Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Green Bean Casserole

While I didn't appreciate this tradition quite so much as a kid, in my adult life green bean casserole has always been the food I look forward to most during the holidays. My mom made it the way that I'm sure the majority of people remember their mothers making it--straight out of a can. A can a green beans, a can of cream of mushroom soup, and even jarred mushrooms all got dumped into dish together to bake. Definitely not vegan, and probably not as healthy as it otherwise could have been either. I was skeptical as I searched for a recipe that would even come close to inspiring the joy and comfort I remember from years past, and I was amazed to find that the fresh, home-made, healthy version of green bean casserole is actually even better than the original version!

Home-made Vegan Green Bean Casserole

I found this recipe on this blog.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

First, put a pot of salted water on to boil. Have 1 1/2 to 2 pounds of fresh green beans trimmed and ready to go in. While you are waiting, slice up a container of mushrooms (about 12 ounces) and start those sauteeing in a separate pan. Add in three cloves of garlic, a pinch of cayenne pepper, and freshly cracked salt and pepper. Sautee the mushrooms until soft. When the water is boiling add the beans, cover, and cook for 6 minutes. Drain and rinse the beans in cold water to stop the cooking process.

Sautee the mushroom mixture and cook the beans.

In a bowl, whisk together 2 tbsp of flour and 3/4 cup of vegetable broth. Add this to the mushrooms with 2 tbsp of sherry and 3/4 cup soy creamer (or unsweetned soy milk). Simmer, stirring, until mixture is thick. Taste the sauce here and adjust seasonings--the salt in this recipe is hard to get right, I find. Add the cooked beans, toss, and then pour the mixture into a casserole dish.

Toss the green beans, mushroom mixture, and then top and bake.

In a food processor, process 1 1/2 slices of whole wheat bread, 1 tbsp Earth Balance, salt, and pepper until crumbly. Mix this while one container of fried onions and spread over the casserole. Bake for 15 minutes.

I thought about going all out and making some yummy, healthy breaded onion straws, but in the end I decided that that was more work than I felt like getting in to. Besides, what are the holidays with a little bit of fatty food and indulgence involved? This would be a fun future experiment though!

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