Beans with Mushrooms

Another new favorite from this vegetarian kick that I've been on. I'm finding some good recipes so far that are substantial meals, not the commonly misconceived leaves of lettuce that lead to malnourishment and ultimate weakness.
Nah, this is good stuff, and if you're not paying attention you don't even notice the lack of meat. What's awesome too is that I cut my grocery bill by 1/3 this week. I can't claim this is all because I didn't buy meat, because I did. I'm still eating meat. But I'm not eating as much, and I've found these recipes use common ingredients so I'm buying fewer items in larger packages and utilizing leftover ingredients.

Vegetarian: Over 300 Healthy and Wholesome Recipes Chosen from Around the World. So far I've discovered three recipes I've really enjoyed out of this book, and I look forward to trying some more, like beet, wild mushroom and potato casserole.

Starting with oil and butter melting in a frying pan. Right away we know this is going to be something incredibly healthy. For you health conscious folks, there are 76 grams of fat in this picture. It sounds like a lot but it is far less net fat content per serving compared to a fast food value meal. Plus this dish isn't valu-pak'd with the thousands of grams of carbs and mgs of sodium and processed sugar.

But I digress. Oil and butter that's where we're at.

Here's a couple of shallots chopped up. Heating these about medium-high until softened.

Throw in a couple-three garlics.

I've had a big pot of water going since before I started because I need to make pasta for this. The recipe calls for pappardelle, which I've never heard of nor can I find at my store(s), so basically lasagna noodles cut in half the long way will work just fine.

Add the mushrooms and cook down for 3-4 minutes. I used canned mushrooms here which I realized at the end there are better options. More on this later..

Adding sun-dried tomatoes, wine (white grape juice in my house) and salt and pepper to taste.

Stir in the beans and stir it up. Let the beans get heated through and the liquid soak up and evaporate until it's mostly gone. I used a mixture of dark red and white kidney beans which seemed to work out okay.

Mix it up and let em cook.

Pasta's up. I didn't get too fancy with this. I basically just ran a knife through the lot several times to make some bite sized pieces.

As a finishing touch add some Parmesan cheese and chopped parsley. Serve it over your pasta, maybe a little more Parmesan cheese and parsley garnish and you have a delicious and satisfying vegetarian meal.

This dish is very wholesome and earthy, and that's not a bad thing. My version was rather bland and I think that's the result of using the canned mushrooms. Fresh mushrooms would have absorbed the flavors from the shallot, garlic, and white wine (grape juice) much better than the briny presaturated canned.

Another thing about the mushrooms - the beans are a texture and the pasta is the body of this dish, so your mushrooms are essentially your flavor as well as an additional texture. If you can, if your store carries a variety of mushrooms, I would suggest experimenting and finding a blend that works for you. Tonight I am making this dish again for dinner and I'm going to use regular fresh mushrooms along with a small package of fresh portabellas to throw into the mix. We'll see how it goes.

Beans with Mushrooms Recipes

Vegetarian: Over 300 Healthy and Wholesome Recipes Chosen from Around the World
2 T olive oil
4 T butter
2 shallots, chopped
2-3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 1/2 lbs mixed mushrooms, sliced
4 pieces sun-dried tomatoes, drained and chopped
6 T dry white wine
15 oz can red kidney, pinto or borlotti beans, drained
3 T Parmesan cheese, grated
2 T fresh parsley, chopped
salt and pepper
freshly cooked pappardelle pasta, to serve

Heat oil and butter in frying pan. Fry shallots until soft.
Add garlic and mushrooms and fry for 3-4 minutes.
Stir in sun-dried tomatoes, wine and seasoning to taste.
Stir in beans and cook for 5-6 minutes until most of the liquid is absorbed and beans are heated through.
Stir in Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle with parsley and serve over pappardelle.

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