There is a dish I feel must be consumed at some point during every holiday season… a green bean casserole. I admit, I meant to make this before Thanksgiving! In fact, I meant to share several good holiday-ish h’oerderves, but now I find it is already 3 days until Christmas and I find myself repeatedly asking, “where did the time go?!” (Did I mention that I haven’t wrapped a thing yet?! Thank goodness my husband is taking the kids to his mom’s for the day today, so I can spend my day wrapping all the gifts!)
I don’t know if I mentioned before, but there are, I believe, 11 birthdays in my family (among the two biggest family-gathering-holidays, Thanksgiving and Xmas) just between November and January - oh – and that does not include my friend’s birthdays! So, as you can imagine, my brain has been pretty busy remembering to mail cards, make food, make plans regarding how and when we are having get togethers (& what I am to bring), buying gifts, etc., plus the every day to day life… “Life is what happens to you while your busy making other plans” – WELL SAID, John Lennon. With all this going on, my poor blog has been neglected :( Well, one of my new years resolutions is to make sure I don’t slack off on sharing vegan deliciousness! )You may be interested to know that I acquired an ice cream maker at an early christmas gathering… & I can’t wait to try it out!)
My kids are funny about green beans. For some reason, they don’t normally like fresh green beans. However, they will totally eat up canned green beans (only the regular cut kind, not the french cut) and they REALLY eat ‘em up when we play a game I like to call “Buh-Bye Green Bean” (where we put one in our mouths and suck it in really fast – they think it is hilarious and it really makes them excited to clean ALL the green beans from their plate!). This is one recipe using fresh green beans I found that they enjoy, and I hope you & yours do too!
I came up with this recipe after scoping out several green bean casserole recipes and then combining my favorite bits and pieces of each one, until… TA-DA! A delicious green bean casserole appeared… like magic :) Well, almost.
~Portobello Green Bean Casserole~
- 1 1/2 – 2 oz fresh green beans (prepped and cut into 2″ pieces)
- 2-3 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 2-3 small cloves garlic, minced
- 1 block xtra-firm silken tofu, crumbled well or pureed (I like the Mori-Nu brand… though I bet a 1/2 – 3/4 block of regular drained tofu would work just as well as the silken tofu)
- 3 large Portobello caps, cut into chunks (or a pre-sliced 6oz pack of caps works just as well)
- a large box (1 qt) of Imagine brand Creamy Portobello Soup (you can use anywhere from half to the whole thing… I usually use 3/4 of the box.
- 1/2 tsp dry dill
- 2 Tbsp butter/soy margarine
- 1 1/2 tsp parsley
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
- dash cayenne
- 1 can (6 oz) French’s fried onions (or make your own)
1) Preheat your oven to 375. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Cook the green beans for about 6 minutes, strain, rinse with cold water & set aside.
2) In a skillet, heat olive oil. Add onion, garlic & cook about 3 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook until soft. Set aside.
3) TO MAKE SAUCE: heat about half of the box of soup (or up to 3/4 of the box) with the margarine. Add the tofu* and all other spices. Cook until it thickens up a bit and becomes a little more “saucy”. Add the mushroom/onion/garlic mixture. Stir together well. (*If crumbled, the tofu will look chunky… if this is gonna be an issue for you, simply puree the tofu before adding it to the soup, or use an immulsion blender if you have one -just make sure to do so before adding the mushroom mixture. Adding the tofu helps give the casserole that thick creamy goodness, plus protein/vitamins. Personally, I think I prefer to puree mine into the soup.)
4) Pour the beans into a 9 x 13 casserole dish (or 8 x 11.5 if you must) and pour the sauce over the top. Mix slightly. Cover and bake about 15 minutes. Remove top/foil and add the 6-oz container of fried onions. Bake another 15-30 minutes until browned and bubbly.
P.S. Truth be told, the last time I was making this (yesterday) I somehow forgot to let my soup/sauce thicken… maybe it was the 2 kids running circles around my legs, grabbing onto me while screaming and tickling each other… MAYBE. Anyway, I forgot to let the sauce thicken, and before I knew it, I was pouring it over the green beans, creating a very watery looking green bean soup! Not appetizing. SO… I ended up having to deconstruct my casserole by straining out all my veggies with a slotted spoon (which was a huge pain in the arse) so I could cook the sauce down to thicken it up. Take my advice – don’t let that happen to you! Ay-yi-yiiiiii! Sometimes kids can be so distracting!