String bean casseroleThis dish is great for Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Last Christmas, I hosted my first non-traditional Christmas dinner. We invited any local family and friends with no plans, packing 16 guests into my apartment. It was a multi-cultural group of people, including some vegetarians.
I made salmon and lamb instead of the usual turkey and ham. With a small New York kitchen like mine, we decided on a potluck format for the rest of the dishes. People brought an array of food – mostly non-traditional, generally healthy, and insanely good.

One standout brought by my friend Jennifer, was her Grandma Ardyth’s signature string bean casserole. It’s a traditional dish, and I didn’t get the exact recipe, but the following is my take on the dish.

String bean casserole
Serves 4
221 calories
25 g
0 g
12 g
6 g
2 g
342 g
396 g
8 g
0 g
10 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving
Calories 221
Calories from Fat 104
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 12g
Saturated Fat 2g
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 8g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 396mg
Total Carbohydrates 25g
Dietary Fiber 6g
Sugars 8g
Protein 6g
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
  1. • Handful ( about 400 grams) of green beans, end trimmed and cut into 1 ½” pieces
  2. • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  3. • 8 oz. (225 grams) white button mushrooms, sliced
  4. • 4 tomatoes, diced
  5. • 1 onion, cut into thin wedges
  6. • 1 dash of Tabasco sauce
  7. • Salt & pepper
  8. • 1 teaspoon oregano
  9. • 1 teaspoon basil
  10. • 1 teaspoon thyme
  11. • 1 teaspoon rosemary
  12. • ½ cup breadcrumbs (see homemade recipe under another post)
  13. • ¼ cup fried onions (French’s (brand), or equivalent)
  1. 1. Preheat the oven to 400 deg F (205 deg C)
  2. 2. Boil the string beans in a pot with salt until cooked, about 10 min. Drain the string beans and pour them in a casserole dish.
  3. 3. Pour the diced tomatoes over the string beans and drizzle with salt, pepper, Tabasco, and dried herbs.
  4. 4. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a pan over high-heat, and then sauté the mushrooms, adding salt and pepper, until browned. Pour the mushrooms over the tomatoes.
  5. 5. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a pan over medium heat, sauté the onions until softened and lightly browned, and then add on top of the mushrooms.
  6. 6. Melt butter and mix with the breadcrumbs, and then sprinkle the casserole with the breadcrumbs and French fried onions.
  7. 6. Bake for 20 min or until warm and crisp on top.
  8. 7. Serve immediately.

Tina Diep

I LOVE FOOD and better yet I LOVE TO COOK.

I can thank my Vietnamese roots. Vietnamese people use a great amount of time cooking and eating, traits which they have learned from their families. Everyone seems to know how to cook, and they are adept at picking fresh and quality foods from the market. Food is a priority in Vietnam – if you eat well, you live well.

I was born in Denmark, and in my mind I am a true Dane. Danish people cook a lot as well, but they prefer to spend less time in the kitchen and more time at the table. I consider myself Vietnamese from a culinary standpoint and Danish from a cultural standpoint (and I live in New York, which is a Mecca for foodies).

My mum is a great cook, she taught me how to chop vegetables and how to just randomly throw things together and somehow get an awesome meal. She makes cooking seem like art, and she is my inspiration for DiepLicious cooking.

My husband loves food as well and he has a great appetite. Cooking for him is a real joy. He has a great interest in everything that concerns health, and loves to point out specific foods and why they are good for you to eat. I will share his knowledge with you. He makes my cooking more challenging, but also a lot healthier.

I offer you one Golden Rule: to enjoy food fully, always taste the food even if you don’t like it. For me it takes a couple of tries to get to know the real flavor.


Recommended Articles

%d bloggers like this: