Thanksgiving -- Without the Meat!

What's Thanksgiving without the meat?

The answer: It can be tasty, traditional -- and even healthy. This according to the chefs at Candle 79 restaurant in New York, who appeared on ABC News Now's "Healthy Life" program Wednesday.

The following recipes -- and many more -- can be found in their book "The Candle Cafe Cookbook: More Than 150 Enlightened Recipes from New York's Renowned Vegan Restaurant".

Pecan-Crusted Seitan

Serves 4-6

This is a very versatile dish that we've made in many ways. In addition to coating the seitan cutlets with walnuts, you can also use pecans, sesame seeds, or pumpkin seeds. Serve with Tomato Sauce and Garlic Mashed Potatoes and sautéed greens. Very tasty!


3/4 cup tomato paste

1/4 cup umebashi vinegar

1/4 cup red wine

1/2 cup orange juice

1/4 cup shoyu

1/4 cup garlic, minced

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

2 tablespoons minced fresh tarragon

2 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary

8-10 seitan cutlets (about 1 pound), preferably homemade

2 cups all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 cup finely ground pecans

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary

4 tablespoons olive oil


1. Place the tomato paste, vinegar, wine, orange juice, shoyu, garlic, parsley, tarragon and rosemary in a blender and blend until smooth. Pour the marinade over the seitan and marinate in the refrigerator at least 3 hours or overnight.

2. Mix the flour, salt, pepper, pecans and chopped rosemary together and place in a shallow bowl. Dredge the cutlets.

3. Heat the oil in a sauté pan and sauté the cutlets until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes per side. Serve at once with desired sauce.

Maple-Cinnamon Squash Ringlets

Serves 4-6

We are mad for all types of squash. Joy's mom's favorite way to prepare squash was to halve and seed butternut squash, rub it with cinnamon, then fill the cavities with chutney just before baking. We like to make something similar with sweet and succulent kabocha squash. They look and taste great as a side with Grilled Tofu and sautéed greens. The squash can also be cooked on the grill, basted with the maple-cinnamon mixture, about 3 minutes per side. Happy eating!


2 kabocha squash

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 cup maple syrup

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Pinch crushed pepper

Pinch sea salt


1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

2. With a sharp paring or vegetable knife, carefully cut the squash into 1-inch circles, then halve into semicircles Lay them side by side on baking sheet. Whisk the olive oil, maple syrup, cinnamon, pepper and salt together in a small bowl. Brush the oil over the squash rings and bake for 20-25 minutes, until the squash is just tender. Serve at once.

Butternut Squash Soup

Serves 6-8

Butternut squash is an autumn treasure -- especially when its sweet, golden flesh is blended with onions and spices and made into this fragrant, creamy soup.


3 medium butternut squashes, peeled, seeded, and cut into 3-inch pieces

1 large onion, peeled and coarsely chopped

1 1/2 stalks celery, coarsely chopped

6 cups water

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

2-3 tablespoons maple syrup (optional)

Parsley leaves, for garnish

3/4 cup toasted pumpkin seeds, for garnish (see Note)


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