Sunday, October 27, 2013

Green Bean Casserole

Fall means chilly mornings with steaming hot coffee. Fall means blankets and pajamas and cuddling up watching scary movies. Fall also means warm, home cooked meals that warm the body and the soul. It is most definitely casserole season. I love casseroles; in fact, I could probably manage and run a blog solely dedicated to casserole recipes. For now, here is just a plain-old green bean casserole that is anything but plain-old tasting. Let's go.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cans of green beans             ($0.98)
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced       ($0.05)
  • 5 large mushrooms                 ($0.16)
  • 2 tbsp. (vegan) butter              ($0.12)
  • 4 tbsp. soy sauce                    ($0.02)
  • 2 cup unsweet almond milk    ($0.20)
  • 6 tbsp. whole wheat flour       ($0.02)
  • ¼ cup french fried onions       ($0.10)
  • 2 tbsp. garlic powder              ($0.08)
Seriously, this casserole costs $1.73 for two generous servings. During these cold nights, I dare you to resist making this casserole and curling up by the fire.

Preparation:


Preheat the oven to 350°F. Mince the garlic and slice the mushrooms. Melt the butter in a saucepan with the soy sauce on medium. Sauté the mushrooms for a few minutes. Add the almond milk, garlic powder, and whole wheat flour. Stir until it thickens. This is basically vegan gravy. It is deliciously salty without the animal products! Open the green beans and add to the gravy mix, along with the minced garlic. Cook for 5 minutes. Add this mixture to an oven safe baking dish and add the fried onions on top. I am very generous with this step. The crispy fried onions will only meld with the casserole filling to create a savory crunch sensation when baked. Bake for 20 minutes or until crispy. Let cool 5 minutes before serving. 

I used button mushrooms but for a more chewy texture
use shiitake mushrooms

Earth Balance Buttery Spread in action again!
It is exactly like dairy butter, only VEGAN!

The soy sauce stands in for the chicken broth and
by adding the whole wheat flour, this mixture
thickens for a nice gravy

I have learned many things since starting this blog but my favorite
tip is probably: invest in stainless steel! It will endure the rough
and tough of everyday cooking while still looking fabulous! 

Incorporating all of the ingredients, the sauce should thicken nicely
and the mixture should be warmed through

This recipe serves two impoverished vegans or
four portion-controlled adults

These are the secret ingredient in ANY casserole
Once baked, these french fried onions crete a tasty layer of
crunchy goodness that compliments the thick and creamy
casserole filling

Next time I am going to pour these crispy french fried onions into
the sautéing skillet right before I add it to the oven-safe
baking dish. This will double the amount of crispy goodness!
I added one can of peas to the mix for an earthy flavor
This basic recipe is very versatile. I have some asparagus I am dying to try in a casserole. Feel free to submit your own suggestions for casseroles or how you liked or hated this one! 
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