As the holidays approach, you begin to avoid counting the calories you plan on consuming. How many of us in the weeks before Thanksgiving eat fewer calories, cut back on sugar, or maybe even exercise more, in preparation for a weekend of indulging? (Think of the pies alone!) It doesn’t have to be like that. This month we’ll cover several favorite Thanksgiving foods with a healthier twist.
We’ll start with a staple in many households at a big family meal: a green bean casserole. But with the cream of mushroom soup and other high-fat ingredients, this vegetable dish can be hard to redeem. Try this version from the Food Network that contains 60 percent fewer calories and 80 percent less fat than traditional preparation methods.
Green Bean Casserole
- 3 to 4 medium shallots, in their skins
- Kosher salt, plus 1 1/2 teaspoons
- 1 pound fresh green beans, stemmed, and halved crosswise
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 8 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced (about 4 cups)
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups mushroom, vegetable, or chicken broth (not Asian-flavored)
- 3 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Vegetable cooking spray
- 1 cup fresh bread crumbs
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Farenheit. Put the shallots (in their skins) on a small baking dish, roast until soft, about 30 minutes. When cool enough to handle, skin, and coarsely chop the shallots. Set aside.
Bring a medium-large saucepan of water to a boil over high heat. Add kosher salt to taste. Add the green beans and cook, uncovered, until crisp-tender and bright green, about 3 minutes. Drain the beans in a colander and rinse with cold water. Transfer the beans to a large bowl.
In the same saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and season with 1 teaspoon of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally until browned, about 7 minutes, then add the mushrooms to the beans.
Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, until golden, about 2 minutes. Slowly whisk in the broth, increase the heat to high, and bring to a boil. Add the shallots, 1 teaspoon of the thyme, and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer and cook until thickened, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Pour the sauce over the vegetables and stir to combine evenly.
Spray a 2-quart baking dish with vegetable cooking spray. Transfer the vegetable mixture to the pan. Add the remaining 2 teaspoons of thyme to bread crumbs and scatter over the vegetables. Bake uncovered until the sauce bubbles and the crumbs brown, about 20 minutes.
A recipe like this can bring down the calorie count and keep your dishes healthier, leaving room for a few more bites of something else you love! For other healthy eating ideas, give us a call at 717-840-9885 or click on the button below to make an appointment.
Dr. Julie Drolet
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