From the Kitchen of
The green bean casserole, made with cream of mushroom soup and french-fried onions, is one of those time-honored recipes that bring back warm, nostalgic memories of holidays past. Here’s a new spin on the old classic that skips some of the less-healthy fats while boosting micronutrients, using cauliflower to make a creamy, cheesy, higher protein sauce. The crunchy topping, courtesy of nacho cheese–flavored protein chips, will surprise you at the end.
Give it a try, and see what you think!
Not Your Mother’s Green Bean Casserole
8 cups frozen or trimmed fresh green beans
1 tablespoon Smart Balance Light Buttery Spread or avocado oil
2 12-ounce bags frozen riced cauliflower
4 cloves fresh garlic, minced
1 teaspoon Himalayan salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup milk (your choice)
1/2 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
1/4 cup Parmesan
2 bags Quest Nacho Cheese-Flavor Tortilla-Style Protein Chips
1/2 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
4 strips bacon, cooked and coarsely chopped (optional)
Nonstick baking spray
Preheat the oven to 350 F.
Steam and drain the cauliflower and set it aside. Cook the green beans until they are just tender—microwave the frozen green beans in a microwave-safe bowl for 5 minutes, or blanch the fresh beans in boiling water. Drain the excess water.
Melt the butter or avocado oil in a hot skillet. Add the minced garlic, and brown until it’s fragrant. Add the cauliflower rice, and toss well. Continue cooking for 5-7 minutes, tossing occasionally so it cooks evenly. Sprinkle the cauliflower with the salt and pepper.
Remove the skillet from the heat and put the cauliflower in a blender. Add the milk, Greek yogurt, and Parmesan, and process until smooth. Set aside.
Prepare a 9×13-inch glass baking dish with nonstick baking spray. Add the steamed green beans to the dish, and pour the cauliflower sauce over them. Mix until the green beans are evenly coated with sauce. Bake uncovered for 20 minutes.
Remove the casserole from the oven, and spread the grated sharp cheese on top, along with the bacon, if you’re including it.
Roughly crush the chips and spread them on top of the cheese. Turn the oven up to “broil,” and return the casserole to the oven. Broil for 2-3 minutes for a crunchy topping. Remove from the oven, and, if desired, season with more salt and pepper. Let it rest for 10-15 minutes before serving.
Yield: Makes 10-12 servings, approximately 1 cup each.
IFBB Bikini Pro Robyn Maher is a fitness and nutrition expert who has
been featured on national and local TV. A graduate of Brigham
Young University with a degree in exercise science and wellness,
Robyn is an NASM Certified Personal Trainer and Fitness Nutrition
Specialist, YogaFit certified instructor, NPC judge and prep coach,
and the promoter of the IFBB/NPC Salt City Showdown. She’s also a
fitness model, public speaker, and mom of three who loves creating
healthy recipes and educating others on how to live an active, fit
lifestyle. Robyn lives near Salt Lake City.