Lentil Mushroom Stroganoff
Despite my Midwestern habits—devotion to plaid; overt friendless; lifetime crush on Tim McGraw—I’ve never considered myself much of a meat and potatoes girl. I’m more…veggies and noodles.
Classic Midwestern dishes such as chicken and mashed potatoes and shepherd’s pie were fixtures in my home and those of my friends growing up. Beef stroganoff was especially popular. My grandma has a recipe for it in our family cookbook, her mother probably did too, and I’d I bet my last slice of Almond Joy Cake that it’s listed in every Betty Crocker, Better Homes and Gardens, and church-lady cookbook ever published.
Although I have a special fondness for (and borderline fascination with) classic dishes from my childhood, basic combinations of plain meat + plain starch have never particularly blown up my skirt. Casseroles? BRING THEM ALL. Mac and cheese? I want it every which way, including pizza, pumpkin, and Greek. But basic beef stroganoff? No thanks. Way too “meat and potatoes.”
Old family favorites reinvented for a modern, healthy diet, such as this ham and cheese noodle casserole and that cheesy chicken broccoli rice casserole, are some of my favorite recipes to share on my site, so I wondered if I could make a version of beef stroganoff that was lighter and more exciting than the original, but still offered a feeling of comfort and indulgence. The result: Lentil Mushroom Stroganoff.
In place of cubed beef, I swapped a mix of baby bella mushrooms and lentils to create a leaner, healthier stroganoff that still offers meaty flavor. Though I am typically an advocate for using whole wheat noodles in place of regular, for some recipes such as this Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup and today’s stroganoff, nothing but classic egg noodles will do. I like to use No Yolks egg noodles, because they are completely cholesterol free and cook smoothly every time. I went big with the extra broad, but the classic size would do nicely too.
The stroganoff sauce is a simple sauté of mushrooms and onions, along with thyme, lots of garlic, and a healthy splash of brandy, just to keep everyone awake.
A quick addition of sour cream and Greek yogurt enriches the sauce, and all we have left to do is smother, serve, and devour.
Dear Church Ladies, Betty Crocker, and editor of the Better Home and Gardens cookbook: I hope I did you proud. Lentil Mushroom Stroganoff for the next edition?
Lentil Mushroom Stroganoff
- 3/4 cup dry lentils
- 8 ounces No Yolks Extra Broad Egg Noodles
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil — plus extra for tossing pasta
- 1 large yellow onion — chopped
- 4 cloves garlic — minced
- 20 ounces baby bella mushrooms — sliced
- 2 teaspoons dried thyme
- 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
- 3/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 3 tablespoons brandy — or substitute balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce — (omit to make vegetarian, tasting recipe for extra salt as needed)
- 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup low fat sour cream
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley — plus additional for garnish
Bring a large pot of water and lentils to a gentle boil. Cover, reduce heat, and let simmer on low until al dente, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain, rinse, and set aside.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil (it is fine to reuse the lentil pot) and cook pasta until al dente according to package directions, about 8 minutes. Drain, toss with a bit of olive oil to prevent sticking, and set aside.
In a deep, wide skillet or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium high. Add the onion and cook until beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium, add the garlic, and cook just until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the mushrooms, thyme, salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms soften and give up their liquid, about 5 minutes. Stir in the brandy (or balsamic vinegar) and Worcestershire. Cook for 2 minutes until the alcohol evaporates, then reduce heat to low. Add the reserved lentils and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Remove completely from heat, let stand 1 minutes, then stir in the Greek yogurt, sour cream, and parsley. Serve warm over noodles, garnished with additional parsley as desired.
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