Friday, March 15, 2013


I lo-o-o-ove Easter, and I loooove Easter candy.  For me Easter has the best treats of all the holidays.  So let’s suppose that for the last couple of weeks I may have eaten tons of Easter candy; and what if the eating of all this candy lasts until after Easter has passed.  This is purely hypothetical of course.

This is what I pick up every time I visit Target.  Missing from the line-up are the Cadbury Royal Mini Eggs (dark chocolate) I'm have nooo idea where they've gone (in my belly)!

Wouldn’t it be wise for me to make some healthy dinners to counter balance all the candy eating?  Working off of this hypothetical, I came up with Tempeh Marsala; a take on the traditional Chicken Marsala.  I like to substitute tempeh in recipes for chicken or pork.

Tempeh is made of cooked, slightly fermented whole soy beans that are pressed into a cake or patty form.  Tempeh is a great vegetarian source of protein, and is also high in calcium and iron.  Unlike its tofu cousin, which has a bland flavor and little texture; tempeh has a slightly nutty flavor, and a meatier texture.  If you have an aversion to tofu, give tempeh a try.

The nuttiness and texture of the tempeh is just perfect with the earthiness of the mushrooms and sweetness of the Marsala wine.  Even if you’re not a vegetarian you’ll love this tasty dish!

Here's what you do.

Cut the tempeh into 1/2 inch thick slices.  Everything cooks pretty fast once you get going, so have everything ready to go.  Mince the shallots and slice the mushrooms.

In some olive oil, brown the tempeh on both sides.  Remove the browned tempeh to a plate and keep it warm.

In the same skillet add some more olive oil and cook the shallots for just a minute, until they've softened.

Add the mushroom and the springs of thyme.

Sprinkle a pinch of salt and pepper to the mushrooms, and then add the Marsala wine.  Allow the wine to reduce by half.

Add the stock, soy sauce; also return the browned tempeh to the pan.  Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper if needed.  Reduce the sauce by half.

It might have been nice to have photos of the last couple of steps, but there are none.  I guess I spaced!
Any hoo...Once the sauce reduces cut the heat from the pan and remove the tempeh to a serving dish.  Stir in the butter and chopped parsley.   To keep the dish vegan, just omit the butter.

Pour the mushrooms and sauce over the tempeh and serve immediately.

I’ve explained in the past that Billy will in no way, no how eat soy products not even a bite(unless it's in Pad Thai), so of course I made the traditional Chicken Marsala for him.

Serves 2

8              oz.       Tempeh, cut into ½ inch thick slices
2              Tbsp.     Olive oil, divided use
1                          Small shallot, minced
4              oz.        Mushrooms, sliced
2              sprigs    Fresh thyme
     Salt and pepper to taste
2              Tbsp.     Marsala wine
½             cup       Vegetable or mushroom stock, low sodium
1              Tbsp.     Soy sauce, preferably low sodium
1              Tbsp.     Butter (optional)                             
2              Tbsp.     Flat leaf parsley, chopped

  1.       Heat 1 Tbsp. of the olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.  Brown the tempeh on both sides.  Remove the browned tempeh to a plate and keep warm.
  2.       Add the remaining 1 Tbsp. of olive oil and the shallots to the skillet. 
  3.       When the shallots just begin to soften, add the mushrooms and the sprigs of thyme.  Sauté the mushrooms. 
  4.       When the mushrooms have started to brown add a pinch of salt, pepper and the Marsala wine.  Cook until the wine has reduced by half.

  5.       Add the stock, soy sauce, salt and pepper to taste.  Add the tempeh back to the pan.  Cook until the sauce is reduced by half.
  6.       Cut the heat; remove the tempeh to a serving dish.
  7.       Stir the butter (optional) and parsley into the sauce.  Pour the mushrooms and sauce over the tempeh. 

Serve with roasted potatoes or pasta along with some green veggies.


  1. Great quick and healthy recipe! Marsala wine gives such lovely flavor!

  2. This is a delicious looking recipe Kari, with healthy ingredients and I'm going to try it this week.
    I love vegetarian dishes and this one looks so tasty that it will convince even my husband who is more on the meat lovers side :)

    1. This is really tasty Daniela, I hope this does convince your husband to at least visit Vegetarian Land.

    2. I don't know that there is a Vegetarian Land, I've not had any coffee yet.

  3. Kari friend, thank you for the vote of confidence that you have given to my cooking blog

    It is for my pride, I have between the blogs you follow. I remember putting HTML code which you can find on my blog you will have direct access to my culinary novelties.

    A strong embrace of the Chefgonin.