Any green bean casserole alternatives?

Annie DeighnaughDecember 6, 2013

I'm doing xmas dinner and it's easy enough to do sides like yams and mashed potatoes and rutabaga. But I want a vegetable dish and I'm sick to death of the ubiquitous green bean casserole. But it's always a go to as it's prepared ahead and in the oven waiting for everything else to get done.

Is there some nonstarchy veggie dish more interesting than that out there? I know there must be but struggle to find it.

Or can I just prepare veggies another way and put them in a casserole to wait for us in the oven without drying out?

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This cold broccoli recipe is very good. I found it years ago on a package of Andy Boy broccoli.

1 bunch broccoli, cooked until tender. Drain. Chill. Top with sauce when ready to serve. Serves 4-6.


1 c. sour cream
3 tbsp. onion, finely chopped
1/2 tsp. celery seed
3/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar
2 tsp. vinegar
1 tsp. horseradish

And another favorite:

"Golden brown bread crumbs flavored with oregano and garlic perks up plain ol' steamed broccoli. Everything can be done ahead of time...ready for last minute cooking. Coffee filters come in handy to hold ingredients such as the breadcrumbs and spices needed in this dish"

Serves 4-6
1 1/4 lbs broccoli

Bread Crumbs
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup breadcrumbs, preferably whole wheat
1/4 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 pinch ground pepper

Steam the broccoli, until cooked (6 - 7 minutes).

Bread Crumbs: Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium high heat. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add bread crumbs, oregano, salt and pepper and cook, stirring until the crumbs are toasted and golden brown, about 2 minutes. Put the broccoli in a dish, and sprinkle with the bread crumbs.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2013 at 10:13AM
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Spicy Creamed Spinach

I am inordinately fond of this dish, which I have served at countless dinner parties. The zingy jalapenos take guests by surprise.

ï§ 2 10-oz packages of frozen chopped spinach
ï§ 6 oz jalapeno Jack cheese (reduced-fat is fine)
ï§ 4 T. butter
ï§ 2 T. flour
ï§ 1 small onion, chopped
ï§ 1 cup evaporated milk (fat-free is fine)
ï§ 2 chopped picked jalapeno peppers OR 2 T. Mrs. RenfroâÂÂs hot green salsa
ï§ Fresh ground pepper

Thaw spinach in microwave or overnight in fridge. Drain, squeezing out as much water as possible.

Cut or shred cheese into small cubes.

Melt butter in sauce pan over medium-low heat. Add flour. Blend and cook mixture until well incorporated, but not browned. Stir in chopped onion.

Slowly pour milk into pan, stirring until smooth and hot. Add cheese and peppers or salsa and stir as cheese melts. Add spinach and cook until all ingredients are blended.

Turn mixture into buttered casserole dish and bake at 300 degrees for 40 - 45 minutes.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2013 at 11:22AM
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I know you are looking for alternatives, but I made this "from scratch" variation for Thanksgiving and it was a huge hit.


Best Ever Green Bean Casserole

Recipe courtesy Alton Brown, 2007
. Prep Time:25 minInactive Prep Time:-- Cook Time:45 minLevel:EasyServes:4 to 6 servings.

For the topping:
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons panko bread crumbs
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Nonstick cooking spray

For beans and sauce:
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1 pound fresh green beans, rinsed, trimmed and halved
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
12 ounces mushrooms, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup half-and-half

Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F.

Combine the onions, flour, panko and salt in a large mixing bowl and toss to combine. Coat a sheet pan with nonstick cooking spray and evenly spread the onions on the pan. Place the pan on the middle rack of the oven and bake until golden brown, approximately 30 minutes. Toss the onions 2 to 3 times during cooking. Once done, remove from the oven and set aside until ready to use. Turn the oven down to 400 degrees F.

While the onions are cooking, prepare the beans. Bring a gallon of water and 2 tablespoons of salt to a boil in an 8-quart saucepan. Add the beans and blanch for 5 minutes. Drain in a colander and immediately plunge the beans into a large bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Drain and set aside.

