Healthy, green bean casserole

September 28, 2013 at 8:00 pm | Posted in recipe, VeganMoFo | Leave a comment
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Photo by Bethany Fehlinger

Photo by Bethany Fehlinger

Previously posted on No Sweat, York

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

Ingredients

  • 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

Recipe

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Drain green beans when they are done and place back into the pot.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Spread the fried onions over the top, and cover with foil. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes at 425 degrees.
  7. Take out of oven, let it cool for 5 minutes and then enjoy.
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Purple potato and kale pierogies with caramelized onions

September 28, 2013 at 12:15 am | Posted in recipe, VeganMoFo | Leave a comment
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Photo by Bethany Fehlinger

Photo by Bethany Fehlinger

I usually embraces my Italian heritage, but this past week, I decided to embrace the Polish side. Sometimes I really miss the church bazaar food of my youth: haluski, potato pancakes and pierogies.

And yum, this was the best decision I made all week.

The set-up that I found most helpful included: a clean kitchen counter and doing the filling prep the day before. This made the rolling, cutting, scooping and pinching easy.

This time of year brings in potatoes, onions and kale. I combined these three elements for my filling, and then used vegan best-selling cookbook author Isa Moskowitz’s recipe for the dough.

On a cool, fall Sunday, spend some time with the kids in the kitchen and make these great dumplings that will last all week.

The recipe previously published on No Sweat, York

Purple potato and kale pierogies with caramelized onions

For onions:

  • 3 small onions
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil

For filling:

  • 4 medium potatoes
  • 1 cup of shredded kale
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup of soy milk
  • 2 tablespoons Earth Balance butter
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper

For dough:

  • 3 Tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 3 cups all purpose flour (plus a little extra for sprinkling)
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt

Recipe:

The night before:

  1. Chop onions into half-moons, place in a medium pan with the oil, and heat until sizzling loud.
  2. Then lower the heat and cook for 30 to 40 minutes on low until the onions are a beautiful, caramel color.
  3. Place in a container in the fridge for the next day.
  4. Peel, cube and boil potatoes in a large pot of water.
  5. Meanwhile, shred the kale with your fingers, add to a small pan with the oil and saute for about 5 minutes.
  6. When potatoes are done, drain and place in a large bowl and add kale, milk, butter and spices. Whip with a hand mixer until smooth. Add more milk if the mixture seems stiff.
  7. Stir in a little bit of the caramelized onions to the mixture, but reserve the rest for topping the pierogies.
  8. Let it cool, and then place in the fridge until the next day (or move on and prepare the dough.)

For the dough:

The next day or immediately after preparing the filling, follow the directions for the pierogi dough from Isa’s Post Punk Kitchen blog. If you are making the dough right after the filling, make sure the filling is cooled completely before adding to the dough circles.

I did not boil these immediately but stored them in the fridge overnight. That was a mistake. Boil or saute in butter after all the pierogies are finished being assembled, and then cool and store, either in the fridge or freezer.

To reheat, I would recommend sauteing instead of reboiling. Heat the onions and top the pierogies with them.

What is your favorite dish that reminds you of childhood? Did you recreate it vegetarian or vegan?

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