(yes, the caps were necessary there, don't judge me). Seriously, I love leftovers. I love them almost more than the original meal. What's most exciting about thanksgiving leftovers, is that you don't have to just eat the same meal again, you can recreate them into a new delicious combination.
For example, breakfast this morning was a sorta thanksgiving eggs Benedict.
This triumph was achieved by mixing an egg into some leftover cinnamon butternut squash mash and frying it like a burger, then topping the thing with cranberry sauce and a fried egg. Magic!
Dinner tonight is a turkey shepherd's pie... Or pot pie... Or just casserole, I'm not too sure what to call it. It's leftover green bean casserole mixed with turkey and gravy, then topped with a layer of the same squash mash (I had a LOT leftover) and baked till delicious.
I was always a huge fan of the next day (or next three days) turkey sandwich, and don't get me wrong... I still think those are delicious... But who needs the bread? Lunch today was turkey and raw kale topped with homemade mayo. I am thankful. Thankful for leftovers.
I contributed five items to my family's thanksgiving. Partly as an effort to minimize their work, and partly to ensure there'd be plenty I could eat. I shouldn't have worried, my mom cooked too much as usual (and I convinced her to try roasting her Brussels sprouts instead of boiling, success!), but I am glad for all the extra food. Most contributions were basic: cinnamon mash butternut, gravy, garlic mashed cauliflower and Melissa Joulwan's fantastic Whole30 friendly cranberry sauce, but I also wanted to recreate a favorite of mine from years past: green bean casserole.
Green bean casserole is usually my contribution to thanksgiving, and I've always made it the "traditional" way, with cream of mushroom soup and French's fried onions. This year, that was off the menu, and I replaced it with this:
Dairy and Grain-Free Green Bean Casserole
2 lbs fresh green beans
1/2 medium cauliflower
2 cups chicken bone broth
1 medium sweet onion
1/2 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic
Salt and pepper
Optional: milk alternative to taste
Also optional: mushrooms
First, chop your green beans into 1-2 inch pieces and boil with one cup of chicken broth for 10 minutes or until tender. Drain and set aside.
Preheat oven to 350.
Cream of cauliflower:
While beans are boiling, chop cauliflower into small florets, smash garlic cloves and boil both with second cup of broth until cauliflower is fork tender.
Add cauliflower to food processor or blender with a 1/4 cup of the broth from the pot and oregano, salt and pepper to taste. Blend until smooth, add milk to increase creaminess if desired.
If using mushrooms (I skipped them because my sister dislikes them), roughly chop and sauté in a tbsp of oil over medium heat and add to cream sauce.
Chop onion into long thin strips. I cut rings and then sliced them in half. Heat oil in a pot over medium low heat. Add a layer of onions to the oil and let sit for 4-5 minutes until crisp, stirring once.
Remove with a slotted spoon to a paper towel covered plate to drain and add another layer. Repeat until all onions are cooked.
In a casserole dish, mix green beans, cream sauce and half the cooked onions. Top with remaining onions.
Baked in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes.
Envision it with MORE onions on top, I definitely did not use enough with only 1/2 an onion. Also, envision a better picture, I'm a terrible photographer.
Anyway, I was pretty proud of this, the flavor is light and oniony and the texture creamy. Not to mention totally dairy and grain free and optionally vegan. I can certainly see myself making this again... This time properly with mushrooms and not inviting my picky sister to try it... Yeah.