This post is part of the Food Matters Project, a cooking collaboration among participating bloggers. Each week, we will cook a recipe from Mark Bittman’s Food Matters Cookbook, which places an emphasis on mindful and sustainable eating. Follow along with us!
I am very excited about this week’s Food Matters Project recipe Cassoulet with Lots of Vegetables, chosen by Keely Marie. I couldn’t wait to get my hands it! Well, mostly because of the word vegetables. Lately, I cannot get enough of this green goodness! And of course I do love orange and red too. I just couldn’t pass on the chance to put all of my favorite vegetables together in a bowl to create a beautiful rainbow cassoulet.
The recipe calls for enough ingredients to make a meal for 8, but I was only cooking for a friend and myself so I decided to use my mini casserole to make this dish. I combined the recipe for the cassoulet with the cooking method of using a mini casserole dish, which involved cooking the vegetables in a pot on the stove top before placing into mini ceramic ware and letting it cook in the oven for twenty minutes. I might also add that it was the most aromatic 20 minutes my kitchen has seen in awhile.
I wanted to stay true to the recipe, but it was difficult considering the number of ingredients that went into it. I had to cut it down to the few essential ingredients, including carrots, celery, zucchini, and tomatoes. I also used dried herbs (the herbes de provence from Whole Foods is amazing) instead of fresh herbs because it was what I already had in my kitchen.
As I have made an effort to cut down on my meat consumption recently, I chose to use tofu instead of italian sausages. I was afraid the tofu would get mushy if cooked with the vegetables, so I let it brown first and removed it from the heat and added it back in when it was time to cook the entire concoction in the oven.
Julie Sophonpanich is a senior at Brown University where she concentrates in History of Art and Architecture. She often puts her honors thesis aside to cook up a delicious meal filled with glorious vegetables.
Mini Casserole with Lots of Vegetables
Adapted from The Food Matters Cookbook
1 tbsp olive oil
1 cup tofu, cubed
3 cloves minced garlic
½ cup of diced carrots
½ cup of diced celery
½ cup diced zucchini
½ cup diced tomatoes
1 tsp mixed dried herbs (savory, thyme, rosemary, basil, tarragon, lavender flower)
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Heat the oil in a deep pan over med-high heat. A minute later, add the tofu and cook, turning as needed, until the pieces are golden brown on all sides (about 5 minutes). Remove the tofu from the pan.
Reduce the heat to med and add the garlic. Cook the garlic until brown. Then add carrots, celery, zucchini, and tomatoes. Add herbs, salt and pepper and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat once again to low. Cook until softened (about 5 minutes).
Add the tofu into the mixture and stir well. Split the ingredients into two small mini casserole. And place it in the oven with the lids on for 20 minutes.
After 20 minutes, remove from heat and serve using the mini casserole.