I found my love of cooking many years ago. It started off with my original blog “The Common Sense Cook” where I shared all of my recipes that I often made up. This lead to researching, reading, and watching many different recipes from many cuisines. The one that caught the most of my attention was Julia Child. Her fun personality and warbly voice combined with easy instructions for any home cook became an obsession.
My husband bought me both volumes of “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” for Christmas and I knew exactly what to make. I instantly turned to bouef bourguignon (beef stew). It was the first video I had watched when I found “The French Chef” on YouTube. I followed her instructions intimately, as I rarely do, and I was rewarded with probably the most delicious French beef stew that could be put into existence by us mere mortals.
But, nearly two years ago I contracted Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and as a side effect became allergic to all mammal meats. So yes, you guessed it. No more Julia’s Bouef Bourguignon. It didn’t bother me at first and sparked my vegan journey so in a way I’m grateful for this experience. There’s been so many great lessons, however… Cravings do happen.
I found myself craving bouef bourguignon several months after going vegan and it kind of hurt. I was trying so hard to live this lifestyle at 100%. Why would my cravings betray me so? Thankfully, I’m never one to stay in that place for long and I went off to the interwebs determined to find an alternative.
There were several recipes that looked acceptable but I felt like it wouldn’t have been Julia’s Champignon Bourguignon (mushroom bourguignon). To my kitchen I went with the words of Julia looking back at me from cookbook holder. I could almost imagine Julia sitting at my island counter with a glass of wine in hand cheering me on.
It took some time and a few failed attempts… It took the courage of my convictions and the bravery to think outside of the box. In the end, I created something that gives me that first feeling of accomplishment that I felt so long ago. A stew from mushrooms, with a few alterations for my food allergies that actually warms not just my belly, but my soul as well.
I want to encourage you to keep trying new recipes and ingredients. Life can hand you some challenging recipes but it’s what you do with the ingredients that makes the difference. In the end, I believe just as Julia once said, “People who love to eat are the best people.” Keep eating and keep cooking.
- 2-3 Large Carrots
- 1 Medium or Half a Large Yellow Onion
- 8 to 10 Yukon Gold Potatoes
- 2 Packages of Baby Portobello Mushrooms
- One Shallot
- 2 to 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- ½ Teaspoon of Dried Thyme
- ½ Cup of Red Wine (Something you like to drink.)
- 1 Cup of Vegetable Broth
- 1 Tablespoon of Tomato Paste (Or Pumpkin Puree)
- ½ Cup of Sliced Blanched Almonds
- 1 to 2 Garlic Cloves
- Pink Himalayan Salt to taste.
- Fresh Cracked Black Pepper
- 1 Tablespoon of Vegan Butter
- 1 to 2 Tablespoons of Nutritional Yeast (Optional)
- 1 to 2 Tablespoons of Unsweetened Almond Milk
- Prepare your vegetables by peeling and dicing the carrots, onions, and potatoes. Mincing the shallot and garlic, cube the Yukon gold potatoes, and slice the mushrooms. Doing this will make this dish so much easier to make.
- Add olive oil to a skillet of choice.
- Bring a large pot of salty water to a boil.
- When your skillet is hot (but not smoking) add in your sliced mushrooms. Don’t overcrowd the pan or they won’t cook properly.
- After 2 to 3 minutes you can add the minced shallot to the mushrooms. Give it a good stir to incorporate.
- In 3 to 4 more minutes you’ll start seeing the mushrooms are browned and the shallot has become more translucent, carefully place them in a bowl to the side. Do not clean the pan.
- Once the salted water begins to boil, add the cubed Yukon gold potatoes. Let boil 10 to 15 minutes or until the potato can slide easily off the end of a knife. Drain and set aside.
- Add the diced yellow onion and carrot the mushroom pan and stir frequently. Add salt, pepper, and thyme.
- Add garlic and blanched sliced almonds to the pan and stir until the garlic is fragrant.
- Add half a cup of red wine to the pan and deglaze the bottom of the pan to get that treasure left behind by the mushrooms earlier.
- Pour in 1 cup of vegetable broth, and stir in either 1 tablespoon of tomato paste or pumpkin puree.
- Stir well, then use the spoon to make sure all of the mushrooms and other vegetables are all even in the pan and simmer for 15 minutes stirring occasionally, then smoothing to make sure it is even across the pan.
- When the potatoes are drained add them to a mixing bowl. Add a tablespoon of vegan butter, salt, pepper, and nutritional yeast (optional). Blend with a hand mixer and add a little unsweetened almond milk until the creamy consistency you desire is reached.
- Add a spoonful of potatoes (okay, maybe a few) to a plate and spoon the mushroom stew over the top. You can add some toasted blanched sliced almonds on top for added texture.
- Voila! Bon appetit!