Gourmet Veggie Mama

Tag Archives: Green Beans

Our Thanksgiving Table… and a Giveaway (CLOSED)!

We have just finished a terrible round of the pukies here at our house. Thankfully Nora seems to have skipped the worst of it (fingers crossed), but being sick with a toddler is no fun. Even less fun is being sick with a toddler when your spouse and co-parent is also sick. But, the worst is over now, so onward and upward. It’s time to sanitize the kitchen and start thinking about Thanksgiving!

Here’s what will be on our table this year:

  • Turkey – I defer to my omnivore guests on the centerpiece of the meal. Hubby is in charge of the turkey business this year (as always), and he decided to order a smoked turkey breast from Rudy’s.
  • Green Beans with Creamy Mushrooms – I tested this recipe last week, and it was far too delicious not to make again. It’s like green bean casserole without all the processed junk!
  • Bourbon Sweet Potato Casserole – This is another of my “dress rehearsal” recipes, and although I planned to revert to my traditional sweet potatoes with honey, pecans and cinnamon, I have been outvoted. That’s okay — it’s good stuff, man.
  • Stuffing – TBD. I think I’ll make cornbread stuffing with pecans and jalapeños. Stuffing (or dressing, as my mother would implore me to call it) is not really my thing, but I think it’s required.
  • Cream Cheese Mashed Potatoes – Love. These. Potatoes. I think I have a new go-to recipe… but for holidays only, since I’m sure they are terrrrrrible for you.
  • Roasted Beets with Goat Cheese and Pine Nuts – This is a new recipe, but it’s similar to several others I make, so it should be a snap. Plus I have beets and goat cheese, so why not?
  • Spiced Cranberry Sauce – Fresh is so much better, people. Are you still using the canned stuff? Please tell me no. If you want a processed sugar-free version, use the recipe at the link, but substitute coconut palm sugar for the brown sugar. Done and done.
  • Bourbon Chocolate Pecan Pie – You knew this was going to make the cut again, didn’t you? I’m pretty sure we’ll never have another Thanksgiving without it.
  • Bread Pudding – I seize on any excuse to make a good bread pudding, and Thanksgiving certainly is one! I’m not sure yet if I’ll be making White and Dark Chocolate Bread Pudding or another variation (maybe chocolate bread pudding with walnuts?), but it’s happening.

In general, I like to overdo it, but this year, just coming off of feeling like death for a few days, I got responsible and pared back a bit. What’s on your Thanksgiving table this year? Are you trying anything new, or sticking with the tried-and-true?


Now, for what you’re all really interested in: the giveaway! I’ve never done one before, but when Cooking Planit gave me the opportunity to offer you one of my favorite kitchen gadgets on their dime, it sounded like a win-win to me. Just in time to help with all your holiday cooking this year, how about a Cuisinart Mini-Prep Food Processor?

Hello, beautiful.

Not only is it lovely, it does a bang-up job with small tasks like making dressing, chopping onions and more. All you have to do to win is visit Cooking Planit and let me know which of their featured “Alternative Thanksgiving” meals looks yummiest to you! Check out the Rafflecopter for more details and ways to get more entries.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Happy hunting (errr… you know). Good luck with your Thanksgiving prep, and have a wonderful holiday!

P.S. You have to comment letting me know your answer for the first two entries. Anyone who doesn’t will be disqualified!


Thanksgiving Dress Rehearsal: Part 2

Continuing from yesterday’s post, I am trying out some new dishes in advance of Thanksgiving. That means you, dear readers, get to share in my trials and tribulations and learn from my mistakes before the big day rolls around. I cook so you don’t have to! Well, sort of.

Anyway, on today’s docket are a couple of new recipes (one from Cooking Planit) and one old family favorite thrown in for good measure.

4. Bourbon Sweet Potato Casserole

I am a classic sweet potatoes girl. For Thanksgiving, I like them just the way my mom used to make them: roasted, cut into chunks, topped with honey, butter, cinnamon and pecans, and then baked together. But, you know me — I can’t resist bourbon. So, of course, this recipe for Bourbon Sweet Potato Casserole from Ginny’s Austin struck my fancy.

Bourbon Sweet Potato Casserole

Nom nom nom.

Was it good? Abso-freakin’-lutely. But is it better than my old standby? And worth the extra stick of butter and heaps of brown sugar? I’m not so sure. I will tell you that I “sampled” the raw topping before it went on the casserole. Repeatedly. It was gooooood. But… I have to come down on the side of tradition here. Hubby would probably disagree with me, since he kept proclaiming the greatness of the dish as he shoveled bite after bite in, likening the melt-in-your-mouth texture to cotton candy. So I guess we’ll have to duke it out.

