As the Thanksgiving holiday approaches, I receive many requests for holiday recipes. In one of my previous blogs, I asked a question: when was the last time you tried something for the first time?
For many families, I find that holiday meals are traditional so if you want to try something new, I would serve the new item in addition to the family favorite. Who knows, maybe the new item will become a family favorite. Otherwise I expect some family members will miss the traditional item and not try the new recipe.
The ever-popular Green Bean Casserole
I refer to the green bean casserole as the usual casserole. I like to taste the vegetable, and, for me, this casserole hides the flavor of green beans with cream soup, soy sauce and French fried onions. Plus, since my parents were immigrants to the United States, green bean casserole was not on the menu. Canned soup was not in the cupboard.
But if this is a tradition you can't give up at your house, try to prepare it with less calories and lower sodium by using Campbell’s Healthy Request cream of mushroom soup, lite soy sauce, cooked frozen or fresh green beans or no salt added canned green beans, and using onion-flavored croutons (if you can't find onion-flavored, then I would use seasoned croutons). Place the croutons in a sealed plastic bag and then, using a rolling pin, crumble them to your preferred size and sprinkle on top of the casserole.
Try a new approach to an old favorite
At this time of year, I receive a few requests for replacing green bean casserole. Several years ago, I found a recipe in Taste of Home magazine that I modified to lower the fat and the sodium. It is called Green Beans Caesar. Family, friends, and patients have enjoyed it, too. I know that I have succeeded when I receive voice mail messages from former participants in cardiac rehab or the heart failure program requesting that I fax the recipe or mail it to them. They have misplaced the recipe, and they want to serve it for a potluck or holiday meal. It is easy to prepare too.
So ... is the year for you to try something new?
Green Bean Caesar
- 1 1/2 pounds of fresh green beans (cooked) or 2 cans (14.5 oz each) no salt added green beans
- 2 Tbsp canola oil
- 1 Tbsp vinegar (I use Alessi brand balsamic vinegar)
- 1 Tbsp minced onion
- 1 clove garlic (minced) or 1/2 tsp dry minced garlic
- 1/8 tsp pepper
- 2 Tbsp plain bread crumbs
- 2 Tbsp parmesan cheese
- 1 Tbsp margarine spread or Land-O-Lakes light butter (melted)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Toss beans with oil, vinegar, onion, garlic and pepper. Pour into ungreased one quart casserole. In a separate bowl, stir together the bread crumbs, cheese and melted margarine. Sprinkle over the beans. Bake uncovered for 15-20 minutes or until heated through.
Makes 6 servings.
Serving size: 1/2 cup
Carbohydrate: 9 grams
Fiber: 4 grams
Fat: 7 grams
Saturated fat: 1 grams
Trans fat: 0
Protein: 2 grams
Sodium: 67 milligrams