Melt the butter in a 12-inch cast iron skillet set over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms, 1 teaspoon salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms begin to give up some of their liquid, approximately 4 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and nutmeg and continue to cook for another 1 to 2 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over the mixture and stir to combine. Cook for 1 minute. Add the broth and simmer for 1 minute. Decrease the heat to medium-low and add the half-and-half. Cook until the mixture thickens, stirring occasionally, approximately 6 to 8 minutes.

Remove from the heat and stir in 1/4 of the onions and all of the green beans. Top with the remaining onions. Place into the oven and bake until bubbly, approximately 15 minutes. Remove and serve immediately.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2013 at 1:04PM
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This Thanksgiving I made a simple green bean dish that was my favorite part of the meal:
Blanched fresh haricots vert ( boiled to just tender and then dropped in ice water) from Trader Joe's arranged neatly in a loaf pan.
A row of toasted slivered almonds down the middle. A decorative border of sauted chopped red and yellow peppers around the outside. Browned butter poured over it all. Refrigerated and reheated in the microwave when we were ready.
This came from someone here on GW, but I don't remember who it was. Delicious, fresh-tasting, and beautiful among all of the brownish gravy, root veggies, and turkey. To my mind, much better than the usual green bean casserole.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2013 at 1:58PM
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I like this broccoli/cauliflower dish. The topping and the veggies can be prepared ahead of time, then plopped in the pan and baked the day of the dinner.

Deviled Broccoli and Cauliflower

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
1/3 cup minced onion
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard (i sometimes amp it up)
4 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 1/2 cups fresh breadcrumbs made from crustless sourdough bread
1 cup (packed) grated Parmesan cheese
12 to 13 cups broccoli and cauliflower florets (3 lbs +/-)
1/2 cup whipping cream

Sautee onion and garlic in butter until onion is soft. Mix in dry mustard, then 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard, blending well. Add breadcrumbs; sauté until crumbs are crisp and golden, stirring frequently. Season with salt and pepper; cool completely, then toss with 3/4c of the cheese.

Using well-salted water, blanch the florets until crisp-tender (3+/- min). Drain and run under cold water to cool. Transfer to paper towels to drain.

Generously butter a 13x9x2-inch baking dish. In a large bowl, mix broccoli/cauliflower with cream, 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard, and remaining cheese; toss to coat evenly. Arrange mixture in prepared dish. Sprinkle streusel over. Bake until heated through and streusel is browned, about 30 minutes.

I personally like to add 1 1/2 times the mustard sauce. The topping is great on other dishes as well (Mac n cheese mmmmm). It does not adapt well to lower fat dairy substitutions :-(

    Bookmark   December 6, 2013 at 3:36PM
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Here's another way to serve green beans:

Diane's Home Cookin Chapter: Vegetables

Sweet And Sour Green Beans With Bacon
æ4 bacon strips
æ1/2 cup chopped onion
æ2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
æ3/4 cup water
æ1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
æ2 Tablespoons sugar
æ6 cups green beans, cooked and drained
æSalt and pepper to taste
. 1.In a skillet, cook bacon until crisp; reserve 2 tablespoons of
drippings. 2.Drain; then crumble the bacon and set aside. 3.Saute
the onion in drippings until tender. 4.Stir in flour until
thoroughly combined. 5.Add water, vinegar, and sugar. Cook until
thickened. Stir frequently. 6.Gently stir in beans and heat
through. Salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with bacon and serve.
SPECIAL NOTES: You can steam the green beans or boil them in
water. Just donâÂÂt overcook them. They should be tender but still a
little crisp. I like this with a mixture of green & yellow wax beans.


    Bookmark   December 6, 2013 at 7:35PM
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I roasted some Brussel's sprouts, carrots and leeks this year.....they were well received.
I got them from our CSA box last week.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2013 at 8:40PM
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How about roasted brussell sprouts? A little salt & pepper and tossed with olive oil. We had it for Thanksgiving.


    Bookmark   December 6, 2013 at 8:42PM
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I do a similar dish to Bellsmom, and it's a hit every year. It's funny, because it's so very simple, but people ask if I'm making 'those beans' again.

