When you come across a recipe that includes this ingredient, do you A) just not make the recipe B) make your own cream of mushroom soup to put in C) have another more healthier substitute.
I agree with all the above suggestions, but would like to toss in that there are organic brands of condensed Cream of Mushroom soup. I have used the one in the small tetrapak... I think it's Pacific maybe? and it was pretty much just the "regular" stuff. I don't use alot of pakaged foods like that, but every once in a while I get a hankering to make organic but otherwise completely traditional green bean casserole :)
Yes there is a Pacific something brand that is good, in a box, but a little watery. I would add some roasted rice flour, or chickpea flour, in a roux or cornstarch to thicken it up properly if you were going to use it in like say a green bean recipe or anything other then just a plain soup.
I think I've tried just the Imagine brand and maybe the Pacific Natural too. Only in the larger sizes as the small sizes seemed to be same thing but mroe expensive, maybe the small ones you are getting are a thicker variety and a different brand? Or maybe they are condensed because the other ones didn't seem to be. I really really love a brand called tabernetchel???? they used to have pea soup in boxed refrigerator style at Safeway and they have as of late from the food bank boxed mushroom soup variety. Its very good just mushrooms, cream, salt, and oil, but then it does have MSG. I can handle a little MSG every once in a while but some can not.
Pacific makes a nice alternative to Campbell's. I use it occasionally when I make green bean casserole or my favorite "fast food" chicken and rice casserole. If I have a little more time, I make a roux and add sautéed mushrooms for my own version of "cream of mushroom soup". It's easy, but more time-consuming, so whether or not I make it from scratch depends on what sort of time crunch I'm in.
Orvis, I just got some at the store, it's definitely Pacific, definitely condensed and definitely small Here it is about the same price as the big non-condensed one. Don't know where you are, sometimes these things aren't available everywhere, but you can double check, it is handy stuff.
Now off to make green bean casserole!
Kittyhead- I always think of a bechamel sauce as gravy with milk or cream instead of water or stock but I am too lazy to look it up right now. I never did try the small condensed mushroom soup by Pacific yet.
Hi Jess in Hawaii, so you live in the big island? Well I live in Oregon for right now Jess. I haven't looked at those soup prices lately. Probably like everything else just gotta shop around. .
I love green bean casserole but someone in my family absolutely detests the dish(seeing it as unhealthy), so I make it special for them with soy milk and mushrooms all from scratch and flour and oil for them all special.Its a tradition(the green bean casserole bit) that I picked up from one of my ex's mothers and that's about all I ever got that was useful out of that relationship. Weird the traditions you pick up from others in life isn't it? Well I do it every year now religiously, but I just use the recipe from the back of Campbell's or from the french fried onion on the back of the cans. They are slightly different recipes, one has more green beans. I of course use frozen green beans. I think when I made it all natural for that member of my family I fried the fricken onions myself and bread them too. quite the fun experience though much too much of a mess not so hard really but a big mess. Happy eating everyone, I hope you all enjoy your stuff healthy or not!
To answer your question: I just stopped making dishes that required the pre-made condensed soups. I had it on my 'to do' list to come up with an alternative and make a big batch of it. Who wants to make a meal that has a foundation with so many preservatives and processed ingredients. MSG...yuck!
I'll take a look next time I'm in Vancouver for Imagine and Pacific's alternatives.
I'd be willing to try a few different home-made methods to test the flavor and see what the family likes...
Thank you for posting this and for all the responders who are sharing their thoughts! I'll come back to the thread when I find an alternative not listed here.
Orvis- Yes, I'm on the Big Island... prices have overall gotten really high, though maybe it's just as bad on the mainland? I have a circuit I make for getting all the best deals on the stuff I regularly buy at 4-5 different places.
I also came by greenbean casserole through an ex's mother, LOL. For the onions, there is now a brand of natural ones available. The brand is Lars Own, they are imported from Holland and I bought a 4oz container for $3.79 (it's more than enough for a big dish of casserole). They still aren't anything I would want to make a staple in our diet, but they are OK and make the casserole more authentic
jess in hawaii ---
We really have to shop around at many different stores here too. Its expensive here at the 'mainland' too. I think it is everywhere, especially the prices get raised on gas and food as that's what people buy the most of, I guess in hopes that it'll raise the economy up. Hasn't happened yet even though its touted that it has, and now they say they'll be another recession, well like we even got out of the first one. Pretty scary. Well I'll look for this Lars Own, I wouldn't know where to find it I'll just keep my eye out for it. I noticed the Frenches are in a different little boxy container this year. I saw some shoe string potatoes along with the cans of Frenches and I wonder if some people put those on top of their green bean casserole too as a topper. I've hear of bread crumbs for it but I don't want to mess up the recipe I like it as it is nice and simple and blandish. The only thing is getting all the water out of the frozen green beans, I've used fresh ones before, but they have to be cooked just right so its tricky.
orvis- I found the onions at the natural food store, displayed next to the cans of green beans :)
If your frozen beans are too watery, you could thaw and drain them first. And I had an idea about toppings... maybe crushed sour cream and onion potato chips could work? I have used that to coat a chicken and it came out REALLY good.
I defrost the frozen green beans by running warm to hot tap water over them in a colander and letting them drain before using them. Or by briefly steaming them (put in pan with about a half an inch of water, bring to a boil, boil for about 1-2 minutes, turn off the burning and let them steam the rest of the way, drain and use).
Whenever mushrooms are on sale and I have the time I buy a bunch and make a huge batch of homemade cream of mushroom soup. I then divide it up and freeze it in freezer bags. I pull one out when I want to make a recipe with cream of mushroom soup.
Hubby is allergic to wheat and corn, so canned varieties don't work for us. When I make green bean casserole I also bread and fry my own mushrooms in wheat free flour. It's really pretty quick and easy.
French Fried Onion Fact Finding Mission Report:
Shopping today, I saw the regular ones, Frenches, in a red plastic container. I compared ingredients and prices with the ones I got at the natural food store. This is what I found out:
Lars Own- 4oz, $3.79, Onions, canola and palm oil,wheat flour,salt
Frenches-2.8oz, $3.19, onions, palm oil, soy flour, dextrose, salt
I know that at one time I wouldn't buy the Frenches though I don't remember the exact reason. I'm sure they had something funky I wasn't willing to compromise on... maybe hydrogenated oil, MSG or nasty preservatives. But the two brands seem comparable now, except for the price.