Vegan Green Bean Casserole

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Welp, it’s that week again. This year, I have 2 Thanksgiving dinners to attend and am doing a lot more cooking and baking that I typically do. Prior to becoming a vegan, Thanksgiving has normally been one of my favorite holidays. Nowadays, Thanksgiving has transformed into something different for me. Today, I want to share one of my recipes for this holiday and some backstory about my transition from an omnivorous Thanksgiving to an herbivorous one.

For my family, Thanksgiving is all about the food. And unfortunately, I’m the only vegan in my family so all of the foods that are traditionally prepared contain meat, dairy, or eggs. For the past 2 years, I’ve brought a dish to share, but both times it was a half-assed attempt (on my part) that failed to impress. As I’ve become more rooted in my veganism and more proud of it, I’ve also taken a more proactive approach towards ensuring I will have something sufficient to eat wherever I go. This year, I’ve planned ahead will be preparing a side dish, alternate entrée, and dessert for each of the Thanksgiving meals I’ll be attending. This will provide plenty of food for me with an ample amount to share (and impress)!

Over the past several years, my dad has deep fried the Thanksgiving turkey. When he first started doing this, I had yet to make my transition to veganism and thus, I felt fairly unaffected. Nowadays, the talk of “stuffing the turkey”, “injecting the turkey”, frying the turkey, and simply seeing this huge bird cooked, is sad for me. I realize now that it used to be a live animal that wanted affection. I can’t make anyone become vegan and neither can you. But we can share our stories of change and hope to inspire. I aim to be more vocal about my veganism with my family and be joyful, in general, to help inspire others. My mom and sister both have talked to me about veganism so I can already see how my actions have made impacts.

This Thanksgiving, I encourage you to do 2 things:

  1. Be reminded of the importance of gratitude. Taking time to enjoy your family’s presence (as quirky as they may be) and what each member does to make your life more dynamic, can help you feel the love this holiday.
  2. Let go of the attachment to having a perfect outcome, in my case a vegan Thanksgiving with my family. If your family is anything like mine, the outcome will be far from perfect. But we can appreciate the time with family and do our part to improve our time.

For my family’s Thanksgiving meal, the side dish I’m bringing is Green Bean Casserole. This was a staple dish (and favorite) growing up, so my goal in veganizing it was for it to taste the same but be cruelty-free. I have to tell you guys, I totally succeeded. Typically this dish calls for a can of cream of mushroom soup. With a little extra work, we make our own vegan version that is still rich and creamy.

Vegan Green Bean Casserole

Ingredients (serves 2-4)

  • 1 can of cut green beans, rinsed and drained
  • ¼ yellow onion diced
  • 2-4 ounces baby bella mushrooms, chopped
  • 4 tbsp Earth Balance buttery spread, or canola oil
  • 4 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • 1 cup warm water
  • French’s fried onions, 2.8oz container

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. In a saucepan, over medium-low heat, make a roux with the Earth Balance and flour
    1. Melt Earth then add flour – 1 tbsp at a time, and whisk to combine
  3. Once you have prepared the roux, add 1 cup vegetable stock and lightly whisk to combine
  4. Add mushrooms, onions, and green beans to this mix
  5. Add additional water to thin to a thick soupy consistency
  6. Add in ¼ cup French’s fried onions and mix
  7. Transfer to a glass baking dish and bake for 25 minutes
  8. Add the last of the French’s fried onions to the top of dish and bake for an additional 5 minutes


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