Blanch some green beans just till they turn bright green, but are still pretty crispy. Refrigerate till about half an hour before dinner, give or take. Brown some butter in a pan, toss the beans in and saute till they're warmed through and salt them lightly to taste. Throw some toasted almond slices in, as many as you like. Serve. These also hold pretty well in a crock pot or warming device for refilling the main dish. Simple, but people seem to really like it.


    Bookmark   December 6, 2013 at 10:46PM
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Ditto on the roasted veggies. For my contribution to our Thanksgiving meal, I roasted Brussels sprouts, cauliflower (topped with a lemon parsely sauce) mini zucchini, rainbow carrots (Trader Joe's) and sweet potatoes. They were excellent and a big hit with the rest of the diners.
I prepared them at home, wrapped the cookie sheet in a towel and it held nicely until dinnertime. I may have reheated the cauliflower, but the hostess said all the leftovers were enjoyed the following day. They could easily be reheated while the turkey rests.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2013 at 1:18AM
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Here we eat them plain or like CJ47. Or, and this looks really pretty.
Cook your beans in water until al dente. Then, wrap bunches in bacon and cook in oven til bacon done. Nice little parcels.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2013 at 3:57AM
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How about Sol's Cauliflower Au Gratin?

Cauliflower Au Gratin

1 head cauliflower, cut into florets, stems chopped
1-1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon minced shallot
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 cup vegetable or chicken stock
1 cup heavy cream [you could get away with less]
1/2 tablespoon prepared horseradish
ground pepper
1/2 cup grated Gruyere cheese

Boil or steam cauliflower florets for 6-7 minutes or until tender. Drain well and transfer to a large casserole dish.
Heat the oil in a large sauté pan and add the cauliflower stems, shallot and garlic. Cook until tender. Add the stock and cook until reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Add the cream, horseradish and Gruyere and cook until cheese is melted. Salt and Pepper to taste. Transfer to a blender and purée until smooth. Pour the sauce over the cauliflower florets and stir until well coated. Bake until golden, about 20 minutes.

Or this one. Super simple and it's really good!

Corn With Basil

2 10oz packages frozen corn
1/2c chopped onion
1/2c celery, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
2T butter
1/4tsp dried basil
1/2tsp salt
1 2oz jar diced pimientos, drained

Combine corn, onion, celery, garlic and butter in saucepan, cook and stir over medium heat until onion is tender. Stir in remaining ingredients , reduce heat. Cover and cook until heated through, about 3-5 minutes.

Another favorite, you could use almost any vegetable you like:

Maple Roasted Vegetables
From Cuisine at Home Holiday Menus

1/4 c olive oil
1/4 c maple syrup
1 lb rutabaga, peeled and cut into 2â pieces
1 lb baby carrots
1 lb turnips, quartered
1 lb parsnips, quartered lengthwise
1 red onion, cut into wedges
Salt & pepper to taste
Chopped fresh thyme

Preheat oven to 375F. Coat 2 large baking sheets with cooking spray.

Whisk oil and syrup together in a small bowl. Combine prepared vegetables in a large bowl and drizzle with oil/syrup mixture. Sprinkle with salt & pepper, toss to coat. Divide vegetables between baking sheets and roast in oven until tender and browned, about 45 minutes.

Sprinkle with thyme before serving.

And another. I have more! LOL

Parmesan Roasted Asparagus
Copyright 2002, Barefoot Contessa

Recipe Summary
Difficulty: Easy
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Yield: 6 servings

2 1/2 pounds fresh asparagus (about 30 large)
2 tablespoons good olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
2 lemons cut in wedges, for serving

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
If the stalks of the asparagus are thick, peel the bottom 1/2 of each. Lay them in a single layer on a sheet pan and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes, until tender. Sprinkle with the Parmesan and return to the oven for another minute. Serve with lemon wedges.


    Bookmark   December 7, 2013 at 8:41AM
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I vote for asparagus.

If it's gotta' be green beans, we like them sauteed w/ a lot of minced garlic thrown in during the last minute of sauteing.

