|This Mushroom, White Bean, and Tomato Stew makes a great meatless meal.|
Lately I've noticed a lot of food blogs talking about Meatless Mondays. When I researched it a little, I was surprised to find out that this slogan encouraging Americans to eat less meat was actually created in 2003, as part of a marketing campaign designed to get people to start out the week with healthy habits. For several years now I've noticed I'm eating less meat myself, and although I'll never be a vegetarian, when I find a meatless recipe like this with lots of flavor I'm always happy. I was never good at following rules, so of course today is not Monday, but no matter what day of the week you made this, it would make a great lunch or dinner.
This delightful stew with mushrooms, white beans, and tomatoes was delicious, easy to make, and if you left off the Parmesan and used vegetable stock it could easily be made vegan. You can eat it over brown rice like I did, serve it over whole wheat pasta, or just eat it alone, but please try this recipe. And don't skip the ground fennel, which was one of the flavors that I thought really made this interesting.
While onions cook, wash and trim crimini mushrooms, then cut into quarters (or sixths if the mushrooms are large.)
While mushrooms simmer, drain the beans into a colander placed in the sink, rinse with cold water until no more foam appears, and let drain.
When mushrooms have cooked add beans, tomatoes, and fresh chopped parsley, cover pan, and simmer on low for 10 minutes more.
After 10 minutes you should have a thickened stew with the flavors well blended. Season to taste with salt and fresh ground black pepper. Serve hot, over brown rice or whole wheat pasta or just plain in a bowl. This is great topped with freshly-grated Parmesan cheese.
(Makes about 4 servings, recipe adapted slightly from Moosewood Restaurant Simple Suppers.)
1 1/2 T olive oil
2 medium onions, chopped
2 tsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. ground fennel seed
pinch dried sage
12 oz. Cremini mushrooms, washed, trimmed, and cut in quarters (or sixths if the mushrooms are large. Cremini mushrooms are sometimes called Baby Bellas.)
1/4 cup homemade chicken stock (or use canned chicken or vegetable broth. If using canned broth I would start with 1/2 cup and reduce it by simmering before adding to the recipe for more concentrated flavor.)
1 can (15 oz.) cannellini beans, rinsed
1 can (14.5 oz.) petite diced tomatoes with juice
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh parsley (I used flat Italian parsley, but either kind will work)
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
freshly grated Parmesan cheese for serving (optional, but good)
Heat olive oil in a large heavy frying pan large enough to hold all ingredients. Add onion, garlic, thyme, fennel, and sage and saute, stirring a few times, until the onions are softened and starting to brown. This will take about 8 minutes.
While onions cook wash mushrooms, trim off woody stems, and cut mushrooms into quarters or sixths. When onions are slightly browned, add mushrooms and 1/4 cup stock, and let simmer covered for 5-6 minutes, until mushrooms have shrunk somewhat and released their juice. While mushrooms cook drain the beans into a colander placed in the sink and rinse with cold water until no more foam appears.
After mushrooms have cooked 5-6 minutes, add drained beans, tomatoes and juice, and 1/2 cup chopped parsley to the pan. Cover again and simmer 10 minutes more.
After 10 minutes the stew should be slightly thickened and flavors should be well-blended. Season to taste with salt and fresh ground black pepper. Serve hot, over brown rice or whole wheat pasta, or just in a bowl as a meatless stew. This is great topped with freshly-grated parmesan cheese.
I didn't have any left to freeze, but I'm sure this freezes well if you can manage to have leftovers.
South Beach Suggestions:
Served in a bowl (without rice or noodles) this low-glycemic stew would make a great meatless main dish for any phase of the South Beach Diet. With brown rice or whole wheat noodles it would be approved for phase 2 or 3 of the diet.
More Meatless Main Dishes for Any Day of the Week:
(Recipes from other blogs not always South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Mexican Red Lentil Stew with Lime and Cilantro from Kalyn's Kitchen
Spicy Red Lentil and Chickpea Stew / Paula's Moroccan Lentil Stew from Kalyn's Kitchen
Baked Falafel Patties with Yogurt-Tahini Sauce from Kalyn's Kitchen
Stir-Fried Tofu with Scallions, Garlic, Ginger, and Soy Sauce from Kalyn's Kitchen
Spaghetti with Courgettes, Tomatoes, and Chevre from Tigers and Strawberries
Curry Spiced Noodles from Ezra Pound Cake
Meatless Shepherd's Pie from Cheap Healthy Good
Mushroom Stroganof from Chez Us
Homemade Meatless Meatballs from Enlightened Cooking
Curried Rice and Lentils from Simply Sugar and Gluten Free
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)