Monday, May 16, 2011

Meatless Monday: Mushroom Cassoulet

Mushroom Cassoulet

Is your to do list as long as mine?

Lately, I feel like I wake up every morning and have to climb a mountain. It's not as high as Mount Everest (though some days it feels that way). But it's not a hobbit hill either. Between the house, cooking, cleaning, blogging, freelance writing, looking for an agent for my book, polishing my script, researching my next book, the dog, twittering, updating Facebook, the gym (somehow this always falls off my list), there's barely time to breathe, let alone get to the end of my list. And the next morning it starts all over again... sleep... repeat... sleep... repeat...

It's all I can do some days to remember to breathe.

I think God invented to do lists to torture us.

Here are a few things that I've learned over the years:

* Remembering to breathe is the most important thing on your to do list.

*A deep breath is better than Prozac most days. So is a glass of wine.

* It's not about getting to the end of your list. It's about the journey.

* If you're not enjoying the journey, then it's time to delete items off your list.

*Your Twitter followers will forgive you for not posting every second of the day, but your dog may not if you forget to feed him.

* You may not scale the mountain, but at least you tried. And you didn't get your arm trapped under a giant boulder and had to hack it off with a blunt instrument.

*There's always tomorrow.

But if I don't post this Mushroom Cassoulet recipe today, it will be Meatless Tuesday. And that doesn't have as nice of a ring to it, does it?

Also, if can take a break from your to do list, check out Meatless Monday's website this week. They're featuring two of my recipes for Slow Cooker Corn Chili and Avocado Radish Salad. Try them out, Twitter them, share them on Facebook, rate them, comment on them, whatever floats your boat. 

Mushroom Cassoulet
Serves 4-6 people
Cooking time: 2-3 hours
Vegan; dairy-free
Print Recipe

  • 2 cups portobello mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 cup shitake mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 cup cannellini beans, soaked overnight or for six hours (to soak, cover with two inches of water in a bowl)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
  • 5 cups water (preferably filtered)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste 
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika (pimenton)
  • 1 bouquet garni of bay leaf, thyme, and parsley tied together with kitchen twine
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
  • salt and freshly ground pepper

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a braising pan with a tight-fitting lid, heat the grapeseed oil over medium heat. Add onion, celery, and carrots, stirring occasionally until lightly caramelized (about 10 minutes). 
  3. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add the mushrooms and cook until becoming tender, about 4 minutes.
  4. Add the cannellini beans, water, tomato paste, paprika, bouquet garni, and a pinch or two of salt and some pepper. Stir to combine. 
  5. Cover with the lid and bake in the oven for 90 minutes to 2 hours, or until the beans are becoming tender.
  6. Meanwhile, toss the breadcrumbs with the olive oil, parsley, salt, and pepper.
  7. Remove the cassoulet from the oven and check seasoning (salt and pepper). Top with the breadcrumb mixture and bake uncovered for another 30 minutes or until golden brown.
  8. Serve family style. Enjoy!

Source for Ingredients
  • portobello and shitake mushrooms, parlsey, onions, carrots, garlic, bay leaf, thyme, and celery from the West Hollywood Farmers Market
  • organic breadcrumbs and organic tomato paste from Trader Joe's 
  • Bob's Red Mill cannellini beans and smoked paprika from Whole Foods


  1. This. Looks. Awesome! I love mushrooms and I've been trying to get into the Meatless Monday thing... So, thank you for inspiring some creativity in my household and giving my husband a reprieve from boring salads on Monday nights. :) Delish!

  2. Glad you dig the recipe! This is one of my favorites, and I almost liked it better than traditional cassoulet. It smelled amazing as it cooked, and the mushrooms were delicious.


  3. On this snowy day I think this is the perfect recipe! Thanks Jen for all your inspiring ideas!

    1. Oh, love cassoulet! Let me know how it turns out. :-)