A commitment to “Meatless Monday” is easy for me, since I already eat that way most days. According to the website, this movement began in 2003 and is now active in 44 countries. Eating meat-free at least one day of the week is a positive for our health and good for the Earth.
Here’s one of my recipes that has evolved into a vegetable cassoulet, which is like a vegetable stew or casserole. Not sure if Peter Mayle would have approved of this version of a French classic, but I don’t even miss the meat.
As is typical for my recipes, there are many ingredient options from which you may choose your favorites. Make as little or as much as you want, so amounts will also vary according to your needs and plans.
In a kettle with high sides, brown diced/sliced onions, shallots and/or garlic in olive oil.
If you want your end result to be more like a casserole, your mixture can be emptied into a large casserole and will need less liquid (stock) than the more stew-like version.
Add desired amount of vegetable stock, along with your choices from among sliced leeks, mushrooms and fennel bulb. NOTE: Fennel has a hint of a licorice taste. You might also try a slug of ouzo or pastis in its place for the same flavor. Otherwise, a bit of white cooking wine is also a nice addition.
Add cooked/canned white beans (cannellini, great Northern, or even garbanzos).
Include your choices of the following, peeled and/or cut as required:
parsley and/or thyme, fresh or dried
Adjust liquid as needed. Salt and pepper to taste. If baking, give this at least an hour at 350. If cooking on top of the stove, after your mixture reaches a boil, turn down the heat to a simmer. Cook until veggies are the desired texture.
Pair with your favorite bread and wine, if you wish.