Marsala Pork with Mushrooms

I made this maybe two years ago, and have been meaning to make it again ever since.  Clearly it takes me a while to get around to recipes I’ve already tried before.  But this is divine.  The pork is tender and flavorful, surrounded by a delicious, rich and savory mushroom sauce.  I’m a big fan of mushrooms, and I love the way their earthiness plays with the acidic flavor of the marsala wine.  You’ll want to serve this with something that can soak up all the delicious flavors of the sauce.  I served it with sautéed kale and roasted broccoli, but roasted or baked potatoes would be awesome, or mashed potatoes.  I’d also recommend this with some goat cheese on top, it adds an awesome creamy coolness.

Marsala Pork with MushroomsMarsala Pork with Mushrooms (A Seat at the Table)

Serves 8-10

  • 1 lb baby bella mushrooms, sliced
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 pork tenderloins, about 2 lbs
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp herbs de provence
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 cup Marsala wine

In a large frying pan, heat a drizzle of olive oil over medium high heat.  When the pan is hot, add sliced mushrooms.  Sauté until the mushrooms are browned and tender (it’s best to let them sit in an even layer for a minute or two before stirring).  Remove mushrooms to a large plate while you cook the pork.

Rinse and pat dry the pork tenderloins.  Using a sharp knife, cut the tenderloins into about 3/4″ thick medallions.  In a flat-ish bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, thyme, herbs de provence, garlic powder and pepper.  Place a few medallions into the flour mixture at a time, coating all sides.  Add a little more olive oil to the fry pan, and cook medallions over medium-high heat, until browned on both sides, about 2 minutes each side.  Remove to the plate with the mushrooms and continue cooking the pork in batches.

Once all of the pork has finished cooking, return pork and mushrooms to the pan.  Pour in the Marsala wine and cover.  Let simmer for about 10 minutes.  Taste and adjust seasoning as needed, let simmer for about 5 more minutes, or until pork has cooked all the way through.  Serve immediately and enjoy!

Roasted Garlic and Mushroom Pasta

The enjoyable thing about the School of Christian Living’s vegan challenge is that it forces me to get creative and adapt recipes to work within the limits I have set.  This pasta dish was loosely based off a recipe, but to make it vegan and fit in my price point, I took quite a few liberties so that the final product is quite unlike the original recipe I started with.  And sometimes trying something different works out wonderfully.  I loved the way this dish uses diced tomatoes but doesn’t feel like a spaghetti sauce.  The mushrooms and garlic give it a great earthiness while the tomatoes give it some zing and binds the whole dish together.  While I can’t wait to try the original recipe in its cheesy goodness, this was an excellent dish and I didn’t miss the cheese at all.  Lots of flavor!  And while 4 heads of garlic sounds super intense, the roasted garlic was actually pretty subtle.  If you’re a garlic-lover feel free to add another head.  I made the garlic a day ahead and kept it wrapped in foil until ready to use.

Roasted Garlic and Mushroom PastaRoasted Garlic and Mushroom Pasta

Serves 10

Adapted from The Flour Sack

  • 4 heads garlic, top 1/3 cut off
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 large portobello mushrooms, large chop
  • 1 lb white button or baby bella mushrooms, quartered
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 lbs bow-tie or other small noodle pasta
  • 2 (15oz) cans diced tomatoes
  • 2 Tbsp fresh rosemary, minced
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 3/4 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped

Preheat oven to 450°F.

Drizzle cut garlic heads with olive oil and wrap tightly in foil.  Place in the oven and roast for about 40-50 minutes until golden brown.  While garlic roasts, chop and quarter the mushrooms and place on large baking sheet.  Drizzle with olive oil and salt, mix well and roast in the oven for about 15-20 minutes, until browned but not dry.

Cook pasta according to the instructions, being sure to salt the pasta water really well (at least 1 Tbsp of salt) once it has come to a boil.  When the pasta is done, reserve 1 cup of pasta water and drain the rest.

In a large sauce pan, mix together the diced tomatoes and roasted garlic cloves.   Mix in the rosemary and sugar.  When the mushrooms are done mix in the mushrooms and pasta water to the sauce.  Just before serving, combine the sauce and the pasta in a large bowl, toss well to combine.  Sprinkle with toasted walnuts.

Mushroom-Artichoke Soup

This recipe is a trusty stand-by.  I’ve made it several times in the past and it continues to be a delicious fall soup.  It’s hearty and chunky and keeps well so you can make it in advance if necessary.  Fortunately it doesn’t take long to cook either, so it’s perfect for a week night dinner too.  I made this for a retreat my dad was going on, so I left out the half and half.  I think it’s just as tasty without the extra creaminess.

Mushroom-Artichoke Soup

Serves 10

Adapted from Taste of Home magazine, I think

  • 2 1/2 lbs fresh mushrooms, sliced (variety is best)
  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 large carrots, sliced
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1 (32oz) carton vegetable broth
  • 2 (140z) cans artichoke hearts, drained, rinsed and quartered
  • 1/4 cup dried tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup half and half (optional)

In a large pot cook mushrooms, shallots, garlic and carrots in hot butter for about 15 minutes or until tender.  Stir in flour, thyme, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes.  Add broth all at once and stir until soup is slightly thickened and bubbly.  Stir in artichokes, tomatoes and bay leaf.  Cover and simmer for 15 minutes.  Stir in half and half and heat through.  Serve immediately.

Roasted Mushroom and Pesto Pasta

This is a quick, easy meal to throw together.  I’d been planning on making pesto stuffed mushrooms, but I needed something a little more substantial than that.  Throwing in some whole wheat pasta and ricotta makes this dinner!  Paired with a salad, it’s quite the tasty dinner.

