meatless monday

For Meatless Monday: Mushroom Lentil Bourguignon

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Julia Child

Perhaps I am hoping against hope here, but I like to think that Julia Child would get on board the Meatless Monday train once in a while, were she still alive.

I first became obsessed with the idea of a vegetarian take on her  classic beef bourguignon several years ago after seeing Smitten Kitchen’s Mushroom Bourguingnon recreated on another blog. It kicked around my head for a long time before I finally whipped up my own version for a Valentine’s Day dinner party with some lady friends back in 2011. Agh! I can’t believe how long ago that sounds! Anyway, I added some lentils to mine for a little extra protein, and I’ve been making it that way ever since.

This recipe is far from traditional (note the lack of butter), but I can promise that it is delicious and satisfying thanks to a generous amount of protein and fiber. It’s the perfect warming meal for a cold night, and it also happens to be a great excuse to open a bottle of wine. It’s often that thing I make when I just want to have a glass and need to justify opening the whole bottle. #SingleLadyProblems.

Mushroom Lentil Bourguignon

Serves 3-4

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 pounds sliced Portobello or cremini mushrooms
  • 1 carrot, finely diced
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely diced
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ tsp dried thyme
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 2-3 cups beef or vegetable broth (or water)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 cup cooked green lentils (or ½ c dry, cooked according to package direction)
  • 1 cup pearl onions, peeled (thawed if frozen)
  • Salt & pepper to taste

1.) Heat the one tablespoon of the olive oil in a heavy sauce pan or stock pot over high heat. Sear the mushrooms until they just begin to darken, (~3 minutes). Remove from pan and set aside.

2.) Lower heat to medium and add the second tablespoon of olive oil. Toss the carrots, onions, celery, garlic, and thyme. Season with salt and pepper and cook about 10, minutes stirring occasionally, until the onions begin to lightly brown.

3.) Add the wine to the pot, scraping up any bits that may have stuck to the bottom of the pan. Turn the heat all the way up and allow contents of pot to reduce by half (cooks off the alcohol). Stir in the tomato paste and broth/water. Add back the mushrooms and then the lentils and pearl onions.

4.) Lower heat and simmer ~ 20-25 minutes or until it reaches desired thickness.

The traditional way to serve this is over egg noodles with sour cream and sprinkle with chives or parsley, but I actually like it over steamed greens like kale or spinach with some crusty bread on the side for dipping. It’s also delicious with some crumbled goat cheese on top.

What do you think—would Julia Child be a Meatless Monday supporter? 

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What I Ate Wednesday #100

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Welcome to the 100th Installment of What I Ate Wednesday! It sounds like I’m being hyperbolic, no? It’s true, though. It seems like a whole other lifetime ago that I joined this weekly link party, and man, has the time flown.As always, thanks to Jenn for hosting. To see more WIAW from other bloggers, visit Peas & Crayons.

This week I decided to hop on the Meatless Monday bandwagon, just because. In that past lifetime during which I began these WIAW posts, most of my days were meatless, so I didn’t feel the need to make it a point on one particular day. Though I still have plenty of meat-free days, I definitely eat more animal protein than I did two years ago, and I feel much better for it.

I actually had a nice conversation with someone at the gym the other day—they asked me if I was a trainer, and after I stopped laughing, we got to talking about being active to stay well. I mentioned my experience working with a physical therapist who taught me to focus on staying strong to avoid getting hurt. For better or worse, it was a really crappy arm injury a few years ago that caused me to take a step back and redefine my relationship with exercise and food—and to stop listening to people whose advice/bullying was based solely on their own interests and narrow belief systems.  It was a difficult learning experience, but I’m grateful for it. I joke about being protective of my skeleton, but I’m not f***ing around—it’s the only one I’ve got!

Haha anyway, that’s the short version of the long story of why I eat meat sometimes now, though I still favor eggs, fish, and dairy.  I feel good, my labs are normal, and I couldn’t give a flying f*** what a guy thinks about my eating habits. I think some people do great with vegetarian/vegan diets but I’m not one of them. I’d be a hypocrite for telling people to tune in and listen to their body’s wants and needs if I didn’t do it myself.

Speaking of eating habits, here’s what I ate this past Monday.

Breakfast: zucchini bread oatmeal

Lunch: tortellini soup; side salad; dark chocolate

Snack: yogurt with fruit and cereal

Dinner: tandoori tofu with curried basmati rice, veggies, and avocado

Snack (unpictured): sliced banana with PB2 sauce with cocoa & protein powder mixed in—an experiment gone ok

Do you participate in Meatless Monday? What’s the best thing you’ve eaten recently? Is your diet different than it was 2 years ago?