Portobello and White Bean Goulash – Fresh from the Vegan Slow Cooker Book Review

Published On 10 October, 2012 | Book Review, Food for thought, Slow Cooker, Vegan

As plant-based diets become more and more mainstream and people's lives become busier and busier I'm noticing more and more vegan slow cooker cookbooks.  In reviewing Fresh from the Vegan Slow Cooker by Robin Roberston, I underwent an eye-opening experience that allowed me to think of my slow cooker somwhat differently and when I came across the review by Keepin It Kind I knew that this was the dish and beautiful photo I wanted to share with you to compliment my review.  Thanks to Kristy for letting me use this photo, please visit her site and say hello!


I have long appreciated the slow cooker, but have mostly used it as a tool for quick cooking – either a soup or stew for a winter's night, throwing in all the ingredients and returning to home cooked meal after work or even the following day, and while many new slow cookers have fry or grill settings, I haven't used these features.  Never have I made cakes, breads or breakfasts in the slow cooker until I reviewed this title and I love the peanut butter and jelly oatmeal – which I allowed to cook for six hours through the night.

At first glance, the recipes shared in Fresh from the Vegan Slow Cooker seem lengthy, but almost all of these ingredients are either herbs and spices, or staples in a vegan kitchen .   Robin has clearly spent time developing flavor profiles and ingredient combinations for her latest offering, a skill I admire and try to emulate myself, and her use of the slow cooker is inspiring.  Although not as visual as Kathy Hester's title, reviewed last year (and still a favorite!), the dishes and flavors in this book are worth the pre-slow cooking prep and highlight once again that a vegan lifestyle can be fulfilling in the kitchen.

These books have also been reviewed by This American Bite:

See other posts in my Book Review category.

Portobello and White Bean Goulash

Recipe © 2012 by Robin Robertson and used by permission of The Harvard Common Press.

Serves 4
Slow Cooker Size: 4- to 6-quart
Cook Time: 4 to 6 hours on Low
Gluten-free Option
Soy-free Option


  • 2 teaspoons olive oil (optional)
  • 1 large yellow onion, minced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons sweet Hungarian paprika
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 1½ cups vegetable broth
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 cup sauerkraut, rinsed and drained
  • 3 cups cooked white beans (page 104) or 2 (15-ounce) cans beans, rinsed and drained
  • ¼ cup dry white wine
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 5 large portobello mushroom caps, gills scraped out and discarded, cut into
  • 1-inch dice
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup vegan sour cream, purchased or homemade
  • Cooked wide noodles, for serving
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh flat-leaf parsley or dill

For the best flavor, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute longer. Stir in the tomato paste, paprika, caraway seeds, and ½ cup of the broth. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute longer. Alternatively, omit the oil and sauté these ingredients in a few tablespoons of water or combine them in a microwave-safe bowl with a little water, cover, and microwave for 2 minutes.

Transfer the onion mixture to the slow cooker. Stir in the tomatoes, sauerkraut, beans, wine, bay leaves, mushrooms, and the remaining 1 cup broth. Season to taste with salt and pepper and stir to combine. Cover and cook on Low for 4 to 6 hours.

Just before serving, ladle ½ cup of the broth into a small bowl and stir in the vegan sour cream. Stir this mixture back into the goulash, taste to adjust the seasonings, and serve at once over the noodles, garnished with the parsley. 

Robin Robertson, author of 19 vegan and vegetarian cookbooks, is a 25-year veteran restaurant chef, caterer, columnist, cooking teacher, and food writer. She writes the “Global Vegan” column for VegNews magazine and was a contributing editor and columnist for Vegetarian Times. She lives in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Like this Article? Share it!