“Why don’t we go out for dinner?” my mom suggested as she and I planned this year’s traditional family Thanksgiving dinner.
The previous year’s feast, our inaugural gluten-free attempt, had proven nearly inedible despite our homemade fried onions for the green-bean casserole and our expensive Rose’s Bakery french rolls for the bread stuffing, and my mom likely doubted the efficacy of my proposed menu modifications.
“We’ll simply eliminate the stuffing,” I persisted, “and omit the onions in the green-bean casserole.”
Fortunately, the menu’s spare vegetarian half—balanced by chicken and potatoes for the family’s two carnivors—evolved into an abundant spread through the addition of asparagus risotto (more on this gluten-free staple later) and a serendipitous suggestion from my Food Network–obsessed boyfriend on Thanksgiving morning.
“Try corn flakes,” he recommended as he kissed me goodbye on his way to his family’s Thanksgiving dinner.
And after a quick stop at the grocery store’s gluten-free cereal section on route to my own parents’ house, I’d begun assembling an easy, authentic Thanksgiving—and Christmas and New Year’s—green-bean casserol.
4 pounds of fresh green beans
1 and 1/2 medium white onions
2 packages of Full Flavor Foods’ Vegetarian Mushroom Sauce Mix
2 and 1/2 teaspoons of corn starch
3 cups of milk
1/4 teaspoon of pepper
salt to taste
3/4 box of Barbara’s Bakery Organic Corn Flakes
Cut the green beans into bite-sized pieces and cook in boiling water until the beans become soft. Meanwhile, chop the onions into large pieces and fry in olive oil until the onions turn brown.
In a large casserole dish, whisk together the mushroom sauce mix, cornstarch, and milk. Then stir in pepper, salt, and four to five handfuls of corn flakes, crushed.
Combine the mixture with the fried onions and cooked green beans, and stir until the green beans become coated with the mushroom sauce mixture. Top with additional crushed corn flakes around the edges of the casserole.
Cook uncovered in a 375-degree oven for 30 to 40 minutes. Let the casserole stand 10 to 15 minutes to allow the sauce to thicken.
Then serve your family of six to eight this delicious holiday comfort food—far better than anything offered on a restaurant menu.