Back in the day, when it was relatively easy for everyone to get together at Grandma’s on Christmas Eve, you could show up expecting crab stuffed mushrooms, salad, lasagne and plain chicken wings for dinner and never be let down. It was our Christmas Eve tradition. Dad made the stuffed mushrooms for our appetizer and Grandma made the rest. But my brother and I live a couple hours away now and Read More
Don’t get me wrong, I love the classic green bean casserole! But sometimes it feels good to swap the processed cream of mushroom soup and french fried onions with a homemade mushroom Alfredo sauce and panko crusted red onions. And what better time to jump on the healthy bandwagon than the last day of the year? The first day of the new year. That’s the answer isn’t it? 😉 Good thing, because this casserole would be a perfect side dish to compliment the traditional roast pork and sauerkraut on new years day.
Speaking of the new year, are you a resolution maker? I was just talking about this on Instagram yesterday telling y’all I like to make goals and reflect on the past year and what I want the new year to bring, but I stay away from resolutions. I don’t need that kind of pressure or the disappointment of missing the gym for a week in February when real life sets in again. I’m kidding, you won’t find me at the gym at all this year. I like my workouts when I feel like it and in the comfort of my home haha
I also know some people who choose a word for the year and do their best to live by that word and embrace the true definition of it. In 2019, a friend from high school chose the word, or phrase rather, Cura di te. It’s Italian and means to take care of yourself because you care about yourself. It was focused on putting herself first when it was needed and warranted rather than focusing on everyone and everything else instead. I love this! What a great way to look back at your day or week, especially if you’re not in the best of moods, and be able to ask yourself what you’re focusing on and if it’s in line with your word that you chose for a specific reason. Do you or anyone you know do this? Here’s my biggest challenge with the idea…I’m SO indecisive. It might be June before I decide on word 🙂
But one thing I am focusing on in 2020 is sticking to a routine. I love the idea of healthy habits and do several, but really none of them on a regular basis so I don’t get the full benefit of these things. Some days I do well with drinking plenty of water and eating enough calories (yes, some of do struggle with this) and other days I just don’t make time for it. Some days I work out and other months I don’t. Same with applying face masks. And how about those some days when I remember the little things aren’t worth stressing over and go my happy way and other weeks when I let those things get the best of me. Those moments will always be around and I’m totally okay with it. But maybe this year I can actually start every day with a glass of water. And when I’m on top of it, that glass of water will have a cute little lemon slice and a splash of apple cider vinegar! Know what I mean? I’ll definitely keep going to ballet class on Thursday evenings, because that is one thing I actually did stick to religiously since class started this past September! Go me 🙂 Am I rambling yet? Sometimes you have to cut me off and I’m good with that. What’s your focus for 2020? Or your favorite routines that you have in place now or want to start in the new year? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below! While you think about it…let’s get back to this green bean casserole with a little step by step action to show you how to make this simple dish!
Look at those bright green…green beans! To start, you cook the green beans just enough to soften them a bit and bring out that color! They’ll cook more in the oven later, so the timing for this step is completely based on your crunch preference. Cook them in boiling water for about 5 minutes at this point if you like your beans a little less done and longer if you want them very soft at the end. I went with 5 minutes for us and Allen actually loved the way the beans were cooked in this casserole as did I! I’m a sucker for a little crunchy texture though! Best tip…use fresh green beans! Before cooking, trim and wash them in the sink. I even have the best home canned green beans from Grandma’s in our pantry, but still chose to go with fresh in this case. Once they’re cooked to your liking here, toss the green beans in a cold ice bath while you prep the rest of the casserole.
The crispy onion topping is super easy to mix up! You’ll sauté the onions in olive oil for a quick two or three minutes to get them partially cooked but not enough that they lose their shape. Then you’ll move the onions to a small bowl and sauté the panko with butter in the same pan until that browns just slightly. Add that to the bowl of onions, mix in the parmesan cheese, salt and pepper and stir to combine!
The last step before assembling the casserole is making the mushroom Alfredo sauce. Mmm! You’ll sauté those yummy mushrooms in butter, add garlic, stir in flour (I typed flower the first time haha), add vegetable stock and stir to dissolve flour, not flower, evenly and then finish with milk and parmesan cheese. Once everything is well combined, cheese is melted throughout and the sauce begins to thicken you’ll remove it from the heat and season with salt and pepper to your liking!
At this point, you’ll drain the green beans from the ice bath and add them to the Alfredo sauce to stir and coat evenly and pour into a baking dish. Then sprinkle the crispy onion layer on top and bake in a 375 degree oven for 25 to 30 minutes!
Leftovers can be kept in the fridge for a good three to four days. We had this casserole with multiple meals and it heated up well each day! If you don’t care for red onions, you could likely swap yellow onions or even omit them all together and just have the crispy panko topping on its own! And there we have it, the last post of 2019! It’s truly been a great year with lots of fun and new experiences! I hope y’all have a fun and safe new years eve tonight with plenty to look forward to in 2020. Happy New Year!!!
Healthier Green Bean Casserole
A healthy twist on the classic green bean casserole we all love
- 2 pounds fresh green beans washed and trimmed
- 2 Tbsp olive oil divided
- 1 medium red onion thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 3/4 cup parmesan cheese divided
- 1/2 tsp black pepper divided
- 3/4 tsp salt divided
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 8 ounces baby bella mushrooms
- 4 cloves garlic
- 3 Tbsp flour
- 1/2 cup vegetable stock
- 1 cup whole milk
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Clean and trim fresh green beans. Heat a large stockpot of water over high heat to bring to a boil and add green beans. Cook for 5-8 minutes depending on how done you like your green beans. Use a slotted spoon to then transfer the beans to a bowl of ice water. Stir and set aside. (this stops them from cooking longer)
Add one tablespoon of olive oil to a sauté pan over medium heat. Stir occasionally and only cook for 2-3 minutes so they keep their shape. Transfer the onions to a small mixing bowl. In the same sauté pan, add another tablespoon (or just under) of olive oil along with the panko breadcrumbs and stir to combine. Cook for 2-3 minutes again until the breadcrumbs are slightly browned. Transfer to the bowl of cooked onions and add in 1/4 cup parmesan cheese and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Stir to combine and set aside.
In a clean sauté pan, melt 2 tablespoons of butter and add the mushrooms . Cook for about 5 minutes and then stir in the garlic and cook for another 1 to 2 minutes until fragrant. Add in flour followed by the vegetable stock and stir until flour is evenly dissolved. Once dissolved, add the milk and 1/2 cup parmesan cheese and stir well to combine all ingredients and melt cheese evenly. Once it begins to thicken, remove from heat and add in 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper and stir that together.
Drain the green beans from their ice bath and add them to the mushroom Alfredo sauce. Stir to evenly coat the beans in the sauce. Pour into a 9x13 baking dish and spread in an even layer. Sprinkle the crispy onion layer on top and bake for 25 to 30 minutes allow the beans to cook more and the top layer to brown.
Serve warm and store cooled leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for three to four days.
Recipe ever so slightly modified from the 'Gimme Some Oven' blog! Definitely suggest you check out her blog; she has so many tasty recipes!!