Need a delicious and sneakily nutritious side dish for your holiday dinner? Elle, our Registered Dietitian has you covered!
A few weeks ago we asked you to submit your favorite unhealthy holiday recipes so she could remix them into more nutritious versions of their former selves. MyFitnessPal user Jessica submitted her recipe for a traditional Green Bean Casserole, which called for sodium-socked canned green beans and condensed soup.
This recipe wasn’t the only one of its kind, either. With numerous submissions like it, Elle decided this was one dish in desperate need of a makeover.
Whether your favorite green bean casserole recipe calls for a cheese or cream-based condensed soup, they both usually have one thing in common: really long ingredient lists. And despite what the label might say, those cheesy, creamy canned soups also contain very little real cheese or cream, if any at all. You see, somewhere along the line food manufacturers discovered that thickeners, like modified food starch, are far less expensive and more shelf-stable than cheese and cream, so they started using those ingredients to give their soups that thick and creamy texture.
Elle remixed this recipe by whipping up a homemade cream of mushroom base and by swapping out those canned not-so-green beans for fresh ones. Not only do fresh green beans add crunch and vibrant color, they also contain far less sodium and offer more nutrients than their canned counterparts. She also used greek yogurt and low-fat milk in the base, which adds protein and calcium but not the added fat of cream.
She improved the sauce and the beans, but Elle thought those tasty French fried onions were just too good to pass up. We’d have to agree.
Here Elle explains how she remixed the recipe:
The recipe is below–just be sure to log it in MyFitnessPal! Search Holiday Recipe Remix in the food database. There you’ll find the full nutrition info and be able add a serving (or two) of this delicious casserole to your food diary.
Fresh Green Bean Casserole
Serves about 8
Serving Size: 1 cup
- 1 1/2 pounds fresh green beans, ends trimmed and chopped into 1-inch pieces
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 8 ounces white or baby bella mushrooms, diced
- 6 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 tablespoon thyme, dried or fresh
- 1 1/2 cups 1% milk
- 3/4 cup 2% Greek yogurt
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 cup French Fried Onions
1. Preheat oven to 350F and lightly spray a 2-quart baking dish with cooking oil.
2. For crunchy beans, steam over a pot of boiling water until bright green and still crisp, about 3 minutes. For more tender beans, blanch in boiling water for 2-3 minutes, drain and then immediately submerge in an ice bath.
3. Heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook for about 12 minutes, until liquid has evaporated and they begin to brown. Add the garlic and thyme and cook for an additional 1 minute.
4. Combine mushroom mixture, salt, pepper and parsley in a food processor and process until smooth, about 1 minute.
5. Whisk the milk and flour together in a small saucepan until the flour has dissolved. Bring to a simmer over medium heat while whisking constantly until the mixture has thickened to a yogurt consistency, about 8-10 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat. Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes before combining with Greek yogurt and mushroom mixture.
6. Toss green beans in sauce and spoon into the prepared dish. Sprinkle the top with French fried onions. Bake uncovered for 15-20 minutes. Serve warm.
The MyFitnessPal Team
Photos by Elle Penner | MyFitnessPal