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Green Bean & Mushroom Casserole

This recipe is a new twist on the traditional favorite which used canned soup and fried onions. Instead, use fresh green beans, onions and mushrooms, have less sodium and fat but keep the taste and home-cooked tradition alive and well. Especially good as a holiday sidedish, this recipe can be enjoyed anytime.

Ingredients

Olive oil for coating
1 lb. green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces, or frozen green beans
2 Tbsp. plus 2 tsp. olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
8 oz. white mushrooms, stemmed and cut into 4 to 6 pieces
1 large garlic clove, finely chopped
2 Tbsp. rice flour or all-purpose wheat flour
1 1/2 cups reduced-fat (2 percent) milk
Sea salt and ground black pepper
Pinch of cayenne pepper

(As always, choose organic content as much as possible for the healthiest recipe.)

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Coat 11-inch x 7-inch (2 quart) baking dish lightly with olive oil and set aside.

2. In large pot of boiling water, cook green beans until almost tender, 5 minutes. Drain in colander, and then transfer beans to bowl of ice water. When cool, drain well and spread in prepared baking dish.

3. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook until browned, 8 minutes, stirring often. Scoop onion into small bowl, add panko, and mix with fork to combine well. Set topping aside.

4. Return pan to medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and cook 2 to 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Add garlic and cook until mushrooms are tender, 5 minutes, stirring often. Add mushroom mixture to green beans.

5. Add remaining oil to pan. Sprinkle flour over oil and cook, using a wooden spoon to stir and scrape mushroom and garlic bits from bottom of pan. Cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly, lower heat as needed to prevent flour from browning. Pour in milk while stirring vigorously. When sauce boils, reduce heat and simmer until sauce is thick enough to coat spoon well, 5-7 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and add cayenne pepper. Add sauce to vegetables, and stir to combine. Then spread in an even layer.

6. Sprinkle topping over casserole and bake, uncovered, for 10 minutes, or until topping is crunchy and mostly golden brown. Let casserole sit 10 minutes before serving.

Note: If preparing this casserole ahead, do not make topping until just before serving. Cool vegetables in the baking dish, then cover with foil and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. Let casserole sit at room temperature for 20 minutes. Heat it covered, at 350 degrees F., for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, make topping as above. Increase heat to 425 degrees F. and finish baking casserole, uncovered, until topping is crunchy and browned, 10 minutes.

Makes 6 servings.

Per serving: 210 calories, 8 g total fat (1.5 g saturated fat), 29 g carbohydrate, 7 g protein, 4 g dietary fiber, 95 mg sodium.


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