Canned soups, including my beloved Campbell's cream of mushroom soup, contain a lot of sodium and almost always have MSG (look for the term "monosodium glutamate"). MSG is a neurotoxin and is found in an alarming number of processed foods. MSG has a long list of potential harmful side effects. Some people have noticeable reactions to it in small doses, which include headaches and dizziness - for most of the rest of us, we are being slowly poisoned over time without realizing it.
If you are going with fresh green beans, you will want to snap off both ends of each bean and then further snap them into smaller 1-2 inch long pieces. This part was fun for me having never done it before. You will want to bring a large pot of salted water to a boil while you are doing this part.
Next, wash and rinse the beans, then add to your boiling water.
I boiled the beans for about 10 minutes. I taste-tested them several times until they were slightly more crisp than my ideal for the finished casserole to allow for additional cooking once in the oven. Once cooked, drain and set aside.
Cream of Mushroom Soup
Lindsay at Passionate Homemaking, one of my favorite blogs, has an awesome recipe for a cream of mushroom soup substitute. I use this recipe a lot to convert some of my favorite recipes from my former food life into healthier versions.
Chop up a dozen or so mushrooms into small pieces.
In a small or medium sauce pan, melt 2 tablespoons butter and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add a quarter cup white, unbleached flour and one teaspoon or so of freshly ground celtic sea salt. Stir to form a roux. Add mushrooms and saute for a minute or so until softened. Add 2 cups of milk.
Stir and simmer until thickened. Add a bit more flour if necessary to thicken. Add additional salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. This is the equivalent of 2 cans of Campbell's condensed cream of mushroom soup - just enough for our recipe here.
In 9 x 13 casserole dish, combine green beans and cream of mushroom soup substitute. Mix and add additional milk if necessary for desired consistency. Bake covered in pre-heated oven at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes (do not add the fried onions yet at this point).
Fried OnionsI bought 1 large white onion (also from the farmer's market), peeled it, and cut it in half. Then I cut each half into narrow shoe-string strips.
Toss onions with about 1/2 to 1 cup of unbleached white flour in a large bowl (do multiple batches to ensure the onions get thoroughly coated if necessary).
In a cast-iron skillet, melt a few tablespoons of refined coconut oil, grass-fed butter, pastured lard, or pastured tallow (did you know vegetable oil is bad for you, and that olive oil should not be used under high heat, such as for frying? This is a post for another day). Add onions to skillet and fry in a single layer.
Avoid the temptation to stir - wait until they appear golden, then flip and brown until golden on the other side.
Remove to a plate lined with a paper towel. I had to fry the onions in about 4 or 5 batches to ensure that they fried appropriately in a single layer.
After initially baking covered for about 20 minutes, remove casserole, sprinkle fried onions on top, then return to oven at 350 degrees uncovered for about 5 minutes, until onions are crisp and golden on top. Remove from oven and enjoy!