A classic holiday favorite.

• 1 and ½ lbs. fresh green beans trimmed into bite-size pieces
or 2 cans (14oz. each) cut green beans, well drained
• 2 T flour (unbleached all-purpose wheat; rice or soy)
• 1 tsp garlic powder
• 1 tsp onion powder
• 1 and ½ cups plain unsweetened non-dairy milk
• 1 T tamari, soy sauce or Bragg Liquid Aminos™
• 1 tsp vegan Worcestershire Sauce
• 3 T Better Butter (from my cookbooks) or vegan margarine
plus additional for “buttering” the casserole dish
• 1 and ½ cups finely chopped white mushrooms
• 1 and ⅓ cups French-fried onions (from canned – French’s™ are vegan) – or make your own, the recipe and technique follows this recipe
• sea salt or kosher salt and ground black pepper to taste

If using fresh green beans, steam or boil the beans for about 20 minutes or until tender. Drain thoroughly and set aside in a large mixing bowl. If using canned green beans, drain them thoroughly and set aside in the mixing bowl.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly “butter” a casserole dish with the butter or margarine and set aside.

In a small dish, measure the flour, onion powder and garlic powder; set aside.

In a measuring cup, measure the non-dairy milk and add the tamari/soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce; set aside.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter or margarine. Add the mushrooms and sauté until the excess liquid has evaporated from the mushrooms. Transfer the mushrooms to the mixing bowl with the green beans and set aside.

In the same saucepan, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter or margarine over medium-low heat and whisk in the flour mixture. Continue to stir for about a minute. The mixture will be very thick and pasty. Don’t be concerned if the flour sticks to the bottom of the saucepan as it will loosen when the milk mixture is added.

Slowly whisk in the milk mixture until smooth, add a pinch or two of black pepper and bring to the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and simmer an additional 2 to 3 minutes. The mixture will have a somewhat thin consistency; this is desirable as it will thicken when the casserole is baked. Taste and add salt to your liking and additional black pepper, if desired. Remove from the heat.

Gently toss together the cream mixture with the green beans, mushrooms and ⅔ cup French-fried onions in the mixing bowl. Transfer to the casserole dish.

Bake uncovered for 25 minutes or until the bean mixture is hot and bubbling around the edges. Gently stir and top with the remaining ⅔ cup onions. Bake for an additional 5 minutes or until the onions are golden brown.

French-Fried Onions

• 2 or 3 large or 5 medium sweet yellow onions
• plain unsweetened non-dairy milk for soaking the onions
• 1 and ½ to 2 tsp sea salt or kosher salt (try the first batch and adjust the salt to taste)
• ground black pepper
• pinch of cayenne pepper
• 1 and ½ cups unbleached all-purpose wheat flour
• vegetable oil for frying

Mix the flour, salt, and ground peppers in a large bowl. Slice the onions and separate into rings. Soak the onions in the milk.

Heat about ½-inch of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until it begins to shimmer.

Dredge the onions in the seasoned flour. Give them a good coating of flour. Place the onions into the hot oil in the skillet. Don’t try to do all the onions at one; just one batch at a time.

When the onions begin to brown around the edges, turn them over and cook an additional minute or so (they cook very quickly!) Remove the rings and lay them on a paper bag or paper towels to cool/drain. Serve immediately or store in an air-tight container for topping your casseroles.

Green Bean Casserole
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