My mom made a great green bean casserole. Saute chopped onion along with bacon, drain most of the grease off the bacon & stir into (canned) green beans along with some canned tomatoes. Bake til it's good & bubbly. (I like to add garlic.)

Of course, you can use fresh beans and the dish would be even better. Mom always used her home canned ones...years ago & small town--I doubt that fresh ones were even available out of season.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2013 at 8:42AM
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Buckhead Beans

2 to 3 cups cooked green beans
1 medium onion, minced
2 TB bacon fat or oil
1 cup canned diced tomatoes
1/4 t ground cloves
2 TB sugar
1/4 t salt
1/4 t pepper

Saute onion in bacon fat.
Add the rest, including the beans; cook a few minutes.
Serve hot; serves 4-6.

make just the sauce and pour over the hot beans, serve.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2013 at 9:24AM
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Annie Deighnaugh

Wow! Lots of great suggestions. Much appreciated!

Mom always used to do her green beans tossed with the buttered toasted breadcrumbs and it always tasted good. I was on a sail boat for lunch one time and they did the green beans with thyme which was also tasty.

Thanks for getting my noodle going!

    Bookmark   December 8, 2013 at 8:53AM
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For Thanksgiving I made a broccoli/cauliflower dish that was a big hit. The dish was pretty much as follows:

Broccoli/Cauliflower Casserole
1 large head of cauliflower (cut into florets)
3 - 4 heads of broccoli (cut into florets)
1 can of cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup french-fried onions
1/2 cup shredded cheddar.

In steamer pot cook broccoli and cauliflower for about 6 minutes. It should still be firm and have a bit of crunch.
Mix broccoli and cauliflower, soup and onions together in a glass baking dish. At this point the dish can be covered and refrigerated.

Heat in oven at 375 Deg F for about 30 minutes, adding the cheese in the last 5 minutes.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2013 at 12:39PM
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I've been lurking around here for the past couple of days and Annie asked the same question I had. The suggestion of a broccoli/cauliflower dish sounds like a great idea to go with my roasted brussel sprouts. I have to admit that I'm tired of the standard roasted vegetable dishes.


    Bookmark   December 9, 2013 at 5:11PM
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For Thanksgiving, my SIL made haricots verts that she boiled at the last minute (briefly, so they were tender-crisp) with a compound butter that she'd made ahead of time. The butter had fresh dill, and finely minced red onion. Was there some lemon zest in there? I think so. I'd probably use finely minced shallot in place of the red onion, but overall it was a refreshing dish to have alongside the tasty-but-rich stuffing, mashed potato casserole, gravy, etc.

With all of the richness of a starchy meal, I also like a side salad for contrast, such as a mixed greens w/ dried cranberries or pears and just a touch of goat cheese. Keep those taste buds awake.

Ooh! There's also a great recipe from Gourmet, Sept. beans with roasted red onions. You caramelize the onions in the oven with olive oil and balsamic vinegar (you can do that way ahead and reheat), and toss with cooked green beans. I haven't made it for a while but remember loving it.

Here is a link that might be useful: Green Beans and Roasted Red Onions

    Bookmark   December 11, 2013 at 7:05AM
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Thanks for the link, Scootermom. I printed this and will try it soon. Looks really promising.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2013 at 10:10AM
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Grilled asparagus

Select a bunch of asparagus, we prefer the very thin ones for this dish. Grill them with olive oil and garlic salt until lightly browned and tender. Place on a platter, sprinkle with finely chopped red onion and crumbled blue cheese. Dress with your favorite balsamic vinaigrette.

I am going to copy this entire thread

    Bookmark   December 13, 2013 at 3:38PM
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How about green beans sauteed with some garlic and ginger? Yum.

Or roast some brussels sprouts and drizzle with good balsamic vinegar after they are done.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2013 at 3:06PM
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I don't make green bean casserole. For Thanksgiving and Christmas, I've tried many recipes over the years for veggie alternatives. If I have a little time and an open oven, I roast Brussels sprouts with pancetta, thyme, garlic, and balsamic.

