Northern Bean Cassoulet
Quick and easy, or in the very least easy, is what I’m all about these days. Which is why each week since the arrival of our little girl, I’ve made at least one of our freezer meals. Just pop it in at some point around lunch (whenever that is) and there will be something warm to eat come dinner (whenever that happens). I tried to add as many vegetables as possible to these meals in an attempt to maintain a balanced diet – even tho there is nothing wrong with having ice cream for breakfast! I’ve made bean casseroles before but for this I want to jam as many veggies in as possible and with it being late fall when I prepped these meals, I went heavy on the root vegetables.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
1 1/2 cups (1/2-inch-thick) slices diagonally cut carrot
1 cup (1/2-inch-thick) slices diagonally cut parsnip
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups cooked Great Northern beans, drained and well rinsed
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cans diced tomatoes, undrained
1 bay leaf
3/4 cup organic vegetable broth (day of)
1/4 cup dry breadcrumbs (day of)
¼ cup Parmesan cheese or nutritional yeast (day of)
2 tablespoons butter, melted (day of) - dairy or non
- (Optional) Place all ingredients minus those marked day of in a gallon sized freezer bag. Freeze for up to 3 months in a standard freezer or up to 5 months in a deep freezer.
- When ready to heat, cut the freezer bag along the seam going up to the zipper or press seal and dump into slow cooker. Turn cooker for low and cook for 8hrs (or high for 4-5hrs) adding the vegetable broth.
- Thirty minutes before eating mix together the breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese (or nutritional yeast) and evenly spread over the bean mixture. Top with the melted butter.
- Cook uncovered on high for a final 30 minutes. Topping should slightly crisp up.
- Serve and enjoy!
For a gluten free option just use your favorite GF breadcrumbs or go for something like hemp seeds. Protein, vegetables, and the perfect sauce for some crusty bread makes for a fantastic dinner. To really speed things up, use Gourmet Garden garlic pastes and their Italian Herb paste – tho be warned these do contain whey so are not suitable for vegans but are gluten free.