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Jan 17, 2008 11:42 AM

Need ideas for Vegetarian Braise/Slow Cooked Meal

Temperatures are supposed to go sub-zero over the weekend, and I'm feeling up for some serious hibernating and slow cooked goodness.

After abusing our stomaches over the holidays we're taking a week off of meat and heavy foods and trying to go for the veggies and whole grains. My problem is I don't have any great ideas for vegetarian style comfort food that is still relatively healthy. I've been making pots and pots of soup so am looking for non-soup thoughts.

Can any of you chowhounds help! I've got the time to run the oven all day (and the warmth will be appreciated!). Thanks for your ideas.

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  1. What about braising assorted whole mushrooms and cipollini onions in wine and broth, maybe with some rosemary and a bay leaf, even some shredded kale leaves, served over polenta. Or, in the interest of having grains, perhaps over some barley risotto?

    1. Braised kale, onions and potatoes. Slow cooked canned tomatoes and sauce over polenta. Braised cabbage (I love Molly Stevens' recipe) with some good quality white beans or cranberry beans. Serve that with a yummy polenta and I would be a happy camper. Of course risotto isn't braised, but good for veggie comfort food - barley or rice. Veggie chili is obvious, but still tastey and can be healthy. Roasted veggies of all types - mushrooms, tomatoes (canned this time of year, but they still roast!), squash, sweet potato, beets. They all go with the above ideas. Last night I made some veggie black beans, lightly mashed, topped with roasted butternut squash we needed to use, an over easy egg and a mole verde (or salsa verde would work too). Put that all on top of a oven crisp corn tortilla and it was very tasty. Vegetarian tagine with cous cous or millet (I do the latter because I can't have wheat).

      1. Sorry I don't have recipes off hand, but I got Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Suppers for Christmas and it's full of hearty veggie main courses. There was a ragout of mushrooms, brussels sprouts, and herb dumplings that was really tasty. There are many more dishes I want to try from the book, but I haven't got it here, so sorry I can't be more specific.

        I feel like a jackass for linking to my blog (esp since these photos are from way back and lousy) but they're honest (not infringing) adaptations of some good veggie comfort food.

        Here's a brown rice dish simmered with spinach and white beans. It takes on the texture of a risotto, and it's awesome. It's also from a "lighter" cookbook, so it's fairly healthy:

        If you're more in the mood for a "project," Thomas Keller has an amazing recipe for parisienne gnocchi with squash and mushrooms. But it's not "healthy."

        Finally, here is one of countless version of veggie lasagne. Mine is with sweet potatoes, zucchini, and spinach. The thing about it is, you can increase the veggies and omit the pasta. Just layer the veggies with sauce and bake with your vaforite tomato sauce; it's still really good.

        2 Replies
        1. re: renz

          Renz - Those recipes look delicious! No shame in linking to a blog. I always enjoy something else to read besides chowhound post formats. I don't have a pressure cooker but the brown rice with spinach and white beans sounds wonderful. How would you cook it differently if it were just on the stove top?
          Thank you!

          1. re: ExercisetoEat

            Thanks for the comment. I tried to include the original (non-pressure cooker) method in the last sentence, but maybe I wasn't clear enough. It's pretty simple to use a large pot, and I've done it that way before:
            "Alternatively, bring the liquid to the boil (in a large pot) then reduce heat and cover; simmer 45 minutes. Stir in spinach, parmesan, and beans; cover, simmer till spinach is wilted, (about 5-7 minutes or so). Check seasoning and serve."

        2. Oh, and be sure to check out Great blog, and this is her speciality.

          1. The NYTimes had a great recipe for braised veggies with dumplings in the summer - it's all with spring produce, but you could switch that for roots and kale.