13 September 2012

Maggie's Green Bean Casserole

Yeah, yeah, it was 82 degrees outside today. That doesn't mean that we can't still have delicious fall-style casseroles. But just imagine a crisp fall day, leaves crackling underfoot, cold noses, warm sweaters, and the rich smells of something baking coming from the oven. It sounds almost perfect, if you ask me. Maybe we should have waited until tomorrow (high of 69), but dinner sure was delicious!


Most non-vegan green bean casseroles use condensed cream of mushroom soup, which isn't vegan. Most of the vegan recipes out there call for soy milk or soy creamer and lots of herbs. The soy milk would be fine, but when I started making this I wanted something with a simple taste profile. Also, many of them use canned green beans, which I just will not do (unless they are from my dad's garden and he canned them).

The other major issue (at least for us) with most of the other vegan green bean casserole recipes you can find is that they call for chunks of mushrooms. Neither Shana nor I are up for chunks of mushrooms (although I'll get to a recipe that has chunks sooner or later). This recipe skips the chunks but has lots of mushroom flavor. Not to worry, though, because you can always add the fungus chunks back. This could also easily be gluten free if you used a different thickener than regular wheat flour.


Maggie's Vegan Green Bean Casserole
Ingredients
16 oz. (1 pound) frozen, french cut green beans
2 small onions, chopped
2 c. Imagine brand creamy mushroom soup
1/3 c. nutritional yeast
2 T. flour
pepper to taste
french fried onions (not all brands are vegan)

Directions
Preheat oven to 375 degrees
1. Prepare beans as per package directions. Drain.
2. Saute onions until translucent.
3. Whisk all remaining ingredients, except french friend onions, together in a 8x11 inch baking dish (I use glass).
4. Add drained beans and sauteed onions to the sauce mixture, stir well to combine.
5. Bake 35-40 minutes or until bubbly in the center.
6. Add french fried onions to the top, bake an additional 5 minutes. Let rest for a few minutes before serving.

Helpful Hints
  • This recipe has a lot of onion in it (in fact, I use 2 medium onions!). If, unlike us, you do NOT think onion and garlic are food groups, you may want to only use one onion.
  • If you want to add chunks of mushrooms, feel free to add whatever kind you enjoy. They should be sauteed with the onions before you add them to the dish. There is plenty of sauce, even if you keep all the onions. 
  • This dish freezes well! I often double the recipe so we can throw some in the freezer. If you do double the recipe, let it cook a bit longer before you add the french fried onions (oh, and put it in a bigger dish!). 
  • Shana and I make a meal out of this by also making some rice or something else as a side dish. 
  • You can certainly use another thickener in place of wheat flour to make this gluten-free and as it is, the recipe is soy-free already. 

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