I’m not sure if I have ever actually tried the ‘traditional’ recipe for this with the canned soup and whatnot. It just never looked appetizing. This year, as host of our family gathering and resident vegan, I decided to bust a casserole out that I could eat and see how it went. I happened upon a recipe called The Best Vegan Green Bean Casserole over at the FatFree Vegan Kitchen blog and immediately printed it out. Boy, am I glad I did! This recipe was a bit of work but it was amazingly good. Here is my adaptation:
Vegan Green Bean Casserole
2 quarts water
1 tablespoon table salt
1 1/2 pounds fresh green beans, trimmed and cut into bite-size pieces
8 ounces mushrooms (I used a combination of regular button mushrooms)
3 cloves garlic, minced
generous pinch cayenne pepper
Salt to taste
Fresh pepper to taste
2 tablespoons flour
3/4 cup vegetable broth
3/4 cup soy creamer
1 1/2 slices whole grain bread
1 tablespoon Earth Balance margarine
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/16 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 3-ounce can of French fried onions
- Beans: Bring the water to boil in a large pot. While it’s heating, cut up the beans. Add the salt and beans to the boiling water. Cover and cook for 6 minutes. Drain beans in a colander, and then spray for a minute with cold water to stop the cooking. Let them drain in the colander, shaking every now and then to get off all the water.
- Sauce: Trim and discard the mushroom stems and chop the mushrooms into pieces. Spray a non-stick pan with canola oil and heat it. Add the mushrooms, garlic, cayenne, salt, and pepper. Cook until mushrooms are very soft and exude their juices. Whisk the flour into the vegetable broth and add to the mushrooms. Simmer, stirring, until mixture thickens. Add the soy creamer and simmer until thick, about 5 to 10 minutes. Adjust the seasonings and stir in the beans.
- Topping: Put the bread, margarine, salt, and pepper into a food processor and pulse until crumbly. Pour into a bowl and add the onions. Stir to combine.
- To assemble: Put the green beans into an oiled casserole dish and top with the onion mixture. Bake at 425 F for about 15 minutes. If you are not serving this right away, refrigerate the topping separately; bring to room temperature before sprinkling the topping on the casserole and baking for about 20 minutes or until hot throughout.
This dish got rave reviews from everyone. I wish my sister had been here to try it because she is the one who usually makes this dish! Maybe I will make it again if she ever ventures north to our house. I loved it enough to make it again for no reason at all!