Friday, September 7, 2012

Easy Cassoulet - And Healthy!

Cassoulet is a classic french dish.  It is also, made traditionally, very high in fat.  It also takes a long time to cook.  Well, I need less fat and more time, so I came up with this recipe - Easy Cassoulet - Start to finish in 45 minutes.  No, it's not traditional.  Yes, it is good.  If Meme liked it, it's close enough.

It is also easy to make vegetarian - drop the meat.  You can add a couple of tsp of soy sauce or Braggs aminos.  Some whole mushrooms can add "meatiness" to it also.  You can also always cook the meat on the side and serve it that way, although the meat juices add a lot of flavor to the dish.


2 (or 3) cans northern beans, drained and rinsed.  If available, I like Randall's Beans - they come in a glass jar. 
1 onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
1 celery rib, diced
1lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs – diced
Chicken sausage (left overs if you have them)
Low fat ham if no sausage, diced.  Can use Canadian bacon
1 tsp oregano and thyme (each)
1 Bay leaf
4 cloves garlic, crushed and minced
1 can chicken broth/stock
½ cup white wine, if you have it.  White vermouth works also
2-3 cups fresh spinach, if you like.  Kale is also an option

Whole wheat garlic croutons (home made) – Toast bread, peal garlic clove, cut garlic clove in half.  Rub garlic over toast.  Cut into small pieces.

Either frozen veggie or salad on the side. 

Cooking instructions

Sauté onion, carrot, celery, chicken with 1 teaspoon oil.  When beginning to brown, add garlic and spices – cook an additional 2 minutes.  Add white wine, if using.  After wine cooks off some, add beans, sausage and chicken stock.  Add fresh spinach if you are using.  Cook for ½ hour.  Add ham/Canadian bacon about 15 minutes in.  

Make low fat garlic croutons (see above)

When done, toss garlic toast croutons over cassoulet, then serve.

Serve with veggies or salad.  A green salad with a vinaigrette is very nice - the acidity pairs well with the cassoulet.


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