Healthier green bean casserole

Of all the side dishes I crave during the holidays, nothing tickles my fancy quite like green bean casserole. If I had to guess, I’d chalk it up to the delicious French fried onions — a food I couldn’t tolerate on anything else, but can’t live without on this holiday treat.

But as I try to get more into shape (in theory, anyway), I’m looking for new and healthier ways to prepare the dishes I already like. In a recent edition of the health magazine I edit, I was looking for “healthy twists” on seasonal classics — and that’s how I came across this recipe for a lower-fat, lower-sodium version of my beloved casserole.

Spencer and I made it a few weeks back when I was taste-testing all the recipes included in our fall issue (a horrible, terrible job, I know), and I was very pleased with how it turned out! Though I missed the salty over-the-top cheesiness of the classic one my mom makes, this was a great alternative that I didn’t make me feel totally guilty after doing an hour of Zumba.

Because I’m as obsessed with mushrooms as I am with cheese, I added a can of sliced mushrooms to this baby, too. If you’re not a fan, just leave them out. No harm, no foul. And though the recipe decidedly does not call for any cheese, I added a little shredd parmesan beneath the french fried onions. But don’t tell anyone.

Though we cherish our beloved family recipes, this verison might be a good way to cut down on a few calories this season . . . though I know it’s a drop in a bucket. Still, every little bit(e) counts, right?

Healthier Green Bean Casserole

Recipe from

1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1/4 cup milk (2% fat or skim)
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 pound cut fresh green beans, cooked and drained
2 tablespoons French’s French Fried Onions

1. Mix the soup, milk, onion powder, black pepper, soy sauce and green beans in a 1 1/2-quart casserole.
2. Bake at 350 degrees F for 25 minutes or until hot.
3. Stir the green bean mixture. Top with the onions. Bake for 5 minutes more or until the onions are golden brown.

Green bean casserole

Latest baking victory: Holiday cupcakes

Our office holiday party was Friday! And I actually made something other than brownies and pasta salad. To be honest, I was planning on making brownies — until I discovered we didn’t have any of the ingredients at home. At nine at night. The evening before the party.

So, in working with what was available, I found a white cake mix in the pantry. After Mom walked me through properly blending some of the ingredients together, I quickly had a batch of goo to pop in the oven. Twenty minutes later, my goo had magically become fluffy yellow cupcakes — and I had the perfect holiday frosting to make them look festive! I had to “borrow” the green frosting and sprinkles from Mom, who was planning on using them herself for the holiday party, but everything turned out all right.





With the finished product!

With the finished product!

And here were my creations at the dessert table: