Vegetarian French Cassoulet

IMG_5610I know the very idea of a vegetarian French cassoulet is an idea of contradictions. French love a few things: butter, pastry, slapstick comedy, pencil-thin mustaches and meat. Also, from what I told they also love hating on Americans, but I’ve never been there so I can’t say firsthand. Part of me feels that the stereotype has been given the mythic proportions treatment, but the other part of me feels like, “Well can’t really blame them. We’re pretty gross.”

But this IS a vegetarian French cassoulet. Meat substitutions and vegetable stock replace the typical meaty ingredients. Just go generous with the salt. I was a bit conservative and I think it needs more than “to taste.”

I’m also skipping the bread crumbs because it gave the texture a more mealy grit to it and unless you’re talking about grits, it’s never a good thing for food to be described as mealy or gritty.

Vegetarian French Cassoulet (adapted from The Mediterranean Cookbook)

  • 1/2 pound Trader Joe’s “Beef-less” Strips cut into a dice
  • 1/2 pound Tofurkey Italian sausage cut into 1/2-inch slices
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 large red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 15-oz cans navy beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 14 1/2-oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • Salt and pepper to taste

This recipe can either be cooked in the oven or using a crockpot

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees if using the oven.

Place “beef” and sausage in a large casserole or crockpot. Set aside. Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat and then add the onion, red pepper and garlic. Saute until onions and pepper are soft, about 10 minutes. Add to the casserole or crockpot. Add beans, tomatoes, thyme and vegetable broth to casserole or crockpot and stir all ingredients to combine.

If using a casserole, bake, uncovered for 90 minutes. Or cook in a crockpot on low for 6-7 hours.

Serves 8

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