Friday, November 2, 2012

Countdown To Thanksgiving--Part 2 (Green Bean Casserole)

Green Bean Casserole is not exactly vegan in anyway shape or form...  But by making your own mushroom gravy and using some, fried onions from either Whole Foods or Trader Joes (WF I know for sure is vegan, rumor is Trader Joe's is too...), you can enjoy a favorite Thanksgiving casserole without the animal products!!  Side Note:  The first time I ever had green bean casserole was when I made this recipe last year so I have nothing to compare it to but it was DELICIOUS!!!!!

I found this recipe a few Thanksgivings ago and it was a "deconstructed" version and had to ask how to make it more "traditional".  It turned out great and I highly recommend making this version.  It takes a little extra time compared to the non-vegan version, but it's totally worth it.

For the Mushroom Gravy

1 tbsp olive oil
2 cups mushrooms, sliced
2 celery ribs, diced
4 TBSP Earth Balance, vegan margarine
4 TBSP flour
1 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk
salt and fresh ground pepper
1/2 tsp thyme
Saute mushrooms and celery in olive oil until tender.  Season with salt and pepper.
Remove vegetables from the skillet. In the same pan melt vegan margarine.  Add flour and mix thoroughly over low heat.  You will get a golden roux.

Slowly add milk, while constantly whisking to avoid clumps.  Turn the heat up and continue stirring until gravy thickens up.

Once the sauce is thick, add mushrooms, celery, and thyme.

For the Casserole:
1lb green bean
Mushroom Gravy (recipe above)
Fried Onions (CHECK THE LABELS!!) or make homemade fried leeks! (Recipe to come!)

Rinse green beans and remove ends with a sharp knife or scissors.
Bring a big pot of salted water to boil and blanch beans (they should keep their bright green color and stay a little bit crispy).  To stop the cooking process, place beans in an ice bath (big pot filled with cold water and ice).
Drain beans and set aside.
In a 13x9 inch baking dish, combine the green beans and the mushroom gravy making sure to mix thoroughly.  Top with Fried Onions and bake in a 350 F for about 15 minutes.

**You can make this ahead of time, holding off on the onions, and refrigerate.  When you're ready, top with the fried onions, throw it in the oven and bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes or until completely heated through.

(pre fried onions)


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