Friday, 15 November 2013

Creamy Vegan Green Bean Casserole

Green bean casserole is such an American classic, typically associated with Thanksgiving dinner. I think it’s such a great dish and could be made with any special dinner. I really enjoy making it, but I was tired of the canned cream of mushroom soup that makes the sauce. I sought out recipes, and was open to the idea of something dairy free that didn’t require a load of cream or butter. I stumbled on a few recipes and here is my rendition of what I found! This is mostly adapted from a vegan recipe that got great reviews. Once I tried it I was hooked. This is quite possibly the most delicious green bean casserole I’ve ever made! The pictures show a half version that I did but the recipe is for the full version. I will be making it in the future. This recipe serves about 8. Enjoy.

Ingredients for the Green Beans:
500g-1kg fresh green beans rinsed and chopped (you can use tinned/frozen)
1 whole onion
3 cloves garlic
1 tsp. pepper
Salt to taste

For the Casserole:
1 diced onion
1 diced green bell pepper
2-3 cloves garlic
200g chestnut mushrooms (any mushroom, just not shitake)
1 tsp. fresh thyme
1 glass white wine
Pinch paprika
Olive oil
Fried onions for garnish (the French’s American ones)

For the Sauce:
1 c. unsalted cashews soaked in water for 1hr
1 tsp. corn starch
1c. +1c to thin the sauce vegetable stock (I use marigold vegan bouillon powder)

To start:
Get your cashews soaking immediately.
Make your stock.
Clean up your green beans and get them on to boil.
Boil them for about 30-45 minutes or until very soft.
Drain and set aside.

For the Casserole:
Dice your pepper, onion, garlic and slice the mushrooms.
Make the sauce; in a blender (a small fast one works well for this), blend the soaked cashews, corn starch, and stock for at least 3 minutes until thick and creamy. Set aside.
In a big sauté pan, heat a couple table spoons of oil, and begin to sweat off the onions, and peppers. When the onions are soft, add the mushrooms and the garlic.
Salt the mushrooms, and as they begin to soften add the white wine.
Cook off at a boil for a few minutes.
When the wine is cooked off, turn down the heat and add the sauce and sauté for a few minutes.
Next add the drained green beans, paprika and thyme.
Stir to combine, add more stock as it thickens and let cook for about 2-5 minutes until thick.
Put in a casserole dish and sprinkle with French’s fried onions and bake at 175C or 350F for about 30 minutes.

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