If the rest of my meal requires lots of last minute hands-on time and oven space, I make these green beans earlier in the day instead. They are great warm, room temp, or even cold. Light, very flavorful, and easy to do. I make them all year round. The kids love them as much as I do.

Here is a link that might be useful: Green beans with walnuts and lemon vinaigrette

    Bookmark   December 17, 2013 at 3:41PM
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WalnutCreek Zone 7b/8a

We make a dish like Bob's cauliflower and broccoli, but we also add Brussels sprouts. It is all wonder together.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2013 at 5:22PM
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In my family it always depended on tradition. Aunt Doris wanted my mom's beans and Mom Nellie's corn pone. So much has changed over the years with passings...

The last ten-15 years we have all become much more in need of the fresh veggie style of cooking. Traditions change. At least my family changed. My mixed roast veg is much like beachlily. Prepped ahead, a bit of par-boiling considering cooking times for each. I've added roasted cauliflower, quickly seared asparagus and baby haricot verte. Slices of acorn squash, golden baby beets...whatever looks good and ones that can be purchased in small quantities helps add to the variety.
Our families do not go for anything baked and cheesy. (except for the teen boys).
The oohs and aahs as it takes center stage on a big footed platter.... (two vegetarians in my family and three in the other.)
Travels easy in a couple zip-locks in a family is a 5 hr drive and much easier to prep in my own kitchen...mother's is so small. I finish the baking close to meal time.

Rarely have leftovers but makes a good breakfast hash and/or some goes in my sisters blender smoosh. : )
This one pictured is from Thanksgiving, just the two of us and about a half hour before finish roasting. Didn't do careful slicing, (more careful with company) and DID have leftovers...a nice hash and a garlic, potato veg soup.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2013 at 11:33AM
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darn double post

This post was edited by sleevendog on Thu, Dec 19, 13 at 12:26

    Bookmark   December 19, 2013 at 12:23PM
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I'm glad this thread is going. Mom wants another veggie to go with the stuffed (dressingw with figs, cranberries and sausage) turkey breast.

She's making roasted asparagus and I was stumped. I keep thinking creamed spinach (and it's on here (with heat in it! sounds good)) and the good ol' stand by-haricot vert. I'll keep looking and see if anything pops up, but so far, these two are in the running.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2013 at 1:53PM
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I love the picture of the roasted Brussels sprouts and bacon at the side, which links to this thread. I had expected to see the picture in one of the postings, but it doesn't.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2013 at 2:00PM
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I received purple and orange carrots, Brussels's sprouts and cauliflower in my CSA basket today.....planning on roasting them together with olive oil, onions and garlic.
Or using a saute pan and using bacon as the fat.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2013 at 10:04PM
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jasdip, me too! Let me know if you find it! It looks awesome! :)

OK so edit to add, I searched and found this, link below.

Here is a link that might be useful: roasted brussel sprouts with bacon...nom!

This post was edited by arkansas_girl on Fri, Dec 20, 13 at 18:57

    Bookmark   December 20, 2013 at 6:49PM
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LOL, thanks Arkansas!!
I wasn't sure if they would be roasted or sauteed with the bacon. I'm sure either way would work.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2013 at 9:11PM
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Why not a special salad ?

Mango, baby arugula, toasted pine nuts, citrus vinaigrette

Spinach, red onion, apples, toasted pecans , maple vinaigrette

Mesclun, fennel, slices dried apricot , toasted pistachios , a little dill, citrus vinaigrette

Romaine, avocado, pink grapefruit, vinaigrette

Baby arugula, raisins, Marcona almonds , shaved Parmesan, vinaigrette

Romaine, homemade blue cheese (light recipe from Food Network is excellent ), red onion, homemade pumpernickel croutons

My fave hot veggie--
Parboil baby carrots and haricots verts. Sauté shallot , add veggies. Reheat to serve, salt and pepper, the snip fresh fill and parsley over top.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2013 at 2:53PM
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I forgot one - you make it with raw baby brussels sprouts, pulled apart in to leaves, tossed in a vinaigrette with avocado and pecans

    Bookmark   December 21, 2013 at 11:43PM
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