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Healthy Vegetable Side Dishes

3 better takes (calorie-wise) on beloved veggie recipes

Quick and Fresh Green Bean "Casserole"

Serves 6 to 8

3 tablespoons olive oil, divided

4 medium shallots, peeled and sliced thin

1 ½ pounds green beans, trimmed

Salt

½ pound baby bella mushrooms, sliced thin

2 garlic cloves, minced

½ teaspoon dried thyme leaves

1 cup chicken broth

½ cup sour cream

Ground black pepper

Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add shallots and cook, stirring occasionally at the beginning and then reducing heat to low and stirring constantly as they start to color, until caramel brown, 7 to 8 minutes. Turn shallots onto doubled paper toweling to cool and crisp. (Can be wrapped in foil and stored at room temperature a couple of days ahead.)

Meanwhile, place green beans, 1/2 cup water and sprinkling of salt in a large skillet; cover, turn burner on high, and cook until water has almost, but not completely, evaporated and beans are bright green and tender-crisp, about 5 minutes. Turn onto doubled paper toweling to cool. (Can be covered and refrigerated a couple of days ahead.)

Return skillet to burner and heat remaining 1 tablespoon of oil. Add mushrooms, saute until golden, about 4 minutes. Add garlic and thyme; continue to sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute longer. Add chicken broth; simmer until it forms thin gravy, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in sour cream; cook until heated through. (Can be covered and refrigerated a couple of days ahead.)

When ready to serve, heat green beans and mushroom sauce in a large covered skillet over medium-high heat to blend flavors and slightly soften beans, about 5 minutes. Remove cover and continue to cook until sauce is thick enough to coat beans, a couple of minutes longer. Turn into a bowl, top with shallot crisps and serve immediately.

Next page: The simplest creamed spinach. »

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Maratha Stewart makes chicken soup in a bowl.

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