Recently, there had been a lot of buzz on plant-based meals. I mean, there are a ton of health benefits to having these kinds of meals. However, I thought that maybe I’ll just incorporate more veggies in my meals and that will cover it. So for a while I just let things be.
Recently though, I’ve had a horrible acne breakout and my dermatologist’s first advice didn’t keep the breakout at bay. So she had me go on some sort of detox from anything with histamine for three weeks – that meant chicken, seafood, and a couple of fruits. The problem was that chicken and seafood were the only things my folks at home eat because of their health issues, so we also had to collectively avoid pork and beef (or else our grocery expenses will shoot off the roof). So I thought, hey maybe this is the right time to try incorporating more plant-based meals into my diet.
It wasn’t very easy to be honest. The hardest thing that I had to learn was to find good sources of protein. But what I learned is that there’s a lot that you can do with a ton of research and creativity.
For today’s post, I tried to make a shortcut Plant-based Cassoulet. A Cassoulet is a slowly-simmered stew of white beans, confit duck, pork, and sausage. It’s one of the more popular French dishes and is one of my favorite things to eat in a French restaurant.
To make things easier for me, I used canned beans instead of using uncooked white beans. Then instead of sausages, I used plant-based meat (Veega Meatfree Giniling and meatballs are the ones that I used, but you can use other brands such as Unmeat, or Beyond Meat). If you’re not a fan of meat substitutes, you can skip this one and add more vegetables into your stew. And to compensate for the smoky flavor coming from the sausages and cured pork or bacon, I added one to two drops of Liquid Smoke seasoning. Make sure to add very little of this because the taste is very strong and it can overpower the dish.
The result was an easy comforting dish that is packed with protein, and some other vegetables. It goes really well with rice or toasted bread. It even goes well with a glass of wine.
So here is the recipe for this lovely, easy, healthy, plant-based meal.
White Bean Stew (Plant-based Easy Cassoulet)
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
- 1 can of white beans (250 grams), with liquid drained and the beans lightly washed.
- 250 grams of Plant-based Sausages/meatballs/ground plant-based meat
- 1 large onion, roughly chopped
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 6 cloves of garlic, peeled
- 1 medium carrot, cut into small cubes
- 1 stalk of celery, minced
- 1 cup of any other root vegetable like parsnips, celeriac etc., cut into small cubes.
- 4 cups of vegetable stock
- 1 sprig of fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon of dried thyme leaves
- 1-2 bay leaves
- 1/4 cup of white wine
- 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
- 1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
- 1-2 drops of liquid smoke seasoning
- Salt to taste
- On a pot, heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil.
- Add the minced garlic and roughly chopped onions and stir until onions are slightly translucent.
- Add the carrots and celery and stir for about 3 minutes.
- Add the plant-based meat and saute for about 1 minute.
- Add the rest of the root vegetables and saute again.
- Add the white wine and let the liquid reduce to half.
- Add the white beans.
- Add the sprig of fresh thyme, bay leaves, and peppercorn.
- Cover and cook for 10-12 more minutes.
- Season with salt, and 1-2 drops of liquid smoke seasoning, and mix.
- Serve with a cup of plain rice, or some toasted bread. Enjoy!