Vegan Dilemma for Thanksgiving

Written By: Chef Marian - Nov• 25•14

We all go through mistakes. A mistake is an opportunity to learn or create, right?


Well, here’s my latest Vegan Dilemma! I had bought vegan marshmallows at Whole Foods days before going to this past Sunday’s Vegan Event. I did my happy dance, since last year we were stuck with marshmallow creme that did not quite do the trick. I did mention my daughter and her fiancé are vegan and raw, yes?

Vegan Marshmallows

Vegan Marshmallows


Alrighty then. So, on my way to this gathering Sunday, I stopped by Whole Foods thinking: “Wouldn’t it be nice to bring a hostess gift, and if I’m so thrilled about these marshmallows perhaps Nate and Jade will be too”.

I did not realize on the same shelf were two different brands, same color packaging. So I picked up the one that was not vegan. When I thought I made that mistake and fed people that are vegan something out of what they are choosing to eat I felt terrible! I started blaming myself for not reading the bag and trusting Whole Foods signs saying Vegan Marshmallows. I really did a whole number on myself!

But the good news is: I went back and when I showed them the bags from the event I used to cook with they said: Yep. You cooked with vegan marshmallows. And they showed me. My focus was on the extra bags which said they used fish gelatin. I’d never even heard of fish gelatin. It’s probably their response to using less cow parts to make gelatin. Anyway, they exchanged the few extra I had bought for my own Thanksgiving, and I let Jade know she can go back and exchange hers, so we’re all good now.

Whoo Hoo! I am so happy!

So now I am willing to show you my Vegan Quinoa Marshmallow Surprise! Yes, the surprise was almost on me! And everyone I served my food too! lol

Quinoa-Marshmallow Surprise

Quinoa-Marshmallow Surprise

The real surprise intended are the northern beans mixed with cooked quinoa, half a squeezed lemon and pickle juice from the jar of pickles. Plus chopped dates to balance out the sour. Then these vegan marshmallows were on top, on high into the oven until browned. And I was amazed as how well they browned up. Usually, you have to top with little pieces of butter to get that color. But noooo. They were just perfect without butter!

So we’ve got the holidays coming our way. Very exciting!

In 2012, I created my first Vegan Thanksgiving. I made tofurkey, stuffing, stuffed artichokes, smashed garlic potatoes, cinnamon nutmeg carrots, turnips and more. If you want to learn about how to make fluffy potatoes? Check out the Vegan Thanksgiving blog. Last years’ blog was called: Thanksgivingakkah! That’s where you can see a picture of the tub of Marshmallow Creme (to avoid). lol

This year I am taking cauliflower, and doing a puree that looks like potatoes, and then I’ve gotten an orange colored cauliflower I will do the same to and pipe the orange into a design on the top. I’m just deciding if I should do different flavor profiles… like maybe a roasted white cauliflower puree on the bottom and a cinnamon, nutmeg orange cauliflower on top, maybe zesting some orange on top of each orange design…. When we swirl it together, that should be some flavor!

I’m always thinking of what I want to create. It’s especially challenging with a total Vegan meal. I remember one year I did a pumpkin soup with a balsamic vinegar design on top. That was perfect too. I have to keep telling myself Experiment! Experiment!



Maybe I will take 3 or four different kinds of organic mushrooms and combine them with onions to flavor some roasted pumpkin and add tamari pumpkin seeds to that dish. Salted, dry roasted tamari pumpkin seeds. It brings a whole new flavor to dishes and you don’t need extra salt when you substitute these in.

I think if I just made vegan deserts, my daughter would be happy with that. Certainly her significant other would be. So maybe this year, we’ll start with dessert! lol Hey! You only live once, right? But actually if we don’t want to spike our glycemic index, we’ll have a bite or two of protein, maybe a hand full of nuts before we dig into any sugar. Organic or not. Cane or not. Agave or not. Maple sugar or not. Sugar is sugar. Make reality. Don’t fake reality!

If you shoot me an email ( or respond to this post with your recipes, ideas and suggestions, I will make that my Wednesday blog. If not, pass this good information along to friends, family, thru facebook, twitter and any other forms of social media. I’m glad to be passing all of this on to you!

Here’s wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Eating,

Chef Marian Sign Off


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