A cozy, wintertime stew just right for the New Year! Comforting, healthy & full of flavor – you can prep it ahead and pop in your slow cooker so it’s ready when you are… OR do it all in one punch, simmering on a stovetop in under 30. Either way, your tummy will thank you.
We all experience time crunches. For me, Mondays are particularly GO, GO, GO. If I don’t have something in the slow cooker before I head out of the door to fulfill job #7, mom taxi, we don’t eat.
Here was the scenario a couple weeks back. The day had stacked up with back to backs, and I was dialing in for my last work obligation, a conference call, at 3pm. We needed to be wheels-on-pavement at 330 for the girls to make it in time to their practice.
Uh oh. Better think quickly. I took the call in my kitchen. With my headset on, I start chopping up what I can find in the fridge. A half an onion, some garlic, a head of cabbage, leftover tomato sauce from pizza night, and a can of beans from the pantry. After a quick turn in the skillet, into the crockpot it goes. I grab a loaf of bread from the freezer to thaw while we’re gone… and we’re off!
You know what? Dinner that night was darn good. And it got me to thinking, “this would be a great dish for New Years!”
I’m a (bit of a) traditionalist. I’ve GOTTA have a warm potful of beans on NYD… beans for the new year being auspicious and all.
Certainly an excellent slow cooker dish, you could also do the whole thing on the stovetop, which is indicated in the recipe instructions. It’s also easily made vegan, by using vegetable stock and leaving out the cheese.
The night we had it though, (“Meatless Monday”… I’m a terrible rule follower!), I had some delicious Spanish Jamon (a cured meat similar to prosciutto) in the fridge. It was quite nice atop the brothy beans and cabbage, and reminded me of the classic french dish, cassoulet, but without all the heavy, fatty sausage and duck which is typical.
So, au revoir to 2020! Can’t say I’ll miss ya! And I can’t think of a better dish to usher in the new year!
A healthy and happy to you and yours. Cheers!
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Slow Cooked Vegetarian Cassoulet
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 small onion chopped
- 2 medium carrots chopped
- 4 garlic cloves chopped
- 3 sprigs thyme
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 small green cabbage halved and sliced thinly
- 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
- Freshly cracked black pepper
- 1 8- ounce can tomato sauce
- 2-3 cups chicken stock or vegetable stock
- 1 14- ounce can white beans
- Juice from ½ lemon
- 2 ounces gruyere cheese grated
- 4 thick slices of artisan style country bread toasted just before serving
- Add the olive oil to a large deep skillet with a lid. Cook the onions and carrots over medium heat with ½ teaspoon salt until softened, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic, thyme, and paprika and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the cabbage, raise the heat to high and cook, stirring, until it starts to take on some color. Pour in the tomato sauce and stir, scraping up any brown bits that are stuck to the bottom. Add the beans.
- If using a slow cooker, transfer the mixture to the slow cooker and pour in 2 cups of chicken stock or vegetable stock. Add another teaspoon of salt, freshly cracked black pepper, stir, and set to medium heat. Set the timer for 3 hours.
- If completing the dish on the stovetop, pour in 3 cups of chicken stock or vegetable stock, add the remaining teaspoon of salt, and bring to a simmer. Cook over medium heat, partially covered, for 20 minutes. It should still be brothy, but reduced somewhat.
- Just before serving, taste for seasoning and add more salt and black pepper if needed, and remove the thyme sprigs. Squeeze the lemon juice over and stir.
- To serve, place the bread in the bottom of each of 4 bowls. Ladle the cabbage on top, then top with the shredded cheese.
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