My mind is open, my palette is sated. Vegan cooking has changed my perspective on the food I eat, where it comes from, and how the choices I make affect the environment. Check back weekly for my take on life as a zero waste vegan. Sharing recipes, experiments and other DIY ideas. 

If you are looking for a perfect side dish for this holiday season, look no further. This green bean casserole can be easily made vegan or non-vegan, with or without gluten. I (for obvious reasons) love the vegan version and think you will too. I used unsweetened almond milk to veganize this meal, but you can use soy or dairy milk. If you’re not currently vegan but looking to see how delicious a vegan side dish can be, I encourage you to use non-dairy milk. 
As with all my cooking, I do my best to purchase foods in bulk. If I cannot find a bulk item, I buy items packaged in paperboard or glass before over plastic
Vegan Green Bean Casserole
3 cups nondairy milk
2 cubes veggie bouillon
Made for and enjoyed at Friendsgiving 2015
1-2 Tbsp olive oil
½ medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp shallots, finely diced
1 cup chopped mushrooms
1 carrot, diced
½ tsp basil
½ tsp thyme
½ tsp marjoram
½ tsp oregano
salt and pepper, to taste
3 tablespoons cornstarch or tapioca starch
3 tablespoons cold water
1 lb green beans (I prefer fresh green beans that come package-free)
French fried onions (see recipe below)
1.       In a saucepan, heat the nondairy milk and veggie bouillon on low-medium heat, stirring frequently. Heat until warm, do not boil or scald.
2.       In a skillet, heat the oil. Add the green beans and cook until softened. Add the mushrooms, carrot, onion, garlic, shallots, herbs, and salt and pepper. Saute until onions are translucent.
3.       Make a thickener by combining starch with cold water, mixed well. Pour into the nondairy milk-bouillon mixture. Stir well as it can coagulate quickly.
4.       Add nondairy milk mixture to skillet with the veggies. Pour mixture into a casserole dish. Add French fried onions on top.
5.       Bake at 350 degrees 10-15 minutes.
Makes 4-6 servings
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
French Fried Onions
If time is of the essence, Trader Joe’s (I’m not a fan, but for the sake of example) sells pre-packaged Gourmet Fried Onion Pieces that probably taste fine. I, as you know, avoid packaging and processed foods as much as possible and prefer to make my own fried onions. They are crispy and sweet hot out of the frying pan. My onion recommendation (wow, I’m going to leave that accidental pun…) for these is that you make more than you need because you will definitely eat your fair share during the prep process!
1 large onion, thinly sliced (sweet onions taste best)
Nondairy milk to cover
1 cup flour (all purpose or gluten free)
½ tsp salt
pinch of pepper
oil (sunflower seems to work the best for this)
1.       Pour onions into a bowl, add milk to cover and let soak for a few minutes.
2.       Heat oil over medium-high heat.
3.       Mix together the flour, salt and pepper in a deep plate or shallow bowl.
4.       Remove onions from milk and toss with flour, a small batch at a time.
5.       Gently put breaded onions into the oil and fry until golden brown, flipping them over halfway through.
6.       Using a slotted spoon or spatula, remove from oil. Drain and cool on a paper towel.
Preparation time: 10 mins
Cooking time: 20 mins

Inspiration was taken from these two recipes:
Vegan Green Bean Casserole
Gluten Free Crisp French Fried Onions
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