Roasted Mushroom and Pesto Pasta

Serves 6

  • 16oz baby bella mushrooms, chopped
  • drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 box penne pasta
  • 1/2 cup pesto
  • 1/2 cup part-skim ricotta
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Chop mushrooms and toss lightly with olive oil.  Spread out on a baking sheet and bake for about 15 minutes while making the pasta.

Bring large pot of water to a boil and add about 1 Tbsp salt.  Add pasta and cook for about 9 minutes, until tender.  Drain pasta, retaining about 1/2 cup of the cooking water.  Mix pasta with pesto, ricotta, and some of the cooking water if needed.  Add mushrooms, season to taste.

Roasted Green Bean, Mushroom and Barley Salad

This is a great easy salad.  I decided to leave out the suggested feta from the original recipe, but I think that would be a wonderful flavor addition, or goat cheese!  This also makes a huge quantity (and is easy to make more or less of), so it’s great for potlucks or parties.

Roasted Green Bean, Mushroom and Barley Salad

Serves 45-50

Adapted from Closet Cooking

  • 6 cups water
  • 4 cups pearl barley
  • 2 1/2 lbs baby bella mushrooms, quartered
  • 2 lbs green beans, trimmed and cut into bite-size pieces
  • 2 large vidalia onions, roughly chopped
  • drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp dried thyme
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinaigrette
  • toasted walnuts, chopped (optional)
  • feta or goat cheese (optional)

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Rinse the barley and add to a large pot.  Add water  to the pot and bring to a boil, let simmer until barley is tender and water is absorbed.

Spread green beans, mushrooms, and onions out on large baking sheets, drizzle with olive oil, thyme, salt and pepper; mix around with your hands. Bake for about 20 minutes, until vegetables are tender and beginning to brown.

Mix everything together in a large bowl, top with walnuts and/or cheese if using.  Serve hot or room temperature.

Savory Bread Pudding

Thanks to a whole bunch of rolls leftover from the Men’s Retreat this past weekend, I knew I needed to make a bread pudding for Tuesday’s SCL dinner.  Bread pudding is delicious both sweet and savory.  This recipe is one of my old standbys from a few years ago.  It’s easily adaptable, so feel free to adjust the recipe according to what you have on hand. I added onion and green pepper this time, which sneaks in a few extra vegetables (I’m always a fan of more vegetables).

Savory Mushroom Bread Pudding

Serves 4-6

Adapted from Rachael Ray Magazine

  • 3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 (8oz) packages of sliced mushrooms
  • 1 onion, diced (optional)
  • 1 green pepper, diced (optional)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
  • salt and pepper
  • 4 large eggs plus 3 large egg whites
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan
  • 1 loaf day old bread cut into 1/2″ cubes
  • 2 cups shredded cheese

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Grease a 1 1/2 quart baking dish and set aside.

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Add the mushrooms, onion, pepper, garlic, thyme, and rosemary.  Cook until the vegetables are starting to brown, 10-15 minutes, then season with salt and pepper.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg whites, milk, 2 Tbsp parmesan, and 1/4 tsp salt.  Stir in bread cubes and let soak for about 10 minutes (more or less depending on how hard your bread is).  Stir in the cooled mushroom mixture and the shredded cheese.  Pour into the baking dish and top with remaining parmesan.  Bake until golden, about 45 minutes.  let stand for 10 minutes before serving.


So last night’s SCL dinner was my 12th week.  It was also the last class of the second term (don’t worry, a 3rd term starts next week!).  After all this time I figured it was about time I made the ultimate scary vegetarian food:  tofu!

I’m a big fan of tofu, but don’t make it very often because it takes a bit of planning.  I think I changed some opinions on tofu, this was a VERY popular salad!  I served this with the Mango and Mint Salad with Cashews, and the best cupcakes I’ve ever made!

Tofu, Mushroom, Green Bean and Grain Salad

Serves 20

Adapted from Cooking Light (September 2010)


  • 4 (12oz) packages extra-firm tofu, drained and rinsed
  • 3 1/2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 6 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp grated peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, grated


  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 4 cups uncooked bulgur wheat
  • 8 cups water
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 lbs green beans, trimmed and cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 package dried shiitake mushrooms,
  • 2 cups very hot water
  • 8 oz baby bella mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 cup green onions, thinly sliced


  • 1 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 4 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 8 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 8 Tbsp honey
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp grated peeled fresh ginger
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced

The day before serving, press your tofu.  Drain and rinse the tofu in cold water, then wrap tofu in a clean dish towel (or paper towels) and put something heavy on top (like a pan with your olive oil bottle on top).  Let sit for several hours or overnight.  Add the brown sugar, soy sauce, ginger, sesame oil, and garlic into a large ziploc bag.  Once the tofu has been pressed, cut into bite sized pieces and add to the marinade bag.  Allow the tofu to marinate for several hours.

Preheat the oven to 375°F.  Bake for 35 minutes, turning halfway through.  Allow tofu to cool.

Toast the bulgur wheat in the 2 tsp sesame oil for a few minutes, stirring frequently.  Add the water and salt and bring to a boil.  Let simmer for about 20 minutes, or until all the water has been absorbed.  (Alternatively, you can use the leftover water after soaking the dried mushrooms for extra flavor.)

Cook the green beans in boiling water for about 4 minutes, or until crisp-tender.  Drain and plunge into an ice bath.  Drain well and pat dry.  Add the beans to the cooked bulgur.

Soak the dried shiitake in very hot water for about 2 minutes.  Drain, and place mushrooms in a skillet, saute with the baby bella and about 1 Tbsp of the dressing.

Combine all the dressing ingredients in a large measuring cup, and whisk until well mixed.

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl, and pour dressing on just before serving.  Serve room temperature or cold.