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Author Notes: Yes, there was a time I ate meat. I did. Not much, and never eagerly, but now and than I did, when my kids seemed to crave for smoked sausage for example, to go with their stew, or just a firm piece of steak. Organically of course, and always overloaded with vegetables (which I mainly ate), but still.. it just wasn’t my cup of tea.
So, when I decided to officially become a vegetarian, it felt good instantly. I never ate meat again, and my body never told me otherwise. Slowly but surely the rest of my family started to follow, and I barely heard them about meat ever since. (But of course, when they’re really grunchy and cantankerous, I hurry to the store, and just get them what they need, which in that case, is basically meat.) Though, there are many great dishes made with meat, I have to admit. And to never ever make them again, is just not an option.
For example, this delicious recipe comes from my 'great' meat-era, when I used to make ‘Coq au Vin’, -which of course, is not done anymore for this blog, nor my lifestyle- and so I turned it into a magical mushroom stew. Without le coq! And instead of mashed potatoes, I made puree of celeriac. Which is terrifyingly easy by the way, and really a lot healthier than regular mashed potatoes, since it rises sky high on the glycemic index (GI). It measures 90(!) on the GI which is even higher than normal table-sugar, which lingers at 70. (for more information on GI, have a look at http://bit.ly/GI-Index It's absolutely interesting)
And this celeriac cream just tastes awesome. It’s mellow and light, and you absolutely won’t crave for mashed potatoes ever again. (Ow, how I think of all the great recipes we could make with this cream!!) I bought all these different kinds of mushrooms, in my favourite health store around the corner, including oyster mushrooms, which give this amazingly meaty taste. Mixed with lot’s of shallots, carrots, celery stalks and a bottle of rich- and mellow red wine, it couldn’t taste (or look!) any better. Who needs meat anymore?! —Mirjam Leslie-Pringle
Serves 5 or 6
- 1 large preferably organic celeriac
- 1/2 cup (125ml) organic soy cooking cream
- 1 clove of garlic
- freshly ground pepper and salt
Magical mushroom stew
- 1 packet (250 gr.) small white mushrooms
- 1 box mixed mushrooms (just use what is available and what you like)
- 1 box crimini mushrooms (brown ones)
- 4 medium sized carrots or 2 large ones
- 4 celery stalks
- 10 shallots
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 2 tablespoons (large) butter or ghee (25 gr)
- 5 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 vegetable cubes
- 1 cup water
- 3 cups rich red wine
- several stems of thyme
- large bunch of parsley
- Bring a large pot of water to boil, and add a bit of salt. Use 1 large celeriac
- Peel it with a large knife, and cut it in rough pieces, add to the boiling water and cook for about 30 minutes, or until soft.
- Peel and cut your shallots across into halfs
- Clean the carrots,and cut them in oblique slices
- Clean and chop the celery, and set aside with the rest of your vegetables
- Roughly chop the mushrooms. Leave the smaller ones intact.
- Slice the garlic thinly, and use about 2 large tbsp of butter or ghee (25 gr)
- Add the butter to a large and heavy skillet and add the olive oil as well, heat on high temperature.
- Add the garlic, turn the heat to medium temperature and simmer until soft, for about 4 to 5 minutes.
- Add the mushrooms and stir fry until they are covered in butter and oil well. Stir fry for about 5 minutes on high temperature
- And than add the rest of the vegetables. Again, stir fry on high temperature for another 5 minutes
- Than, add the red wine, the cup of water and the 2 vegetable cubes
- Add the sprigs of thyme, and 3 leaves of laurel, stir through well, and cover lid. Bring to a boil, simmer for 30 minutes.
- In the meantime, drain your celeriac, they should be nice and soft. Add to a mixing bowl and add the soy cooking cream.
- Add a clove of garlic, pepper and salt, and mix until smooth. Bring to taste with sea salt and freshly ground pepper
- After 30 minutes add a great hand of finely chopped parsley, stir in, close lid again and simmer for another 20 to 30 minutes. (watch now and than, it shouldn't get too dry)
- After another 30 minutes all the vegetables should be nice and soft and beautifully colored. Taste, and add salt if necessary, and freshly ground pepper.
- Remove the leaves and thyme and divide the celeriac cream over the plates and add a layer of the mushroom stew on top. Sprinkle with extra freshly chopped parsley.