|Green & White Bean Casserole, Fried Zucchini (Courgette), and Spicy Sweet Potato Wedges.|
I don't remember having green bean casserole when I was a kid, although I hear-tell it was a classic dish in the 1970s and 80s. I really get a kick out of casseroles, so I thought I'd try this one. It's really easy to make. You will need to have the white beans and the green beans cooked and ready before you begin. You can skip cooking them if you use canned and if you don't want overcooked green beans, just blanch them in hot water.
Preheat your oven to 350°F/175°C.
Chop and fry some mushrooms (you can actually skip these and the casserole will still be just fine) and onions in a pan. Once they have started to cook up, make a béchamel sauce (see my how-to post on gravies here) with them by adding margarine, flour (you can make it gluten-free by using cornstarch, arrow root, xanthan gum, or rice flour), nondairy milk, salt, and black pepper. Feel free to add a little thyme, too. Add your white beans to this and kind of mash them up a little. They don't all need to be broken or anything, but their mushiness really enhances the gravy.
And now the easy part: add the green beans, stir everything up, and pour into a greased casserole dish. Top with breadcrumbs if you're not GF. Bake in the oven covered for about 15-20 minutes and uncovered for another 10-15 minutes (you want the top to be a nice golden-brown).
And here's a quick bonus recipe for the spicy sweet potato wedges (this works fine with regular potatoes and other root veggies, too) -- pre-heat the oven to 400°F/200°C. Boil some sweet potatoes until they are soft enough to stick a fork into, but not crumbling. Slice them into wedges, toss them in olive oil, and dip them into a mixture of cornstarch and either your favourite herb & spice mix (cajun blend, curry powder, etc.) or some paprika, ground chili, ground coriander, ground cumin, oregano, thyme, and black pepper. Bake in the oven until they are starting to get brown and crispy on the outside. Toss a little salt over them and serve them on up. Mmmmmmm!