Thursday, January 17, 2008

Comforting 'Cassoulet'

This is one of my favourite wintertime warming recipes. I know its not exactly freezing in San Diego but we do get a little chilly and enjoy some comfort food here too! I found this recipe in my favourite cookbook, Moosewood Restaurant Low Fat Favorites, its healthy, warming, nutritious and delicious.

It also seems like a great entry for Meeta's monthly mingle.

This is called a cassoulet, but I think its quite far removed from a traditional cassoulet. The real version contains copious amounts of meat, but this vegetarian casserole is delicious, if a little misleading. Unfortunately its not the most photogenic meal, but it tastes great to make up for it!

Its a pretty flexible recipe, I dont think you need to be exact with the quantities of veggies. I also put a whole big tin of Trader Joes Marinara sauce in, and I think it would have been just as good with some nice fire roasted tomatoes. I do think it does well with more than 1 cup as was suggested in the recipe. I love the seitan from fatfree vegan kitchen and use it in sandwiches, pizza and all kinds of things but its really great in this.

Be aware that this is quite time consuming, more of a sunday afternoon project than a late night after work!

(Moosewood Restaurant Low Fat Favorites)

1 teaspoon olive oil
6 garlic cloves
1 1/2 cups chopped onions
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary
1/2 teaspoon marjoram
3 bay leaves
1/2 cup red wine
1 cup diced carrots
1 cup diced celery
1 cup diced potatoes
1 large tin tomatoes
3/4 cup diced pepperoni seitan (I used this recipe)
1 tablespoon molasses
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
3 cups cooked beans (I used some trout beans and 'jumping jack' beans, kidney, canneloni, black beans would all be great
salt and ground black pepper to taste (I didnt add salt as there was plenty in the tomato sauce)

Preheat the oven to 350f

Sautee the onions in the olive oil for 2 mins. Add the garlic, herbs and heat for a further minute, then add the red wine and simmer with the potatoes for 5 mins. Add the celery, carrots, tomatoes and simmer for a further 10 mins, stirring occasionally. Add the remaining ingredients, stir gently until heated through, then transfer to a casserole dish and bake for 45 mins. This can be heated on the stove for a further 10 mins if you dont have time to bake it, although the flavor is better when baked.


Amanda at Little Foodies said...

This sounds like perfect comfort food! We're having a cold and damp January in England. You can probably remember the awful grey that takes over the sky for a coupld of months.

Loved your DB buche de noel too, the spotty mushrooms are really lovely.

Jennywenny said...

Thanks! I would imagine it would help your budget along nicely too as its pretty cheap to make!

marias23 said...

Gosh, that would be so comforting for a wintry Chicago dinner. I must try that. Anyhoo, it's always fun to meet other scientist/baker/cook. I'm trying to finish up grad school by this year. How's the science in San Diego?

Jennywenny said...

Science in San Diego is pretty cool, although the biotech industry has been a bit shakey the last few years.

Anonymous said...

Ummm! this looks rich, and comforting. Perfect.