Meatless “ChickN” Fricassee

The traditional Cajun version of this recipe is one of my brother-in-law’s specialties. A Louisiana native, he makes the whole thing from scratch, starting with a roux. The whole house fills with the wonderful fragrance of peppers and onions. That set me on a mission to develop a meatless, and less time-intensive, version. Although it wouldn’t past muster with any meat-loving Cajun, the meatless version has become a family favorite, good any time of the year but especially now when the cold air sends us hunting for something to warm our bellies!

fricassee1This recipe is a great way to add vegetables to your diet. I started with celery, bell pepper and three colorful heirloom carrots from my garden. For this version I used an 8 ounce cake of Tempeh, although I have used tvp in the past. (Don’t forget to steam the tempeh for 15 minutes before using).  Here is the recipe:

  • 1 Tbsp                                     Olive oil
  • 1 stalk                                      Celery
  • ½ large                                   Red bell pepper
  • 2 large                                     Carrots
  • 4 servings                              Vegetarian chicken substitute
  • 2 cups                                      Vegetarian chicken flavored broth
  • 1 ½ tsp                                     Cajun seasoning
  • ¼ tsp                                        Paprika
  • 1/8 tsp                                      Cayenne pepper
  • 1 Tbsp                                       Corn starch
  • ½ cup                                       Cold water
  1. Dice celery, bell pepper and carrots.
  2. Heat oil over in a large saucepan over medium heat. Sauté chopped vegetables in oil for 3-4 minutes or until soft.
  3. Add chicken substitute, broth and seasonings to saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 10-15 minutes.
  4. Stir corn starch into water in a small dish. Add mixture to saucepan. Stir until thickened.

fricassee2Serve over brown rice! Quick and easy, this recipe makes 4 hearty servings. It is so tasty that my non-vegetarian son often requests it for his birthday dinner. This is another recipe that will be found in our new cookbook, Homestyle Meals Made Meatless.

Notes: Tempeh is a fermented soy and grain based product and a good meatless source of protein and iron. It has a nutty, chewy flavor. For this recipe I cut the tempeh cake into squares and steamed it for 15 minutes. Then I crumbled the squares and added to the vegetable mixture. Tempeh also marinates well and is good cooked on the grill.

If you like your meals spicy, add more cayenne pepper and Cajun seasoning to taste while cooking, or offer hot sauce when serving.

Even though  I often use tvp for this recipe, I used tempeh this time as I am trying to eat more fermented foods. Remember, fermented foods are one of the old-fashioned immunity boosts used to temper flu and other illnesses. Since hot pepper is another traditional immunity booster, this dish isn’t just healthy, it may help protect you against H1N1 too!

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About the Author

Renee Pottle, an author and heart-healthy educator, loves to explore and write about the Mediterranean Diet. She blogs at and

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