Holiday Green Bean Casserole

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I often make a variation of this around the holidays, and it has come to be one of our favorites. I love it because it really delivers flavor wise, but it doesn’t require a huge amount of minute to minute attention. It’s also a bit of a multipurpose dish; I make it so that there is reserve liquid at the end of cooking, that way when you’re done you can drain the liquid, heat it over low, add a bit of flour, and within a few minutes you have perfect mushroom gravy!

Ingredients

1 lb. green beans

1/3 cup dried cranberries

2/3 cup chopped pecans

10 white mushrooms

1 can corn

1 cup almond milk

1/4 cup nutritional yeast

2 tbsp. non-dairy butter

1 tsp. basil

1 tsp. madras curry powder

1 pinch white pepper

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 

2. Trim beans, slice mushroom caps, chop pecans, and portion other ingredients. 

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3. Mix beans, pecans, mushrooms, and cranberries together. Spread in casserole dish and top with non-dairy butter and spices. 

4. Bake for 10 minutes. Mix well, and return to oven for another 10 minutes. 

5. Add in nutritional yeast and a drained can of corn. Mix well, cover with aluminum foil, and return to oven for a final 20 minutes. 

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Serve with a slotted spoon! Reserved liquid may easily be turned into mushroom gravy.

Spaghetti Squash Pepper Pot

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Spaghetti squash stuffed in a baked pepper and served with parsnip steaks, flat green beans, and Indian eggplant. It’s a perfect autumn dinner for four. The vegetables are vibrant and fresh, and the herbs are subdued so that each piece can be fully heard.

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Suntan peppers, Indian eggplant, parsnips, and flat green beans are great this time of year. If you need to swap out the produce, use bell peppers, regular green beans, and one large eggplant, diced.

Ingredients

4 suntan peppers

4 small eggplants

2 large (in circumference) parsnips

1 lb. flat green beans

1 medium spaghetti squash

2 cups vegetable stock

olive oil

salt

pepper

1 tsp. basil

1 tsp. sage

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1. Preheat oven to 375. Thickly slice your parsnips, only at the largest part- discard it when the diameter is less than 3 inches. Also trim your beans, halve and scoop seeds out of your squash, and halve your eggplants. 

2. Place parsnips in a baking dish, spread them out so that they cook evenly. Cover with vegetable stock and place in oven. Now rub olive oil into the flesh of the spaghetti squash and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Place it on a casserole dish or baking pan face up- put that in the oven as well. Bake both dishes for 40 minutes. Turn the parsnips over at the 20 minute mark. 

3. While squash and parsnips are baking, put your eggplant face down in a heavy bottomed pot or dutch oven, liberally drizzle olive oil. 

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4. Pile your green beans on top of the eggplants and drizzle with lots of olive oil again. Add in sage and basil- make sure your green beans are evenly coated, and keep the flat side of the eggplants down. Cover and cook on medium for 30 minutes, check on it occasionally and make sure to keep adding oil if it gets dry. 

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5. By now your squash and parsnips are done. Remove them both from the oven. Cut the tops off of your peppers and prepare them for filling. Using a fork, scoop the spaghetti out of the squash and fill the peppers with it. Rub a bit of oil on the outside of the peppers, and place in the oven for an additional 10 minutes. 

And serve! The squash is so crunchy and fresh, the parsnips take on an unbelievable texture, and the herbs on the eggplant and green beans bring the whole dish together with a Mediterranean sensibility.

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Five Alarm Green Bean Bowl- $5.95 recipe/ $1.48 serving

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These beans pack a serious punch. If you can’t find the type of peppers I use, you could substitute with two fresh jalapenos and one yellow bell pepper. The cashews in this are my favorite because they offer soft buttery relief from the heat of the dish. I’ve been going green bean crazy lately because the produce store near my apartment has a ton of fresh beans from Long Island. They are so cheap, and so delicious.

Ingredients

1 lb. fresh green beans ($1.12)

2 orange and 1 red spicy long peppers (sometimes called hot Italian peppers) ($1.11)

4 cloves garlic ($0.20)

1/2 tsp. cumin ($0.03)

1/2 tsp. five spice powder ($0.05)

1 tbsp. soy sauce ($0.05)

1 cup cashews ($1.27)

1 cup Israeli couscous (uncooked) ($1.12)

1/4 cup olive oil ($1.00)

1/2 cup water

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1. Mince garlic, trim beans, and slice peppers. You should discard most of the pepper seeds or the spice will be overpowering. 

2. Add olive oil, garlic, cashews, cumin, and five spice powder to a large saute pan, wok, or dutch oven. Heat low and stir consistently for about 5 minutes. 

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3. Add in green beans, peppers, water, and soy sauce. Cover the pot, check and stir occasionally for about 15 minutes. While everything is cooking in the pot, make your couscous according to package instructions, when it is done set it aside. 

4. Uncover pot and crank the heat higher for about 3 minutes, stirring continuously. This part of the recipe serves to evaporate any excess water that may be in the bottom of the pot- the final product should not be soupy. Once this is done, lower the heat once again and cover the pot for an additional 20 minutes. 

5. Now mix the couscous in with the green bean mixture, and voila! 

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