Beefed Up Green Bean Casserole
When I was a child, green beans were the bane of my existence. I HATED them. I didn't like picking them, I didn't like trimming or stringing them and I sure didn't like eating them. Now that I have learned to cook my own version of them, I realized that it was the "cooked-to-death" Southern version that was throwing me off. I like my green beans to be firm and NOT mushy and also I don't like them to be greasy. So when I cook plain green beans, I add a little bouillon, a little onion, and a splash of vinegar.
Green bean casserole has always been a favorite for holidays and pretty much year-round. I found a recipe for the casserole that included ground beef on Cooks.com and set about to alter it to suit my tastes. Here is the result.
Beefy Green Bean Casserole
1 lb lean ground beef (or the ground meat of your choice, but beef works best)
1/2 cup chopped onion (I use frozen onion)
1/4 cup crumbled real bacon (I used the pre-cooked kind)
1 can green beans or 1 quart frozen green beans (I used frozen)
1 can low-fat cream of mushroom soup (cream of chicken or cream of celery will work too)
1/2 c. water (use the milk of your choice for a creamier version)
1 tsp salt
liberal dash of pepper
1 TBSP Worchestershire sauce
2 oz shredded cheese (experiment with different types to get differently flavors - I used a mix of cheddars)
Bread crumbs (about 1/3 cup) or Crushed Fried onions (1/3 cup)
Preheat oven to 350F.
Brown beef and onions. Drain. Add bacon and cook until heated through.
Combine beans, soup and water (or milk); Mix well.
Stir this mixture into the beef, onion, and bacon until well incorporated.
Add the salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce, and cheese.
Spray a 2-3 quart casserole dish with cooking spray. Place the casserole mixture in the dish. Cover with bread crumbs or fried onions.
Bake at 350F for at least 20 minutes. Add more time as needed to ensure that the bread crumbs or onions are toasted and slightly brown.
This casserole is a complete meal, but you may want to serve it with a small side salad or, even better, slices of home grown tomatoes on the side.