When living on a budget, splurging on ingredients for a one-time dish is a big no-no. The past few weeks I had large bags of green beans from my CSA but didn’t know what to do with them other than steaming and covering with Earth Balance.
For green bean casserole, a creamy base is needed, usually in the form of a cream of mushroom soup. This is a hard ingredient to find for a vegan and sometimes a calorie-filled substitute is needed, usually in the form of a mushroom roux using flour.
On Friday I experimented with what I had on hand — cauliflower and butternut squash. I steamed and pureed these ingredients in order to cover the green beans.
It wouldn’t be green bean casserole without the fried onions, which amazingly are already vegan. A healthy alternative can be caramelized onions, though that is more time consuming.
This green bean casserole might not taste exactly the same as a non-vegan version, but it is easy, healthy and chock-full of nutritious veggies.
Healthy, vegan green bean casserole
- 2 cups chopped cauliflower
- 2 cups frozen, cubed butternut squash
- 1 small red onion
- 1 1/2 cups of water
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 4 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoon salt (or more to taste)
- 1 teaspoon pepper (or more to taste)
- 3 pounds fresh green beans, cut into small pieces
- 1 to 1 1/2 cups of fried onions
- Add chopped cauliflower, cubed butternut squash and water to a pot. Bring to a boil. Add a lid and lower to a simmer, steaming for 10 minutes.
- In the meantime, wash and cut fresh green beans into small pieces, place in a pot with about 1 cup of water and bring to a boil. Add a lid, lower the temperature to a simmer and cook for 6 minutes.
- Drain green beans when they are done and place back into the pot.
- Place butternut squash, cauliflower and water into a blender. Add garlic powder, nutritional yeast, salt and pepper to the blender and puree. If the mixture seems too thick, add a few tablespoons of water to make sure it completely blends. You might need to scrape down the sides and repeat the pureeing.
- Add a bit of the puree to the bottom of a 9×13 dish. Add green beans and then coat with mixture. Stir until all the beans are coated.
- Spread the fried onions over the top, and cover with foil. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes at 425 degrees.
- Take out of oven, let it cool for 5 minutes and then enjoy.
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