It’s hump day aka 2 more days closer to the weekend!
I think we’re going down the beach this weekend so I am so excited about that.. I really just need to unwind and relax before finals. And possibly get a tan!? ;)
Yesterday I pretty much just relaxed around my house. I love easy days like that but I also hate the stress I get thinking about upcoming tests! Grrrr. All day I was reaching for crunchy snacks (like grapes) to help with my stress. lol.
Early morning I made a trip to Wegman’s for some groceries (chickpeas, tahini [finally found some!!!], chia seeds, almond milk, etc) and then took Chippy for a walk.
On the moooovee..
Don’t worry we didn’t get too far at all before he stopped and refused to walk anymore. Next time I’m getting a pet jaguar so it runs everywhere with me. But for now, my little Chippers will have to do.
Came home and made a huuuuuge salad for lunch.
Lots and lots of romaine + mixed greens (probably 6-8 cups?? lol), 1/3 cucumber, 1/2 organic red pepper, 1/2 cup chickpeas, sprinkle of sunflower seeds + paprika with this dressing.
Mmm.. I loved the tahini avocado dressing. Next time I think I’ll add more lemon juice though because I noticed it was missing some zing.
So creaamy. It’s almost like Mama Pea’s Mmmm Sauce. I bet this would’ve tasted great with a tiny pinch of nutritional yeast in it.
I love processing in avocado in dressings, it makes them so creamy and delicious. The dressing tastes so sinful but is actually packed with healthy fats.
Speaking of healthy fats, this salad had a LOT of them. Avocado, sunflower seeds, tahini, extra virgin olive oil.. hello shiny hair. :D
I also noticed we have one tulip growing:
One is better than none right!? It’s such a pretty color too..
Hopefully some more flowers sprout up since I am obsessed with taking my food pics with them (if you haven’t noticed ;)).
I spent the rest of my day
procrastinating studying. It was sooo nice out yesterday I couldn’t bear to be inside so I took my studies outdoors.
Looks like fun, right?
Grapes + water to hydrate!
I ended up taking my books inside because the birds were chirping so loud I couldn’t focus. I also started to notice some bugs which is no bueno.
For the past few days I have been eyeing up this recipe..
Constantly looking at the pictures and dreaming of how creamy it is. I love creamy foods. And I love creamy foods without any actual cream in them. So when I saw this recipe I was sold.
I know, looks unimportant and unappetizing but tastes AMAZING. It is so creamy, luxurious and healthy to boot! There’s no cream in this and thickens up nicely thanks to the use of spelt flour.
I prepped this whole recipe before going to the gym and when I came home all I had to do was stick it in the oven. Easy! Dinner in 30 minutes.
Creamy Vegan Green Bean Casserole
Adapted from Fat Free Vegan Kitchen. Serves 4-6
For the green bean + mushroom mixture:
- 1 and 1/2 pounds green beans, washed, trimmed, and chopped into bite sized pieces
- 10 ounces mushrooms, washed and chopped into bite sized pieces
- 3/4 cup vegetable broth
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 2 tbsp + 2 tbsp spelt flour
- 1 tbsp marsala wine
- 2-3 garlic cloves, finely minced
- 1/2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/16 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
For the onion topping:
- 1 sweet white onion, chopped into 1/2 rings
- 2 tsp olive oil
For the bread crumbs:
- 3 pieces whole grain bread (I used Ezekiel)
- 1 tbsp Earth Balance butter
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/16 tsp black pepper
- In a large pot, fill it up with water. Bring to a boil and add the green beans. Boil for 6 minutes then drain and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking. Set aside.
- For the bread crumbs, process bread, butter, salt and pepper in a food processor until crumbly. Set side.
- Meanwhile, sauté your sweet white onion on medium-low heat in 2 tsp olive oil until translucent and caramelized. Once caramelized (about 15 min) remove from the pan and set aside.
- In the same pan you sautéed your onions in, add in 1/2 tbsp olive oil on medium-low heat. Add in your mushrooms, garlic, salt, pepper, and cayenne. Sauté until mushrooms are soft and they release their juices (about 7 mins). Whisk together the vegetable broth + 2 tbsp spelt flour until combined. Pour vegetable broth + flour mixture onto the mushrooms and add in the marsala wine. Once thickened, add in your almond milk + remaining 2 tbsp spelt flour. Stir until thickened (about 8-10 mins). Once thickened, add in your green beans and stick well.
- Pour green bean + mushroom mixture into a greased casserole dish. Top with sautéed sweet onions and bake for 20 minutes at 425*. Remove casserole from oven and sprinkle with bread crumbs. Bake for an additional 10 minutes. Serve!
*I used 2 garlic cloves because mine were HUGE
*I’m sure you could sub in any other type of flour for the spelt (whole wheat, all purpose, etc) or milk for the almond milk
*You could use a high speed blender in place of the food processor for the bread crumbs if you don’t have one
*The cayenne pepper is optional but I find it adds a nice spice and heat to the dish
What helps to speed this recipe along is if you use pre washed + cut mushrooms and pre washed and trimmed green beans. It saves you a tremendous amount of time and if you can find them already prepped for you in your grocery store, buy them!
Add onions into your pan that is on medium-low heat and has been coated with olive oil..
After sautéing until caramelized..
Sweet onions are one of my favorite things in the whole wide world.
Meanwhile make your bread crumbs..
This is the marsala wine I ended up using:
It adds a nice depth and flavor to the green bean + mushroom filling.
I actually prepped all of this ahead of time since I knew I wouldn’t have the time to when I got home from the gym. If you’re planning on prepping this ahead of time and baking it when dinner time comes, simply prepare the green bean + mushroom filling and onions. Layer the green bean + mushroom filling into your casserole dish and top with onions and refrigerate. Refrigerate the bread crumbs separately because they can get soggy if you refrigerate them with the green bean + mushroom filling. When it comes time to cook the casserole, just pop it in the oven and follow regular instructions.
If you’re making this right away, just add the green bean + mushroom mixture to your casserole dish, top with onions and bake per instructions.
I hope I didn’t confuse you all! lol. I just want you to be aware that if you did like I did, and waited to cook the casserole, make sure to refrigerate the green bean + mushroom mixture and bread crumbs separately.
Baking the mixture at 425* for 20 minutes..
Take out and add bread crumbs and bake for another 10 minutes and BOOM..
The creamiest casserole ever with NO cream.
I would’ve eaten the whole casserole if it wasn’t so filling! I ate 1/4 of the casserole and was stuffed. It is so luxurious and creamy I’ve never tasted anything like it.
It lived up to all my expectations. So happy with the outcome of this casserole! It was my first time ever making my own casserole. I see lots of casseroles in my future.. they’re so fun to make. They are a little time consuming but the pay off is so worth it. Perfect for when you need some comfort food when freaking out about tests. ;)
Your non-vegan guests wouldn’t even guess this would be vegan.
I’m off to class, the gym and to eat more green bean casserole. See ya!