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Archive for the category “beans”

Pecan Green Beans


One of my favorite low carbohydrate vegetable dishes is green beans. I especially love them with crunchy bits of nuts in them and a pleasant coating of butter.

Whenever I make these I am reminded of the green beans my grandmother used to make. She started with fresh green beans and a little fat like I do, but her cooking approach was very different. She would boil those suckers all afternoon until they were mush at dinner time. They tasted great, but there was no need for teeth to eat them! The great thing about them was flavors from the pork belly she used for the fat element. The pork flavor permeated the beans, so every bite was delicious!

I don’t make mine the same way, partially because I don’t have all day to monitor the bubbling pot, but also because I like my cooked green beans with a little snap to them. The cooking time in this recipe softens the beans a bit, but they can still hold their own as individual, non-mushy beans, and you will need teeth to eat them.

Pecan Green Beans

1/4 cup bacon grease or butter
8 cups trimmed, bite-sized fresh green beans
1 1/2 cups roughly chopped pecans
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
Sea salt and ground black pepper to taste

In a large skillet over medium-high heat melt the grease or butter. Add the pecans and let cook for about three minutes.

Add the green beans, garlic powder and onion powder. Toss until beans are coated and nuts distributed among them.

Lower heat to medium, cover and let cook for about five minutes, until beans begin to soften. Toss beans and cover again, cooking for five more minutes.

Season with salt and pepper, toss beans. Beans can be served immediately or cooked longer to make them the desired softness.


Cold Green Bean Salad

coldgreenbeansaladAs I have mentioned many times before, we make sure there are prepared foods stocked in our refrigerator, since there are scarce convenience foods that fit our sugar free, grain free eating habits. We prepare boiled eggs, bite-sized raw vegetables, cured meats and salads of all kinds. Making salads out of staples is an easy way to keep the fridge full, like Dilly Egg Salad, Tuna Salad Saute, Don’t Have To Choose Salad, Antipasto Salad or my recently shared Cucumber Salad.

Due to the freakishly mild winter in our current climes there are already fresh green beans available, so I grabbed some and brought them together with some other ingredients for a marinated salad. The thing I like most about marinated salads is that they get better every day they sit. On day four after making this salad the acids in the dressing may have made the green beans a little less bright, but the beans also soaked up all the flavors, including the tang of the red onion, and a serving of it tastes heavenly.

I encourage you to experiment with other salad fixings too! I’ve made similar salads using slender asparagus instead of green beans, Greek olives instead of black, mushrooms along with tomatoes, and even thrown in some chopped up ham or salami. Noticing a variation on a theme? The thing I have learned making cold salads over the years is that two cups of dressing seems to be just right to coat 9-10 cups of salad, which is the case here.

Have fun in your kitchen and enjoy the bright, healthy produce of spring!

Cold Green Bean Salad

2 pounds fresh green beans
2 cups grape or small cherry tomatoes
1/4 large red onion
2 cups large black olives, drained
2 cups vinaigrette dressing (I suggest my Herby Dressing or Greek Dressing)
Sea salt and ground black pepper to taste
2 teaspoons dried red pepper flakes (optional)

Make your vinaigrette dressing of choice, if not already made or using store bought. Set aside.

Remove ends from green beans and slice them into bite sized pieces, about one inch. In a medium pot with steamer insert bring one inch of salty water to a boil. Add beans to steamer and lightly steam about five minutes, with the intention to soften them but retain their bright green color. Remove beans from pot, set them aside to cool and prepare remaining ingredients.

Slice tomatoes in half lengthwise and place in bowl. Finely chop red onion and place in bowl. Slice black olives in half horizontally and place in bowl. Add green beans. If including red pepper flakes add them now.

Pour dressing over salad ingredients. Gently toss salad until well coated. Cover bowl and chill for at least four hours or overnight.

Remove from refrigerator and toss salad again, then taste and add salt and pepper to enhance dressing flavor (need will vary depending on dressing used). Toss one more time to incorporate salt and pepper, then serve.

Quick Savory Green Beans

quick green beans

Every once in a while I get a craving for green bean casserole. You know, the kind you usually only have as part of holiday meals? Since we are not a few days past a holiday there is missing from the fridge a casserole dish waiting for me to empty it. In the spirit of immediate gratification I had to act fast. A few years ago I came up with a low carbohydrate version that is really good and satisfying, but the multiple steps don’t always work for a fast weekday evening meal. We had some leftover prime rib roast that would take about twenty minutes to heat up, so I had time to make a vegetable side, but not an hour for a multiple step dish that needed to finish in the oven. These beans cook up quickly on the stove top and are ready by the time the leftover meats was heated up in the oven, and wow did they hit the spot flavor wise. Viola! The flavor of green bean casserole without the carbohydrates and without the baking. Definitely something I was able to easily make up with our pantry staples. Add some leftover mashed cauliflower along with the beans and you have a delicious meal for an ordinary Monday night.

Quick Savory Green Beans

2 cans green beans
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
2 Tbsp butter
1/5 cup heavy whipping cream
3 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup parmesean cheese

In a dry skillet over medium high heat add the beans. Saute until they begin to dry a bit and sear. Add the pepper, salt, garlic powder and onion powder. Toss and cook for another minute. Clear  a spot in the middle of the pan and add the butter, parmesean cheese and Worcestershire sauce. Stir into the beans as the butter melts. Cook for another five minutes. Add the cream and simmer for five minutes, allowing the cream to heat up and sauce to thicken. Serve immediately.

