Holiday Times are here!!! And it is sometimes a challenge to gather with family members around a large dining room table with a bountiful spread of each family member’s specialities….while being vegan. This thanksgiving was a very special one for me, and I spent it at a few different homes full of loving families. Each member brought their special goodies, no store-bought items were served, and each house smelled amazing. While the food smelled wonderful, I honestly did not crave or have any desire to eat the beautiful food that was being served. I’m sure everything tasted wonderfully, but it just isn’t for me. Instead I bought two dishes to each house that were of a plant-based whole foods diet and I ate up!!! The only thing I loved most about Thanksgiving growing up was the Green Bean casserole and the Mashed Potatoes….surprising not the turkey or ham (should have taken a clue then!). Transforming this creamy, butter-rich dishes into vegan masterpieces took some trial and error and I give full credit to Whole Living Magazine and Vegetarian Times magazine for inspiring some of my holiday servings. None of their recipes were quite what I was looking for, but I took a dash from one, a sprinkle from another, and a tip from yet another source and I perfected the infamous green bean casserole.
Warning: this recipe is not like the other Zenplicity recipes. It’s a lengthier procedure…but it’s the holidays! Enjoy getting dirty in the kitchen! There is also a short cut method that I will neither support or condone 😉
Just like Momma’s Green Bean Casserole….Vegan style!
2 lbs fresh haricot vert cut and trimmed (french green beans….the thin ones with the pokey end sniped off….look in your produce department)
1 lb of wild mushrooms (fresh! not from a can) sliced
2 shallots thinly sliced
2 tbsp of olive oil
2.5 cups of Unsweetened, unflavored almond milk
1 tsp each of garlic powder, onion powder, dried thyme, salt, and pepper*
1 tbsp of arrow-root*
1 tbsp of wheat flour*
1 SMALL can of French’s Fried Onions (these are not healthy for you…but are a good treat…use sparingly and mainly as a garnish…so that people know it’s a green bean casserole)
*these items can be substituted with one package of Lipton Secrets Onion Mushroom recipe soup/dip mix. That dried powder stuff. Make sure it read the label to know what you are getting!!!
1. In a large saute pan, saute together the first 4 ingredients on medium-high heat until green beans are soft and color forms on mushrooms. Then place mixture into 13 x 9 backing dish. Do NOT wash saute pan, and instead place back on stove on medium heat.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
3. Pour milk, seasonings, and wheat flour into the dirty sauce pan. Whisk together scraping the pan to get up the “flavor” from the pan. Ok fine get the bits of sauteed veggies off the pan and into the sauce. Slowly bring to a bowl and then reduce the heat to a simmer.
4. Remove 1/4 cup of the simmering milk into a separate mixing bowl, and add in the arrow root and cornstarch and whisk to incorporate. Once there is no lumps in the separate milk mixture, pour back into pan and stir well.
5. Continue to stir mixture for 5 minutes. Do not stop stirring, because the stuff you just put in it will cause that gross “skin” to form on the top of the milk. The milk should be thickening slightly during the process, but not too much. It should coat the back of a spoon, but not stick all the way to it in gobs.
6. Pour the milk mixture over the green beans in the 13 X 9 baking dish. Cover and cook for 35-45 minutes. *** now is when you can put it into the fridge to take to someone’s house tomorrow, or box up this dish for traveling. To finish the dish, now or later at a loved ones home, lightly sprinkle French Fried Onions on the top of the top and bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes more.
Should look like this!