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I can’t believe Thanksgiving is next Thursday. Next Thursday, really? Where on earth did the past few months go?
Around Thanksgiving, I usually take some time to reflect on the past year, think about family and friends and just reflect on everything that has happened, experiences, events etc. This year has been filled with lots of emotional ups and downs for me, my friends and my family . . sometimes, I have to ask why things happen for certain people, why they have to suffer and why we have to struggle so much. But, in the end, I just have to rest in knowing that God is in control of everything and all we can do is take it day by day.
The hard times make us stronger right?
This year, we will be spending Thanksgiving with my sister, her family and my parents and I am just thankful for my incredibly supportive and loving family. We didn’t always used to be like this. So close. My very strict Korean parents didn’t always so easily express their love for us. They were more doers. Providing me, my brother and my sister everything we ever needed and it wasn’t until we were older that the more emotional support and love was there. I don’t blame them. That’s how they grew up and they were just trying to survive and provide for our family.
My sister is graciously hosting Thanksgiving at her new house this year. She just moved in, like a few days ago, so there are sure to be boxes and stuff everywhere. But, for my sister and I, it’s important that we all get together, just to be with each other this holiday season. We don’t care about the mess and the boxes won’t even be in our view because it doesn’t matter. My sister’s house, on Thanksgiving Day, will not only be filled with our family, but it will be filled with love .. and food!
We always have an abundance of food at Thanksgiving. . and when I say an abundance, I mean, we get down. On the food. We eat and eat and eat and then eat some more. Taking breaks is key.
After dinner, my sister neatly packs away all the leftovers and we make a “throw-everything-into-a-casserole-dish” casserole for breakfast the following day.
One dish I know for fact there will be no leftovers is this healthier green bean casserole. We’re all watching what we eat, we’ve all started exercising and getting into better shape so although there will be plenty of eating this Thanksgiving Day season, we’re not going to go crazy. The indulging happens but with the right balance.
I absolutely loved this healthier green bean casserole! There is no cream of anything in here and I sautéed my fresh green beans with one my my favorite wines. This wine is “crisp, refreshing, and citrusy, like a green apple drizzled with lime juice and honey.” oh so delicious!
You have to try this wine. entwine’s Pinot Grigio is aged for 12 months in stainless steel tanks to maintain its crisp, fruity character. This wine pairs beautifully with salty cheeses, hors d’oeuvres and ham, so be sure to pick up a bottle for your Thanksgiving Day celebration!
Wishing everyone a happy Thanksgiving and hope that you are surrounded by loved ones from near and far.
Healthier Green Bean Casserole
- 6 cups fresh green beans about 1 ½ pounds; ends trimmed and blanched
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil split
- 2 shallots finely diced
- 1 large leek about 2 cups, white and tender green parts only, diced
- 10 ounces cremini mushrooms chopped
- 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves only
- salt and pepper
- ¼ cup chicken stock OR Pinot Grigio
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- 1 heaping cup blend of parmesan and fontina cheese freshly grated
- 1 cup panko
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- *(If cooking right away) Preheat your oven to 425 degrees and spray your baking dish with non-stick baking spray, or grease with unsalted butter. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and blanch the green beans for just a few minutes. Then, immediately place the green beans into an ice water bath to stop them from cooking further.
- Using a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and, after a minute or two, add the shallots and leeks and sauté for about 4 minutes, or until they are beginning to soften and brown. Add the mushrooms and thyme, and season with salt and pepper. Cook the mushrooms for about 3 to 4 minutes.
- Slowly pour in the chicken stock (or wine), stirring occasionally until the liquid has evaporated, for about 3 to 4 minutes. Evenly sprinkle the flour over the mushroom mixture and toss to coat. Add the vegetable broth and bring to a simmer, stirring often until the sauce has thickened, about 4 to 5 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and add in the blanched green beans and toss to coat, drizzling in the remaining tablespoon of olive oil if needed. Transfer to the prepared baking dish and top with the freshly grated parmesan and fontina cheese.
- At this point, if you are making this a day in advance, wrap/cover your baking dish and store in the refrigerator. When ready to bake: remove the casserole from the refrigerator and, using a small bowl, stir together the panko, paprika and nutmeg. Sprinkle the panko mixture evenly over the top of the casserole. Bake for about 35 to 45 minutes, or until golden brown on top. Let cool for at least 10 to 15 minutes before serving. Enjoy!
Disclosure: This is a paid, sponsored post in partnership with entwine wines. All opinions expressed here are my own. Thank you for supporting me in working with the brands that I use and love.