21st Century Green Bean Casserole
* 1 large onion
* drizzle of olive oil
* 1/4 cup almond meal
* 8 oz. mushrooms, chopped
* 2 Tbsp cooking oil (or butter, or mix of both)
* 1/2 tsp salt
* 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
* 1/2 tsp dried thyme
* 2 Tbsp almond meal or flour
* 3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk plus 1/4 cup heavy cream
* 16 oz. frozen green beans, thawed, drained
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Start by making your own oven-fried onions. Cut the onion into thin strips and put in bowl, drizzle olive oil over and toss to separate the onions and to coat with the oil.
3. Add 1/4 cup almond meal (or a bit more if desired) to onions and toss to coat, then dump onto a baking sheet, spreading out to a single layer. Put in preheated oven and bake for 8 to 12 minutes or until golden brown, stirring around once or twice; remove when they are golden brown. Set aside.
4. Turn oven down to 350 degrees.
5. Put the mushrooms in a large skillet with the oil or butter over medium heat and cook until soft and starting to brown, then add the salt, pepper, and thyme, stir to combine.
6. Sprinkle in the almond meal or flour and cook for 1 minute, stirring.
7. Continue stirring and slowly pour in the milk, then the cream, and simmer gently for another 2 to 3 minutes until mixture thickens. (Cook until sauce reaches the thickness you like.)
8. Put beans in casserole dish, pour in creamy mushroom mix, 1/2 of the oven-fried onions, stir together.
9. Cover casserole and put in 350 degree oven and cook for 30 to 40 minutes, until mixture is hot and bubbly.
10. Uncover casserole dish, spread the remaining oven-fried onions on top and cook, uncovered, another 5 to 10 or until the top and edges start to get brown.
If you LOVE Green Bean Casserole but don't really love the canned soup and canned onion variety, here's a healthier solution for you.
Made with easy homemade oven fried onions and a simple white sauce, this recipe already is better than the 'instant' kind.
Now, add using a healthier alternative to flour and you've got yourself a brand new classic perfectly suited to the 21st Century. Yes, I'm using one of my newest favorite healthy ingredients - almond meal.
Almond meal works in a similar fashion as flour does; it coats and thickens. You can buy almond meal or almond flour, but I find making my own almond meal at home is cheaper and works just as well. I don't make almond flour because I want the added nutrition of the brown almond as opposed to the blanched almond, which you'd need to make flour.
To make your own almond meal at home all you need is raw (unroasted/unsalted) almonds and a food processor. Throw in the almonds and pulse the processor until you get a fine 'meal' texture. That's it. Store the almond meal in your refrigerator and use for lots of recipes that call for thickening or coating, or even just sprinkle over your yogurt for added nutrition.