I originally heard about this all-vegetable based green bean casserole from the amazing Detoxinista. It’s such a clever idea–almost pure genius.
But I have to admit, when it’s holiday season, my nostalgia kicks in, and I really do just need a little more butter, Paula Deen style.
While I LOVE Detoxinista’s recipe (and really, all of hers!), I felt as if her version lacked a punch of flavor….
And when I’m feeding non-clean eating friends (or anyone really!), I don’t want them to miss out on all the flavor they can have!
So, I ventured back to the Paula Deen recipe I made years ago, and merged these two loves together to make a clean, yet flavorful side dish that will satisfy your casserole craving without the junk.
You can most certainly serve this to any type of guest, and it’s sure to please!
A note about some ingredients:
-You don’t have to peel the parsnips. Yay!
-Nutritional yeast can be found at any health food store (I buy from the bulk bins), but you can also get it at Kroger in the organic section near the flours and baking stuff. It is a yellow flaky yeast that helps give non-dairy dishes a cheesy flavor. It sounds weird and might look weird, but it sure doesn’t taste weird!
-I use frozen green beans to make it easier–but you pick whether you buy whole or cut green beans–to your liking here!
Heat the coconut oil in a large pan over medium heat.
Add onions and stir. Since you are caramelizing the onions, they will cook for about 40 minutes.
Continue cooking over medium or medium-low heat for about 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Keep the onions spread out on the pan, as to cook evenly. Add a small amount of water to prevent sticking if necessary. Do not let the onions brown too much--reduce heat if so.
After the 20-25 minutes, sprinkle a pinch of salt on the onions, reduce heat to low, and cook for 15-20 minutes longer, stirring occasionally. Watch carefully so they don't get burned. They are supposed to be caramelized, not burned.
Meanwhile, put the vegetable broth and water in a large pot and bring to a boil.
Add green beans, and boil for 8-10 minutes, until desired consistency. They don't get much softer in the oven, so make sure they are the way you want them for the casserole.
Once the beans are finished cooking, use a slotted spoon to transfer the green beans to an 8 x 8 baking dish, leaving the leftover liquid in the pot. Set dish aside.
Next, put the chopped parsnips in the leftover liquid, bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook for about 8-10 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a small pan, saute mushrooms over medium heat until juices have been released, about 6 minutes.
Drain parsnips. Combine parsnips, ½ of the sauteed mushrooms, and all other filling ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
Add the remaining mushrooms to the green beans and stir to combine.
Pour the filling mixture over cooked green beans and stir.
Put the caramelized onions on top of the mixture evenly.
Bake at 375 degrees for about 30 minutes or until bubbly and heated through.
I’ve confessed my BBQ addition before. I used to be crazy-like. BBQ sauce on everything! Fast food was my favorite–and I usually needed 4-5 sauces to wash down my 20 piece chicken nuggets and biggie fry.
But like many other foods, BBQ sauce does have some bad stuff in it. I bet I added on almost 500 calories to my meals JUST on BBQ sauce. You can read my post here about High Fructose Corn Syrup–and also see a recipe for a mustard-based BBQ sauce.
It never occurred to me that BBQ sauce could go on veggies until I read it as a suggestion in one of my favorite cookbooks.
So, I took that concept, and made a very filling meal with a unique flavor…and those caramelized onions….oh my!!!
I must admit I had never eaten cauliflower until about a year ago (You’re seeing a pattern here). And I’m thirty. I know, it’s kind of crazy, but honestly, it was a little weird to me. And chalky. And not broccoli. I LOVE broccoli.
But my curiosity got the best of me, and I went for it. Cauliflower “rice,” cauliflower “potatoes,” and my favorite, roasted cauliflower and chickpeas with a mustard dressing.
I was diggin’ it. And diggin’ in.
Then football season came around, and I kept seeing those buffalo cauliflower wings all over social media. I had no idea I missed chicken wings until I saw those suckers. We’ve perfected this recipe by now, but along the way, I saw this concept for the tater tots.
I’ve made them a couple of times to get them where we like them (and to make some adjustments for allergies/intolerances). Last time I made them, I sat on that couch, chewing slowly, absolutely flabbergasted that there wasn’t actual cheese in these things. If you’re dairy free, you know these moments don’t come often, but when they do, relish in them. Remember them. Love them.
So here’s our version–they are perfect as a side to a burger (veggie or with meat!) or as an appetizer for a get together! Don’t forget to serve it with the Buffalo Thousand Island sauce 🙂
1 "flax egg" (mix 1 Tablespoon of ground flaxseed and 3 Tablespoons of water in a small bowl and set aside for 5 minutes)
½ cup onion, peeled & diced
3 T fresh parsley, chopped finely
¼ cup Nutritional Yeast (found at health food store)
¼ cup buffalo sauce (like Frank's)
½ cup breadcrumbs
½ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon salt
⅛ teaspoon pepper
gluten free flour (or flour) blend for dusting
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
Buffalo Thousand Island Sauce:
¼ cup Vegenaise or other vegan mayo
2 Tablespoons organic ketchup
1 teaspoon mustard
1 teaspoon hot sauce
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
After you've steamed the cauliflower, chop as finely as you can. You can pulse in a food processor, but you don't want it to become mushy. (alternate would be to buy riced cauliflower)
Put chopped cauliflower in a thin kitchen towel and squeeze as much water out of it as you can.
Put all tater tot ingredients in a medium mixing bowl, and stir well.
Heat the oil in a frying pan.
Meanwhile, put a small ball (about a tablespoon) of dough in your hands and form a tater tot. Put a little bit of water on your hands if mixture sticks to you--that will help! Sprinkle or roll tater tot in the gluten free flour blend.
Place in the frying pan and fry for about 4-5 minutes, flipping halfway. You want the outside to be golden brown, and starting to harden.
Place on a greased cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes.
Flip the tater tots and bake 7-10 more minutes, bumping the heat to BROIL for the last few minutes. Watch carefully that they don't burn or get too brown.
Serve warm with Buffalo Thousand Island Sauce or ketchup. Enjoy!
This time of year, comfort food is like a hot towel straight out of the dryer after coming in from the cold. It exemplifies its title; it’s truly comfort.
For me, pot pie is the ultimate, and for a long time, I figured we just had to do without. Our youngest son Beckham is dairy free, soy free, gluten free, egg free, and peanut free (I promise it’s as overwhelming as it sounds), so pot pies seemed like something we had to avoid.
But when I’m determined to do something, I always figure it out. I knew that if vegans could make “cheese” from cashews, then I could figure out how to make my baby a pot pie.
And from that determination, this creation was born. It’s stellar. It’s shareable. It’s loveable. It’s perfect for this fall weather.
I hope you enjoy this fall favorite (without all the junk!)