Light and Delicious Green Bean Casserole with Zucchini & Garlic
“Not what we say about our blessings, but how we use them, is the true measure of our thanksgiving”.
I discovered that it is easy to make someone thankful – just cook for them! This time I experimented with a dish frequently served at Thanksgiving. Green bean casserole! I got inspiration from a few sources, but, as usual, I knew I would have to substitute. I probably tried green bean casserole once at someone’s place. It did not impress me much not because of lack of someone’s cooking skills but rather due to the overwhelming variety of dishes present at a regular Thanksgiving dinner table. Each dish is pretty filling, and to eat more of each, one should make it lighter so that the pleasure would be guilt free. I found some statistics that an average American gains seven to ten pounds between Thanksgiving and Christmas. With this in mind, I tried to make a lighter dish so that one would be able to enjoy more of it together with other dishes.
My main approach was to make it light yet delicious. Since my husband does not like mushrooms (and I kind of lost interest, too) – I substituted light green zucchini for mushrooms. Feel free to use mushrooms. I used organic whole milk and Amish butter instead of suggested half & half or heavy cream. I also used almond flour for onion topping, and all-purpose flour for a sauce; the latter can be adjusted to suit a gluten-free diet. Instead of browning onions in the oven I just used a regular skillet. Finally, I did not use bread crumbs since I wanted a lighter dish. Almond flour is actually ground almonds. It makes up for the lack of bread crumbs. So, there is a lot of freedom with this dish. I tried to use minimum ingredients hoping for maximum taste, and somehow it turned out great! My husband enjoyed it, too. I hope you find it very quick and easy to cook without compromising on taste.
For the topping:
– 1-2 medium onions, sliced and/or chopped
– 1/4 cup almond flour
– 1 tsp salt
– 2-3 Tsp grapeseed oil
For beans and sauce:
– 1 – 1.5 lbs fresh green beans, rinsed, trimmed and halved
– 2 Tsp unsalted butter (Amish butter used here)
– 2 Tsp grapeseed oil
– 2 small (or 1 large) light green zucchini cut into 1/2 inch pieces or chunks
– 3-4 cloves garlic, chopped
– spices: salt, black ground pepper, 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
– 2 Tsp all-purpose flour
– 2 cups milk
Wash all the ingredients. Trim beans and snap them in halves.
Bring water to boil, add salt and add the beans. Let them blanch for 5 minutes. Then drain them in a colander and plunge them into ice water to stop the cooking. Drain and set aside.
While beans are cooking, slice onions and mix them with salt and almond flour. Sautee them in grapeseed oil stirring occasionally, then set aside. If some almond flour sticks to the pan, use spatula to gently scrub it off.
Pre-heat the oven to 400 F.
Chop zucchini and sautee them in butter and grapeseed oil in a large skillet (12 inches or more) for 2 minutes stirring occasionally. Add salt, ground black pepper, chopped garlic and ground nutmeg. Then sprinkle some all-purpose flour and stir it for a few seconds till all the white flour turns brown. It can be adjusted for a gluten-free diet – use almond flour instead of an all-purpose one. Then slowly pour in milk. Cook until the mixture thickens, stirring occasionally, 2-4 minutes or more depending on your stove.
Remove from the heat and stir in 1/4 onions and green beans. Now is the time to sample in case it needs more spices (salt or pepper). Place it into the baking foil tray and top with the remaining onions. Place into the pre-heated oven and bake for 10-15 minutes. Serve immediately. Refrigerate remnants if any. Reheating is recommended in the oven.
Enjoy! Please share with your friends and feel free to comment below.
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Author: Elena White