t be put off by the odor when you open the package for the first time, and make sure you rinse them in a colander well before using.  The noodles are very long, so you’ll probably want to cut them once or twice before mixing in with your other ingredients. If not, it’s always fun watching others slurp them up!

Putting this altogether was a breeze and that’s why I suggest it as an easy meal choice tonight or anytime.

Tofu seitan marsala

Note: if you prefer your sauce a bit thicker and/or richer, you can add 2 Tbls. nutritional yeast, and/or make a roux of 1/3 cup non-dairy milk and 1 Tbls. cornstarch, stirring over heat until all is combined and thickened. Add this slowly to your mushroom, onion mixture before spooning over noodles.

We ended up buying both little gifts for our granddaughter….ah, the beauty and fun of being grandparents.

Addison with her poppa Roger!

Addison with her poppa Roger!

Eat for Your Life!



Thanksgiving Recipes and Keeping it Easy this Week!

I swear time actually speeds up right after we change our clocks back; and again, why do we have to do this? Does it have something to do with the Farmer’s Almanac, or the spiral rotation of the earth’s axis? Personally, I think it’s silly; and I really don’t like the darkness at 4:30. It makes me think I have to put my pajamas on…that I just got out of 2 hours earlier (he-he!)  But, I did find this world map pretty fascinating.  It shows worldDSTmap-10.10.10b-2where daylight savings time is practiced, where it’s no longer observed, and where it’s never been observed.

I’m excited about cooking for our completely plant-based Thanksgiving this year. I’ve been researching and trying various recipes over the last several weeks. The front runners are:

  • Polenta bites with sun dried tomato tapenade: I made these once using a mini muffin tin and they were amazing!
  • Thanksgiving lentil loaf with cranberries: I made this recipe last week and they were real flavorful, so I’m going to turn it into a loaf!
  • Citrus maple glazed carrots
  • Cornbread stuffing with crispy tempeh, toasted walnuts and dried apricot
  • Mushroom Gravy
  • Personal Pecan Pie (just for Roger). This is a good recipe, but I will omit the oil and may add unsweetened applesauce instead.

If you want to keep your meals easy for the next week, like I am, here are two suggestions:



Tortilla1Serves 2

If this takes you more than 30 seconds to put together, you’ve done something wrong!  Also, you can eat these with warm ingredients, or keep it an entirely cold tortilla wrap.


1 can black beans, drained and rinsed

2 cups frozen corn, thawed

1 cup chopped red cabbage

1/2 cup diced tomatoes (a can of fire roasted works well, too)

1 small avocado, cut in slices

4-6 corn tortillas

Salsa and seasonings of your preference

What to Do:

Cover tortillas with damp paper towel and microwave for 20 seconds.

Add 1/4 of all ingredients to each tortilla, top with avocado and your salsa.

Wrap it all up and enjoy!  These are nicely accompanied by a cabbage and red pepper slaw with a lemon vinegar splash.


STUFFED POTATOESStuffed potatoes

Traditionally, these babies are loaded with cheese and sour cream and bacon; and, while that may still sound good to you, I’m offering a much better, healthier and fun alternative.   Give it a try!

Serves 2


2 medium size baking potatoes

2 Tbls. Dijon mustard

1 Tbls. Rice wine vinegar

2 Tbls. tamari, Bragg’s liquid aminos or low sodium soy sauce

1 package unseasoned tempeh

1 cup frozen corn

½ cup sliced mushrooms of your choice

½ cup chopped chives

2-3 Tbls. nutritional yeast

What to do:

If you don’t have leftover potatoes, you can either bake the potatoes or microwave them until they are mostly soft. Make sure you put knife slits in them when you microwave them!

Combine the next 3 ingredients in a medium size bowl and mix well.

Break tempeh into small pieces and immerse in bowl with marinade. The tempeh can marinate while your potatoes are cooking. Here’s a few minutes to yourself….open a bottle of wine or enjoy a nice cup of your favorite tea!

When your potatoes are done (a knife slips easily into the center), remove them from the oven and set them aside to cool a bit.

Heat a large shallow no-stick pan.  Add the tempeh and reserve the marinade (you’ll use it later, too). This can also be used 1 Tbls. at a time as the tempeh cooks to keep it from sticking to the pan.The tempeh should start to become more firm and crisp up within 5-7 minutes of cooking. Remove tempeh to a separate plate.  Note: you can also put the tempeh on a small baking sheet in the already hot oven and cook for 10-12 minutes.

In the same pan, add the mushrooms and corn and cook just until softened, using a little of the marinate when necessary.

Cut each potato lengthwise in half and carefully scoop out as much of the middle as you can without breaking the poor thing! Put the potato ‘innerds’ in the marinade bowl and mash down. Add the nutritional yeast until you have a creamy mixture.

Put corn and mushrooms in your potato bowls, add the tempeh, top with your creamy mixture and pop them back into the oven for 10 minutes, or until the top starts to brown nicely.

Remove and top with your chopped chives.  YUM.

I served these with steamed asparagus topped with the same mustard cheese sauce

Now, bring on the holidays!

Eat for Your Life!