Beans Bourguignon

The classic dish Beef Bourguignon gets a makeover to turn it into a vegetarian delight.

beans bourguignon 1

I am so fortunate to have a child who loves good food and is eager to try everything and anything. In fact, the more gourmet or exotic the better. After recently hearing a classmates speech on how animals are treated in the name of fast food, my daughter decided to become a vegetarian and is now discovering new foods and new food combinations.

One new recipe I tried had her smiling as the smell of simmering onions, carrots, mushrooms, thyme, and rosemary filled the house. I stumbled upon a recipe for beans bourguignon in the Vegetarian Cooking cookbook by the Culinary Institute of America and knew it was right up her alley. The recipe uses kidney beans in place of the traditional beef and so I decided to try it last week. The dish came together quickly, the flavours were rich, and it was a big hit at the dinner table.

The original recipe is cooked in a short time on the stove top and while I chose to start it that way, I switched it to the slow cooker for a few hours to allow the flavours extra time to fully develop. I also omitted the flour to make the recipe gluten-free (it wasn’t necessary in the end). As always, be sure to use high quality ingredients for the best results: select a good red wine and high quality tomatoes.

This recipe is a keeper for us.

The recipe posted below includes my modifications (removing the flour and the tempeh ) and has instructions for using the slow cooker. The original recipe can be found here.


  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 shallots, diced
  • 4 carrots, peeled, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 12 ounces cremini mushrooms, quartered
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 3 cups kidney beans, cooked
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  1. In a large sauté pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the shallots, carrots, and garlic, and cook until the shallots are translucent, about 3–4 minutes.
  2. Add the mushrooms and continue to cook until they start to become tender, about 4–5 minutes more.
  3. Stir in the thyme, rosemary, bay leaf, tomatoes, broth, and half of the wine.
  4. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 20–25 minutes.
  5. Add the rest of the wine, beans, salt, and pepper. Continue to simmer until good flavor develops, about 10–15 minutes more. Remove and discard the herbs and bay leaf.

Recipe adapted from Culinary Institute of America.

*My slow cooker steps: follow the directions through steps 1-3, adding all the wine at step 3. Bring the ingredients to a boil then transfer to a slow cooker. Cook on low until the vegetables are tender, about 4-6 hours (depending on your slow cooker). Add the beans about 1 hour before serving and season to taste. Remove the herbs and bay leaf before serving.


Creamy Dill Dip

Burn Your Boosters Cake
Burn Your Boosters Cake

Last weekend we celebrated a milestone birthday of sorts for a couple young family members who are now old enough to leave their booster seats behind. The theme was Burn the Boosters (any excuse for a party) and while we couldn’t actually burn their booster seats, my sister made a fantastic cake that we ‘burned’ instead.

Burn Your Boosters Cake
Burn Your Boosters Cake

The cake was of course the highlight of the party, but in our house no one ever goes home hungry and there was plenty of food to enjoy including a waffle bar with plenty of toppings, and lots of munchies to start things off.

Creamy Dill Dip
Creamy Dill Dip

While we waited for the party to get into full swing, everyone noshed on a chip and cracker platter with a homemade creamy dill dip. Now I must admit that normally I buy all the munchies for parties and focus on making only the main dishes, but this time I decided to try my hand at making a dip from scratch. I started with a cream cheese base, added some Greek yogurt for a creamy smooth texture, and added both chopped dill pickles and fresh dill (there’s never enough dill). The result was nothing less than addictive.  The cream cheese and yogurt gave a beautiful creamy tang while the chopped dill added small crunchy bursts of flavour.

We have another party this weekend and the only question now is do I try another dip, or can I make the dill dip one more time?


This dip is best if made several hours ahead in order to allow the flavours to fully develop.

8 oz Philadelphia cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
3/4 cup chopped dill pickles
3 tbsp chopped fresh dill (you can add more or less to taste)
pickle juice, as needed

In a bowl, add the cream cheese, yogurt, pickles, and fresh dill. Mix until well blended. Add pickle juice, a little at a time as needed, until you reach your desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate until needed.

*I put the dip together the night before the party then let it to sit at room temperature for about 15-20 minutes before serving to allow the cream cheese to soften a little.

Creamy Dill Dip -perfect with chips or crackers
Creamy Dill Dip -perfect with chips or crackers