Friday, November 16, 2012

Tasty Green Bean Casserole (dairy free, vegan, SCD, GAPS, Paleo )

(ps: I am going to take some better pictures next time I make thisI didn’t want to wait any long to post this recipe)
Hi friends.  Any traditional green bean casserole lovers out there?  I haven’t had traditional green bean casserole made with canned mushroom soup since, well, years ago.  So long I can’t remember what it looked like or tasted like (the exact texture escapes me). I had to Google some pictures of the dish to get a sense of it again.  I do remember those fried onions though. So I’ve been thinking about how to make this traditional dish without dairy.  I like casseroles very much and even though I don’t remember what a green bean casserole tastes like, as a child I remember really liking it and going for seconds.  So this year I was determined to make a green bean casserole but healthy-style, dairy free, and SCD.  Nothing from a can and nothing fried.  So here it is. I hope you try this version and perhaps it will make an appearance on your Thanksgiving table.  Oh, and just a tipplease, please, always experiment with recipes BEFORE the big day.  You don’t want to upset a hungry crowd with a failed dish.  I start experimenting a week or two before the big day.  I think this casserole is a great, but I highly encourage you to try it first and make any necessary adjustments.  We all have such different palates.  For example, you might want to add more mushrooms, more salt, less pepper, more garlic, etc.  As a rule I try to incorporate at least one side Thanksgiving dish 3 or 4 times each week.  In fact, tonight I made an entire Thanksgiving dinner (sans the gravel, rolls, and dessert).  Why make such an elaborate meal on a Monday evening?  Because I LOVE Thanksgiving food and I think it’s just a shame we only eat it one day each year.  Forget that.  I make Thanksgiving food all month long…all the way into the New Year.  Then I’m over it.  But I will definitely make this green bean casserole all year long.  My kids LOVED it.   
This recipe serves 6

-2 pound fresh green beans, washed with ends trimmed off
-2 cup raw cashews 
-2 1/4 cup filtered water 
-2 tablespoons oil 
-2 tablespoons coconut aminos (optional)
-6 cups chopped crimini mushrooms
-1 1/2 cups small chopped yellow onion 
-1 1/2 cups almond flour (for topping)* 
-Garlic granules (see how to for amount)
-Onion granules (see how to for amount)
-Salt (see how to for amount) 
-Pepper (see how to for amount)

How To:
1.  Soak cashews 4 to 6 hours (soak in 2  1/2 cups filtered water)
2.  Wash and trim the green beans.  Steam or blanch until slightly tender OR very tender.  If you like more al dente, give an ice bath to stop the cooking process.  This is optional.  It really depends on how done you like your green beans (soft, slightly tender, very tender).
3.  Coat a large saute pan with oil (I use 2  tablespoons). Saute onions with 1/2 teaspoon salt for 3 to 5 minutes.  Add mushrooms with 1/2 teaspoons garlic granules and saute until tender.  Set mixture aside.  (To save time, and space on stove top, you can do this step earlier in the day – just save mixture in a bowl). 
4.  To a blender (I recommend high speed to create a smooth, creamy texture) add cashews, water, oil, onion/mushroom mixture, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon garlic granules, 1/2 teaspoon onion granules, 6 turns of the pepper grinder). Blend until smooth and creamy (45 seconds to 1 minute).  
5.  In a casserole dish (or 11×7 glass Pyrex dish), add the green beans, pour in mixture from blender, then top with almond flour (see notes on the almond flour).
6.  Place uncovered in the oven for 45 minutes.  Serve hot.  

*The almond flour is the topping and you can add as much or as little as you like.  And I use just plain almond flour.  A few other suggestions includ mixing the almond flour with oil, coconut oil, palm shortening, or herbs/spices.  If you add in a oil, it will create a crisper top and brown up much more.  If you add an oil to the almond flour, wait until you have about 20 minutes remaining, then add this topping.  The oil will cause it to brown and perhaps burn.  

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