Festive Dining with Marlene

Full Meal

Bill and I would like to take this opportunity not to update you with a new blog article, teach or even ‘preach’ (as if) !! but to wish you a Happy Christmas filled with love, fun and laughter. Many thanks to all of you around the world for your continued support of my work.  To give the gift of health is one of the most rewarding aspects of what I do on a daily basis.   Enjoy cooking these recipes from my short video clip here, adapt the dishes to your own taste and create a masterpiece.  All of the recipes are detailed below.

Tarragon Scented Parsnip SoupTarragon Scented Parsnip Soup

1 large onion diced
1 leek diced
6-8 parsnips peeled and diced
3 cups almond milk or rice milk
3 cups organic vegetable stock
4 tbsp rice mirin
1 tbsp dried tarragon
2 tbsp sweet white miso

Put the onions, leeks and the parsnips in a soup pot. Add the rice or almond milk, stock and mirin. Cover and bring to a boil and then simmer until the parsnips are soft (about 30 minutes).  Remove a small amount of broth, place in a cup and stir in the miso, return to the pan. Transfer to a blender and blend to a cream or blend using a hand held blender.  Garnish with some fresh coriander.

DSCN0043Roasted Vegetable & Seitan Strudel

To prepare the seitan filling

1 jar seitan ground into small pieces
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp shoyu or tamari
Filtered water

In a heavy based pan warm the oil and add the garlic and seitan, stir to mix then add the shoyu and sauté for a few minutes.  Add enough water to cover and pop on the lid, cook on low heat for 15 to 20 minutes, adding more liquid if required.  Remove from the heat and let cool.

Preheat oven to 200C/400F degrees

For the vegetable filling;

2 large Portobello mushrooms cleaned and cut into thin strips
2 large carrots cut in half lengthwise then thinly sliced
1 large bunch of asparagus spears, trimmed at the bottom
1 courgette halved and cut into thin strips
1 small butternut squash peeled and cut into thin strips
2 or 3 fresh rosemary sprigs
Extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Reduced balsamic vinegar
Puff pastry Sheets

In a large bowl, toss all the cut vegetables with olive oil until each piece is coated and then sprinkle with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Transfer the vegetables to a deep roasting pan and roast until tender, around 20-25 minutes.  Remove from the oven and squeeze a generous amount of reduced balsamic vinegar across the vegetables and cook for another 5-10 minutes. Remove from the oven, discard the rosemary sprigs and allow the vegetables to cool.  Place them in a large bowl and stir the seitan mixture into the vegetables.

Place the pastry sheet on the work surface and using a pastry brush coat the pastry with some olive oil. Place the vegetable mixture onto the pastry and fold over to close the centre but keep the edges clear, pinch them together to seal.  Brush the top of the strudel with the oil, sprinkle on some sesame seeds and then bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes.

Crispy Roast PotatoesCrispy Roast Potatoes

12 new potatoes
Filtered water
¼ tsp sea salt
¼ cup olive oil or sunflower oil
Dried basil or herbs of your choice

Peel and cut potatoes into chunks, cover with filtered cold salted water, bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Heat the oil in a deep roasting pan until very hot. Drain the potatoes in a colander; give them a shake to roughen up the edges. Tip into the roasting pan and sprinkle with some sea salt and dried basil. Roast for 45 minute’s to 1 hour at 200C /180 C fan ovens, 400 F, gas 6, turning midway. Hot potatoes must go into very hot fat or oil; otherwise they will absorb the oil and be soggy.  Depending on the amount of guests you are cooking for simply double or triple the quantities used here.

Cranberry ChutneyCranberry Chutney

2 tbsp fresh orange juice
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp Clearspring Kuzu or arrowroot
½ tsp dry mustard
4 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
1 ½ cup Clearspring rice syrup
3 tbsp finely crystallized ginger
2 tbsp grated orange zest
1 tbsp grated lemon zest
1/8 tsp ground cloves
Pinch sea salt

Whisk together orange juice, lemon juice, kuzu or arrowroot and mustard in a small bowl, set aside.  Combine cranberries, rice syrup, crystallized ginger, orange zest, lemon zest, cloves and a pinch of sea salt in medium saucepan.  Bring to a boil, stirring continuously. Stir in kuzu or arrowroot mixture, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 10 to 15 minutes, or until sauce thickens and berries have burst.  Cool, serve chilled or at room temperature.

Chocolate Tofu puddingChocolate Tofu Pudding

175g or 6 oz. 100% cocoa chocolate coarsely chopped
1 tbsp. organic vegetable oil
12 oz. – 1 pack silken tofu, well drained
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 cup vanilla or plain soymilk
1 tsp. lemon juice
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tbs. tahini
Whole raspberries for topping

Heat chocolate and oil in a bowl atop of a pan and place over barely simmering water. Whisk until smooth. Remove pan from water, and let cool for 5 minutes.  Meanwhile, blend the tofu, maple syrup, soymilk, lemon juice, vanilla extract and tahini in a blender and purée until smooth, scraping down sides with spatula as necessary. Add melted chocolate, and process until well blended.  Transfer pudding into 6 cups or small bowls. Refrigerate until softly set. To serve, top with berries and desiccated coconut.

In good health




  1. Hi you guys, up early on this very windy Sat morning and just cruising the net. What a beautiful film, ya I watched it just now, I’m a sucker for a sloppy movie. Ta for all you do and the movie too. I wish you both everything wonderful in this horse year 2014. Colette

    • Wishing you a great year Colette, glad you enjoyed our fun festive dining video. See you soon in Dublin x Marlene

  2. What a beautiful selection 🙂

    Wishing you and Bill a very Merry Christmas and an extraordinary 2014 – filled with new and exciting things.

    Big hugs

    T. xxx

    • Thanks Tracy, enjoy the holiday season and wishing you the best of everything for 2014. Love from us both xxx

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