Recipe: Vegan green bean casserole 

Cry boy, health snakes, and dirt bombs. - ILLUSTRATION BY RYAN WILLIAMSON
  • ILLUSTRATION BY RYAN WILLIAMSON
  • Cry boy, health snakes, and dirt bombs.

For years my lactose-intolerant brother has had to abstain from his favorite holiday dish, green bean casserole, because of its dairy ingredients. Sure, he can take over-the-counter medicine to lessen the impact dairy has on his digestive system, but the pills are pricey and he has to take one each time he indulges (it's not an all-day kind of pill).

In the meantime, two other family members went on a gluten-free diet, which has limited the scope of dishes they can freely enjoy. And I'm shifting into a vegan diet, so you can imagine how complicated our holiday meal planning has become. Sorry, mom!

I decided to try to re-create that favorite side dish in a form that hits all the requirements for my family. So just in time for Thanksgiving, I give you: Vegan (gluten-free) Green Bean Casserole. I adapted the following recipe from one created by Guy Fieri, because everyone deserves a ticket to Flavortown, regardless of dietary needs. Visit the online version of this article to comment and add your favorite recipes for specialty diets. Cheers!

Vegan (gluten-free) Green Bean Casserole

Yield: 6 to 8 servings | Cook time: 30 to 35 minutes

INGREDIENTS:

1 ½ lbs green beans, trimmed

2 Tbsp vegan butter or olive oil

4 medium shallots, sliced and separated into thin rounds

Sea salt and black pepper

2 garlic cloves, minced

½ tsp fresh thyme leaves (1/4 tsp for dried)

¼ tsp cayenne powder

¼ tsp ground nutmeg

1 lb mixed mushrooms (I prefer oysters and shiitakes for this), chopped

1 cup unsweetened plain almond milk

1 cup gluten-free vegetable broth

2 Tbsp vegan butter or olive oil

4 medium shallots, sliced and separated into thin rounds

Sea salt and black pepper

2 garlic cloves, minced

½ tsp fresh thyme leaves (1/4 tsp for dried)

¼ tsp cayenne powder

¼ tsp ground nutmeg

1 lb mixed mushrooms (I prefer oysters and shiitakes for this), chopped

1 cup unsweetened plain almond milk

1 cup gluten-free vegetable broth

2 Tbsp all-purpose gluten free flour (I like Bob's Red Mill)

1 cup gluten-free crispy fried onions (store bought, or see below to learn how to make 'em)

DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Bring a large pot of water to boil and salt well (to season the beans). Add the beans and cook for 5 minutes, then drain and place in an ice water bath. When chilled, drain and set aside.

2. In a large oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat, add vegan butter or olive oil, shallots, thyme, and garlic. Once the pan is hot, add the mushrooms and stir. Season with salt, pepper, cayenne powder, and nutmeg, and stir. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, then add mushrooms and season with a bit more salt and pepper. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes until lightly browned.

3. Sprinkle in the flour and whisk to coat the veggies. Cook for 1 minute, then slowly whisk in the vegetable stock.

4. Add the almond milk and whisk. Season with a bit more salt and pepper, bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to low so it thickens up. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes or until thick and bubbly. Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary.

5. Remove from heat and add 1/3 of the friend onions and all of the cooked green beans. Toss to coat well, and top with the remaining fried onions.

6. Bake for 15 minutes, or until warmed through and slightly browned on top. Serve immediately.

GF Crispy Fried Onions

Cook time: 30 minutes

INGREDIENTS:

2 Tbsp olive oil

¼ cup rice flour

2 Tbsp cornmeal

½ tsp salt

2 large onions, halved and cut into strips

DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Spreead 1 Tbsp olive oil on a baking sheet.

2. Mix dry ingredients together in a bowl. Add onion slices and toss until coated, then spread the mixture onto the baking sheet. Drizzle 1 Tbsp olive oil on top.

3. Bake about 30 minutes until crisped and golden, tossing occasionally.

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