5. Green Beans with Creamy Mushrooms

This is another new spin on an old favorite. Do you love old-school green bean casserole with french-fried onions from the can and cream of mushroom soup? Sure. But this is better, and it’s made out of real food. This is definitely the best of the gourmet green bean casserole wannabes I have tried (and I have tried a few). Gold star — it earns a place on my Thanksgiving table!

Green Beans with Creamy Mushrooms


Green Beans with Creamy Mushrooms
  • ¾ lb green beans, trimmed
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large shallot, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 11 oz shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced
  • 2 Tbs champagne vinegar
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • 2 Tbsp chives, minced
  • 1 Tbsp parsley, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp butter, melted
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Preheat the broiler.
  2. Bring about an inch of water to boil in a large sauté pan. Add the green beans and blanch for 3-4 minutes, until bright green but still crispy. Drain in a colander, wipe out the pan and return it to the heat.
  3. Warm the olive oil over medium heat and add the shallot. Sauté until softened, stirring, and add the garlic. Stir in the mushrooms and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cook until the mushrooms are soft and the moisture has evaporated. Add the vinegar and cook until absorbed. Stir in the cream, chives and parsley and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. Add the green beans to the pan and stir to combine. Transfer to an 8 x 8 baking dish.
  5. Combine the butter and the panko in a small bowl and stir until thoroughly combined. Spread evenly over the green bean mixture.
  6. Place under the broiler for a couple of minutes, until the panko is golden brown. Serve warm.


6. Sausage Balls

Wait, what? Yeah, this is an old family favorite that is decidedly non-vegetarian. However, the hubby loves them, so he continues to make them every year at Thanksgiving and Christmas. And, fear not, there is a yummy meat-free version that can be made with tofu-based sausage. The brand we get is called Gimme Lean, which always makes me laugh. The sausage balls aren’t as greasy in their vegetarian incarnation, which can be a good or a bad thing, depending on how you look at it.

Sausage balls

Either way, yum.

Sausage Balls
  • 8 oz grated cheddar
  • 1 lb breakfast sausage (substitute tofu-based sausage for a vegetarian version)
  • 3 cups Bisquick or other biscuit mix
  • 2 jalapeños, minced
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°.
  2. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl using your hands until well combined, and then roll into 1-inch balls.
  3. Bake for 15 minutes, or until golden brown and sizzling. Serve warm.


Note: I received a small grocery stipend from Cooking Planit in exchange for reviewing these meals, but I was not otherwise compensated, and my opinions are my own.

Pasta with pesto, potatoes, and green beans

Yep, pasta with potatoes. Make no mistake: this is one carb-o-licious meal. I first tried pasta with pesto, potatoes, and green beans out during marathon training, and I’ve loved it ever since. It’s not just for carb-loading, though — it’s a great meal in its own right!

Yes, please.

I certainly wasn’t training for anything when we made this last week, but we got a bunch of basil in the CSA box, and that means pesto! We got another bunch this week, so I’ll be trying out a new use for pesto this evening. Stay tuned for the report, and try this one out in the meantime.

Pasta with Pesto, Potatoes and Green Beans
Original recipe from No Meat Athlete, with my modifications

1 large bunch of basil
1 clove of garlic, peeled
1/4 cup walnuts or pine nuts, toasted
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese, plus additional for serving
1 lb whole wheat pasta
5-7 medium-small boiling potatoes, cut into 1-inch chunks
1 cup green beans, trimmed and cut into one-inch lengths

Combine the basil, garlic, nuts, and salt in a food processor. Pulse until it forms a coarse paste. With the machine running, drizzle in the olive oil and let it process until the mixture is relatively smooth. Add the grated cheese and process once more to incorporate.

Place the potatoes in a large pasta pot and fill with as much water as you will need to make the pasta. Bring to a boil and salt the water. After 8-10 minutes, when the potatoes are close to being tender, add the green beans and cook for a couple more minutes. When the green beans and potatoes are tender, remove them with a slotted spoon and transfer to a separate bowl. Cover with foil to keep warm. Put the pasta in the boiling water and cook according to the package directions.

Add the pasta to the bowl with the potatoes and green beans, and toss with the pesto to coat. Serve with additional parmesan cheese.

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