November is here, and I am ready–to get YOU ready–for Thanksgiving! Over the next couple of weeks, keep an eye out for some delicious dishes. I know they will be the perfect additions to your holiday spread ;-)!
The first thing that comes to mind when we think about Thanksgiving is turkey. But when you really think about the meal, vegetables steal the show. Mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, broccoli, green beans, pumpkin…the list goes on. All of these are staples of this wonderful holiday, and without them, well…the meal just wouldn’t be the same!
Don’t believe me? Try enjoying Thanksgiving without your mom’s sweet potato casserole. Speaking from experience, it can’t be done!
I’m not here to suggest that you should stop making a century old family recipe for creamy mashed potatoes, and make plain, boiled potatoes instead. Really, I don’t think you should. I’m only here to provide healthier spins on Thanksgiving favorites, and to give you some inspiration for new dishes and ways to “lighten up” the classics.
The nutrition profile of a food doesn’t define it. Foods have meaning. They can represent memories, feelings, relationships, and so much more. Heck, one of the main reasons I became a dietitian was to help others fall in love with food, and to encourage those feelings of happiness, satisfaction, and warmth that come from eating a delicious meal and breaking bread with loved ones. In my eyes, these feelings contribute to the nourishing aspects of a meal, and are just as important as eating a balanced plate filled with nutritious foods.
And what better day to relish in your food and your company than Thanksgiving?
Today’s recipe is a Healthier Green Bean Casserole. As you can see here (^), it still includes those crunchy onions (a.k.a. the best part of green beans on Thanksgiving), in the form of crispy shallots. Technically, I don’t think it’s really a “casserole.” There’s no cheesy filling or breading on top, but for lack of a better term, let’s just go with it ;-)!
Aside from crispy shallots, this recipe also includes Maple Roasted Almonds. You can prep these in advance, or at the same time that the green beans are roasting.
Healthier Green Bean Casserole
A healthier version of classic green bean casserole. Wow your Thanksgiving guests with these delicious flavors!
- 1.5 pounds green beans or haricots vert trimmed
- 3 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
- sea salt
- ground black pepper
- 2 tbsp butter
- 8 shallots thinly sliced
- 1 cup Maple Roasted Almonds chopped
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. You can prep the Maple Roasted Almonds in advance, or you can make them at the same time while the green beans are roasting.
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Transfer trimmed green beans to sheets. Drizzle with 1 tbsp olive oil. Sprinkle with sea salt and ground black pepper to taste. Roast for 20 to 25 minutes or until slightly brown.
While the beans are roasting, prepare the shallots. Peel and thinly slice the shallots. Then use your fingers to pop them apart so you have thin, hollow slices.
Heat 1 tbsp butter and 1 tbsp olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat until the butter is melted. Add thinly sliced shallots and cook until brown and crispy, about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from skillet and place on a plate lined with a paper towel. You may have to do two batches of shallots depending on the size of your skillet. Simply heat 1 more tbsp of butter and 1 more tbsp of olive oil and repeat the process.
Transfer the green beans to a serving dish. Chop the Maple Roasted Almonds and add them to the beans, and top with crispy shallots. Enjoy!
You can reheat this in the oven for a few minutes before serving. Or, you can even serve it cold!
The most time consuming part of this recipe is peeling, slicing, and cooking the shallots. But believe me, it's worth it! You can also prepare other things in the kitchen while the shallots are cooking.
What will you be making for Thanksgiving? I’d love to hear in the comments below!
If you’re looking for some more Thanksgiving inspiration, be sure to follow my Pinterest boards.