Whippersnapper Soup

whippersnapper soup_edited-1

Little B loves vegetable soup. I also consider her a whippersnapper. The traditional definition of the term refers to an insignificant or impertinent young person. Such a definition is not what I think of when I use the word. I think it more describes a precocious, inquisitive little one, which is much more in line with Little B’s personality. Her precociousness carries over to her view of soup. Whether it is actually chicken soup or tortilla soup or beef stew, she considers it vegetable soup. Pretty reasonable, I think, since most soup she has seen is loaded with vegetables. Big D and I like soup, too, especially if it has a bit of a spicy bite. I particularly like the limy chicken soup I make on occasion. Our ‘big people’ soup does not always go over well with Little B because her tongue is not yet attuned to hot spicy. I have never served Little B canned soup. I am sure someone has, but canned soup worries me. With the odd, faded colors of the vegetables and the grainy feel of the meat they are a bit unsettling to me. Don’t get me wrong – I grew up on Campbell’s Chicken Noodle Soup and still sometimes crave the salty soft noodles and bright yellow tinge of the broth. I don’t think they taste bad, except for the saltiness of some types, but I like to know where my food comes from, and I feel the same for what Little B eats. My know-where-it-comes-from parameters are certainly not met by canned soup. This soup recipe is simple to throw together and freezes well. I make it regularly, with a variation on the vegetables I add, depending on what is in the fridge. Little B eats three or four bowls a week, often when Big D and I eat spicy food. She even has it for breakfast sometimes. Frozen in two to three cups per resealable bag or container is perfect – enough to have in the fridge when requested without any going bad. Our whippersnapper loves it and it is so good for her.

Whippersnapper Soup

1 pound package 16 bean soup mix, flavor pack discarded
28 ounce can whole peeled tomatoes
4 celery stalks with leaves
2 cups fresh or frozen green beans, cut to 1 inch lengths
¼ head green cabbage
½ small onion
8 ounces ham, finely chopped (optional)
4 cups filtered water
1 – 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 Tbsp sea salt
½ tsp black pepper
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp fresh oregano, chopped

In stock pot or crock pot combine bean soup mix, tomatoes, celery, green beans, cabbage, onion, ham (optional) and broth. Add garlic, oregano, salt and cumin. Stir until spices are combined. Add water and stir a bit more. On the stove top bring soup to a boil then turn down to simmer. Cover and simmer for about four hours until beans and vegetables are soft. In a crock pot, set to low and cook for eight to twelve hours. Serve immediately or store in the freezer for up to three months.

Soupless Green Bean Casserole

I like holiday meals. Partly because of all the lovely foods we don’t make during other times of the year, but also because the meals often require cooking all day. Darn. Heh. We like spending time in the kitchen. Besides keeping us close to the alcoholic beverage supplies, it is a place where we have great conversation and create or try new things. This is a good thing, in my opinion. Besides a huge bird, or a massive ham, I always look forward to green bean casserole. There is something about the beans and the creamy sauce and the occasional mushroom bits all swirled together in a single bite. This version of the casserole does not include the crunchy fried onions, because of the wheaty carbiness of them, but it still turned out to appease my comfort food craving for the soupy, crunch version. I don’t know how well this would work with whole fresh beans, but with the canned french style the sauce coated every bit very well and the richness I love so much was able to shine through. I am not partial to all the extra stuff they put in canned soups, as I have ranted about before, so I am always glad to figure out versions of comfort foods I enjoy with out the canned stuff. Big D got a little perturbed at how much I liked the green bean casserole over the flaxseed dressing, which was pretty good. His holiday comfort food goes back to his grandmother’s dressing, filled with biscuits, cornbread, apples and sage. I don’t know that he ever gave green bean casserole a second thought before we got together. What can I say, I am a green bean casserole girl. Have I mentioned I like green bean casserole? That last one was for Big D.

Soupless Green Bean Casserole

2 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp coconut flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp erythritol
1/4 cup onion, diced
2 cups mushrooms, diced
1 cup sour cream
1 Tbsp Worchestershire sauce
3 cans green beans, drained
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350F. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in flour until smooth, and cook for one minute. Stir in the salt, erythritol, onion, Worcestershire sauce and sour cream. Add mushrooms. Cook mixture until mushrooms sweat and liquid reduces by about 50%. Add green beans, and stir to coat and heat. Transfer the mixture to a 9×9 casserole dish. Spread shredded cheese over the top. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the top is golden and cheese is bubbly.

Purple Hull Peas

It is really a good feeling when you can plant a garden and fill your freezer with the fruits of your labors. When you move around as often as we do and are not sure if you will be in one place long enough for a growing season, the second best feeling to reaping the fruits of your labors is to benefit from the labor of others. As I mentioned before, we are in the midde of a move…and one process part of each of our moves is the using of all things frozen. My efforts to use up our well stocked freezer supplies revealed a wonderful discovery. I found two bags of purple hull peas from the huge (and I mean huge – over an acre) garden of great Uncle James and Aunt Mary. Each year their garden is smaller and smaller – they are well into their 80s now – I only hope I can garden when I am their age. The purple hull peas are about the size and texture of black eyed peas, but they have a stronger, nuttier taste than their black eyed cousins. I like the purple hulls much better. I don’t recall ever seeing purple hull peas in a grocery store, but found them in abundance at farmers markets and local produce stands. Seek them out and cook them up in a pot. You will not regret it.

Purple Hull Peas

4 cups purple hull peas
1 cup black eyed peas (only because I had a bit in the cupboard)
1 ham bone
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
1 Tbsp salt
2 cloves garlic, sliced
2-3 quarts water

Combine all ingredients in a pot over high heat, making sure enough water is used to cover the peas. Bring to a boil. Cover and lower heat, but keep a low boil. Cook until peas are soft, about an hour. Remove from liquid with slotted spoon. Serve hot or cold.

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