A few (like 10) years ago, my friend Tony and I “summered” in Chicago. We spent the month of July in a sublet that had a box fan (that we purchased) and no air conditioning. Coming from Vegas, we had no idea that such places even existed. The thought of cooking or even eating hot food seemed too much to deal with, so we devised a meal planning strategy. Our idea, you see, was to make cold salads (pasta, macaroni, green… but mostly pasta), and serve those as our side dishes along with a main dish which we cooked in a Crock Pot. I wasn’t vegan at the time, and I did consume more mayonnaise that summer than anyone has the right to, but the point is that we survived a hot summer strategically planning our meals around cold salads.
So, as I was planning this week’s recipe video, I thought about that summer in Chicago. And I thought about how great it was to just have cold dishes in the fridge that could be made in advance, and eaten at any time, without having to heat up the house. I also thought about how much I missed green bean casserole… Inspired by that summer, and my favorite comfort food hot dishes, I came up this recipe.
It all starts off with this base, which is essentially a fat-free version of what would happen if mayonnaise and cream of chicken soup had a baby. Don’t judge it until you’ve tried it.
- 12 ounces or about 1 cup firm silken tofu (such as Mori-nu)
- 2 teaspoons Better Than Bouillon No Chicken or enough bouillon to make 2 cups of broth
- ½ lemon juiced
- ¼ teaspoon yellow mustard
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- Splash of soy or almond milk
- 1 tablespoon Bragg’s Liquid Aminos or salt to taste
- 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1 batch of the“base”
- ½ cup diced sweet onion
- 1 lb. french style green beans trimmed.
- 1 cup or more french fried onions, divided
Spread the French Fried onions a baking sheet, lightly toast at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for about 5-10 minutes, or until golden and crispy. If using fresh green beans, blanch the the trimmed beans in boiling water for about 1 to 2 minutes. Shock the beans an ice-water bath, and then dry them completely. If using frozen green beans, defrost the beans in cool water and then dry completely.
Add the beans to a bowl with about ¾ cup of the french fried onions, and the remaining ingredients. Toss to coat. Chill until ready to serve*. Top with the remaining toasted onions just before serving.
*The french fried onions that you mix in will get soggy after a while. It’s best to make this dish just before serving, or hold off on adding the onions, and stir them in at the last minute.