How to: Make your Own Mushroom Bourguignon


This post was inspired by the leftover wine I had sitting around from Christmas.

Just kidding.

No such thing.

But if there is such a thing in your home, this recipe will make excellent use of it.


It’s also an adaptation from my blog hero Deb Perlman via Smitten Kitchen. I’ve been making and swooning over it for years, but haven’t shared it before because, well, it’s a lot of work.

I’ve adapted the method and have done my best to streamline this crazy delicious meal for you without sacrificing on flava flave. Start to finish you’re looking at about 45 minutes. Perhaps not a quickie weeknighter, but definitely do-able if you have a little extra time to spend.


Those up there are pearl onions and they are flippin delish. Though I’ve seen food TV chefs cook with pre-peeled frozen packages of them, I have never found them frozen myself, so I take the extra step to peel them, which I admit is a pain in the A.

You can absolutely leave them out if need be though.  I have in the past and it really is still excellent.


I’ve also adapted this dish to make it truly vegetarian (vegan, actually). Use a good quality vegetable broth instead of beef and use a little cornstarch and water for thickening rather than the butter and flour.


It’s a really great and satisfying vegetarian main. Perfect for a dinner party and dynamite served over my creamy baked polenta. I promise, it tastes as luxurious as it looks.


Freeze whatever you don’t eat, too.

Imagine coming home on a blistery winter’s night after a long day of work and having to simply pop a bowl of this in the microwave for dinner?


Heaven I tells you.


Mushroom Bourguignon

Serves 6
Prep time 20 minutes
Cook time 25 minutes
Total time 45 minutes
Website Lightly adapted from Smitten Kitchen


  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2lb cremini mushrooms (sliced)
  • 1 Medium carrot (diced)
  • 1 Small onion (diced)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves (or 1/2 tsp dried)
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 cups low sodium beef broth
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 cups pearl onions (peeled)
  • 1 tablespoon butter (softened)
  • 1.5 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • more salt and fresh ground pepper (to taste)
  • parsley and sour cream/greek yogurt for garnish


The pearl onions are a delicious addition to this stew, but you can leave them out if you have a hard time finding them.  To easily peel them, drop them in boiling water for 1 minute and drain. Slice off the very end of each side and slip the peel off.


1. Heat canola oil in a large pot over high heat. Add mushrooms and sauté (they will squeak around in the pan) until they begin to release their juices. About 3-4 minutes.
2. Reduce heat to medium. Add carrot, onion, garlic, thyme, red wine, salt and pepper and simmer until vegetables are soft and liquid is reduced by half, about 8-10 minutes. Add beef broth, tomato paste and pearl onions and continue to simmer for another 5-7 minutes.
3. In a small bowl, mix together softened butter and flour until it forms a paste. Stir it into the mushrooms, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until thickened, 2-3 minutes. Season with additional salt and pepper, as needed.
4. Remove from heat. Serve with smashed potatoes, egg noodles or your carb of choice to soak up all the wonderful gravy. Garnish with sour cream or greek yogurt and parsley, if desired.

How to: Slow Cooker – Daal

There is no shortage of slow cooker recipes popping up all over the place now that it’s fall. So why should you try this one? Because.


And also, it was a “perfect on the first try” recipe. A simple, healthy, flavourful stew that tastes great right out of the slow cooker and even greater the next day for lunch.


I tend to use my gigantic slow cooker in fits and starts. I find it does a great job of braising meat slow and low, but vegetables? Not so much.  In my experience, they get obliterated beyond recognition.  Sure, you can shorten the cook time. But then why use a slow cooker? Isn’t the idea to set it and forget it for the day? All this to say, since I seldom cook with meat at home, mine has been getting hauled out a couple of times a year at most. And I’ve decided, it’s just not enough to justify all of the valuable kitchen real estate it occupies.

So it’s been slow cooker testing mania all up in here.


This recipe is a mash up of a slow cooker daal I found in The Best of Bridge Family Slow Cooker cookbook and my favourite stovetop daal recipe from Indian Cooking Unfolded by Raghavan Iyer. Guys. It’s really really good.


I really like the combination of split peas and red lentils.  The lentils break down quite a bit more than the peas and give the daal a rich, thick texture.  If you’ve only got one or the other though, it’s all good.  Roll with it.  Fiddle with the spices if you like, too.  Add a pinch of cayenne for heat. Replace some of the chicken stock with coconut milk, or simply add a can of coconut milk and make it more of a soup.

When it’s done, jazz it up however you like.  Add fresh herbs (cilantro, parsley), a dollop of yogurt or sour cream or a squeeze of lime. Sprinkle on some toasted almonds or pine nuts or top with some cool, creamy avocado cubes.  It can be as humble or as fancy as you like.

Eat up, buttercups.


