There has never been a better time to try out a plant based diet than during this COVID-19 pandemic. The two biggest reasons to eat meatless meals while “sheltering in place” are: A) Eating lots of fruits and vegetables is an excellent way to boost your immune system and B) fruits and veggies are cheaper and more plentiful in stores than meat and dairy (which can be harder to keep fresh). Some of you who are home with your families may have more time to prepare meals and can ask your children or partner to help prep/chop up veggies for recipes. Turn meal prep time into your own “home economics class” and prepare your kids for life on their own (which comes sooner than you expect).
This recipe from Taste of Home.com is one of our family’s favorites, esp. on cooler nights. It uses easy to find ingredients and tastes like a hearty stew – but without the beef. It is easy to make and serves 4 to 5 (or 10 servings if doubled).
- 2 Tsp olive oil, divided
- 2.5 medium onions, halved and sliced
- 1 garlic cloves, minced
- 4 Large portobello mushrooms cut into 1 inch chunks OR 1 pint package of baby portobello mushrooms cut in half (or quartered if they are big) .
- 1 Tbsp tomato paste
- 1 2/3 cup dry red wine or cooking wine
- 1 cup vegetable or mushroom broth (divided)
- 1 can diced tomatoes, undrained (optional – for more flavor)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp minced free thyme or 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1 (15.5 oz) can navy or northern beans, drained
- 1/2 pkg (14.4 oz) frozen pearl onions (optional)
- 1 1/2 Tbsp all purpose flour
- In a Dutch oven, heat 1 Tbsp oil over medium-high heat. Add carrots and onions; cook and stir 8 – 10 minutes or until onions are tender. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Remove from pan to a separate bowl.
- In same pan, heat 1 Tbsp oil over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms, cook and stir until lightly browned. Note: If you are doubling the recipe – sauté the mushrooms in two batches and return both batches to the pan when finished.
- Add tomato paste; cook and stir for 1 minute. Stir in wine, 1/2 cup of the broth, diced tomatoes, salt, pepper, thyme and carrot mixture; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered for 25 minutes.
- Add the drained beans and pearl onions (if using) and cook for 30 minutes longer.
- In a small bowl, whisk flour and the remaining 1/2 cup of broth until smooth; stir into pan. Bring to a boil and cook and stir 2 minutes or until slightly thickened. Add more broth if the mixture is too thick.
Serve with crusty bread.
Per Serving (without tomatoes): 234 calories, 6 grams of fat (1g sat. fat), 0 mg cholesterol, 613 mg sodium. 33g of carb., 7g fiber, and 9g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 2 starch, 2 vegetable, 1 lean meat, 1 fat.