Slow Cooker Daal

Serves 6-8
Prep time 5 minutes
Cook time 6 hours
Total time 6 hours, 5 minutes


  • 1 cup dried split yellow peas (well rinsed)
  • 1 cup red lentils (well rinsed)
  • 1 Small onion (finely chopped)
  • 1 796mL (28 oz) can of whole tomatoes (chopped roughly in the can with scissors)
  • 3 cups no salt added chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
  • 2 teaspoons cumin powder
  • 2 teaspoons tumeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt (more or less to taste)


1. Add all ingredients to slow cooker, stir once or twice to combine. Set on low heat for 6-8 hours until split peas are cooked through but maintain their shape. Serve with rice, naan or something to soak up the delicious juices.










How To: Big Batch – Sweet Potato, White Bean, Peanut Butter Stew

Erin and I recently gave a food demonstration at work focused on easy and healthy vegetarian lunches. Three of our popular vegetarian recipes were cooked up and dished out to a wonderful group of food loving participants.

The vegetarian lunch theme seemed to be very popular and we actually received many requests for more vegetable-centric recipes that could be cooked in advanced and reheated for lunch and dinner during the week.

Well here is your answer! A large batch of this creamy and comforting stew is easily prepped and cooked on the weekend to have a lunch that will actually make you excited about getting up in the morning for work!

If you saw peanut butter and thought, “peanut butter?!? In a soup?!?” Yes, peanut butter in a soup adds a delicious and rich finish to this dish. It will make you want to stir it into every chili, soup, and stew you make in the coming winter months (peanut butter chili is delicious – trust me!)

The stew is loaded with veggies and packed with flavour and is a one dish meal to boot. All you need is a slice of crusty bread for dipping and dinner is served! So cook up a large batch of this stew on the weekend and have an easy and healthy vegetarian lunch ready and waiting to be heated and devoured!


Sweet Potato, White Bean, Peanut Butter Stew

Serves 6
Dietary Vegetarian
Website Cooking Light


  • 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion (diced)
  • 1 clove garlic (minced)
  • 1 red pepper (chopped)
  • 2 zucchini (chopped)
  • 2 sweet potatoes (chopped)
  • 2 1/2 Cups vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 Tsp cumin
  • 3/4 Tsp salt
  • 1/4 Tsp pepper
  • 1 14 oz can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 4.5 oz can of diced green chilis
  • 1 can of white beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 1 Tsp grated ginger
  • 3 Tbsp creamy peanut butter
  • chopped almonds and lime (for garnish)


This stew is great served with some crusty bread for dipping! You can top it with any nut you like. I also like a squeeze of hot sauce right before eating for a little more heat.


1. Preheat a large dutch oven or pot over medium high heat and add oil.
2. Saute onion and garlic for about 5 minutes, or until tender.
3. Add red pepper and zucchini and continue to cook until tender, about another 5 minutes.
4. Add sweet potatoes, beans, water, broth, ginger, cumin, green chills, diced tomatoes, and salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat and simmer for about 30 minutes, or until potatoes are tender.
5. Remove lid and let simmer for another 5-10 minutes. Remove about 1 cup of liquid to a small bowl and add peanut butter. Whisk until combined.
6. Add peanut butter mixture back to stew. To serve, garnish with chopped almonds and a squeeze of lime juice.


How to: Slow Cooker Lentil and Sweet Potato Stew

I got a new slow cooker!

Please see our pulled chicken post for more info on the demise of the previous one.  I’ve promised my husband I will treat this one with a little more respect.

I need to start using my slow cooker more.  I say this each time I use it, because each time I use it I marvel over what I genius I am.

There really is nothing like having a no-brainer dinner hot and ready when you walk in the door at the end of a long day. Especially when it’s cold and dark by 5:30pm.

And a no-brainer dinner with just a handful of ingredients that makes plenty for dinner and leftover lunches? Sign me up.

Slow Cooker Lentil and Sweet Potato Stew


  • 1 cup dry lentils
  • 2 Medium sweet potatoes (cut into 3/4 inch pieces)
  • 1 tablespoon ginger (grated or finely minced)
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 8 cups baby spinach
  • salt and pepper (to taste)


  • plain yogurt


Make this a 15 minute meal by using canned lentils - Simmer over medium heat until sweet potatoes are tender.


1. Add all ingredients except spinach, salt & pepper and yogurt to a slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours
2. Season with salt and pepper to taste
3. Add fresh spinach to stew and stir until wilted. Serve over rice or quinoa and top with a dollop of plain yogurt

Ginger adds a zip and a freshness to slow cooker meals.  I find the best way to prep it is to freeze it and grate with the small side of a grater.

Prepping the ingredients the night before, in this case chopping up the sweet potato, grating the ginger and adding the curry powder, will save time and allow you to add the wet ingredients and slip out the door with less than 5 minutes work in the morning.

Adding fresh greens right before you eat will ensure they stay bright and fresh and will add great texture.

Now, to plan my next genius slow cooker move…