August 2010 archive

Who Says Green Beans Can’t Be Awesome?

A couple of years ago I was at someone’s house for dinner and had some green beans tossed with some toasted almonds as part of the meal.  I just loved it, but somehow got away without asking her exactly how she prepared the green beans.  So when I got home, I decided to play around and see if I could recreate it myself.  It took a couple tries but I finally figured it out and, if I may be so bold, think that my version tops the original that initially inspired me.

Here’s what you’ll need:

1 lb of green beans (either pre-packaged or fresh from the Farmer’s Market) **I personally like the French Beans because they are thinner.

~ 1/4 c of sliced almonds

1-2 cloves of garlic, minced

~ 1 tsp of olive oil

Salt (preferably Kosher or sea salt) and pepper to taste

**I’ve never really measured any of this.  I just eye-ball it.  This is probably the only recipe you’ll ever find me saying that.  I’m generally a follow-the-directions-to-a-T kind of girl.

Here’s what you do:

You take these green beans

put just enough water in a microwave safe dish to cover the bottom, add the green beans, and pop them in the microwave for approximately 5 min to steam them like so:

Yes, that’s a pie plate.  It’s the perfect size for this dish and I don’t use it for anything else.  I like to cook, not bake.  So, I may as well use it for something!

While the green beans are steaming heat the olive oil over medium heat in a skillet or saute pan.  Throw in the almonds to toast them.

Once the green beans are done steaming, pour off the excess water, add them to the toasting almonds, and throw in garlic, salt, and pepper to taste.  (If you have a garlic press, by all means, use fresh garlic cloves.  If not, the pre-minced jarred garlic that you get in the produce section of the grocery store works just fine.)

I really like garlic.  Looking at that pic, I’m now thinking that my version may actually include 2-3 cloves.  Just use what you like according to your taste preference.

Toss to coat

and serve along side a main dish of your choice.  Tonight I had mine with Chicken Stuffed with Herbed Couscous.

The whole process takes 10 minutes tops.  See, I told you they were awesome!  Give them a try and let me know what you think!

Cheers, y’all!
Wine Girl

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Guilty Pleasures

For some reason I’ve been craving a lot of these lately:

I’m generally not a “sweets” eater.  I’d like to claim that is completely in an effort to be healthy.  But the truth is that I really just don’t have a sweet tooth. On the other hand, I’ve never met a plate of cheese fries I didn’t like.  So, don’t go handing me a medal of honor just yet.  Please don’t misunderstand me, though.  I rarely let myself indulge in something THAT sinful.  I’m just saying if I have to choose between a brownie (sweet) and fries (salty), I’m going for the fries every time.

But sometimes there is just nothing better than some warm cookies and an ice cold glass of milk. Since I only get a “cookies and milk” craving about twice a year, I generally roll with it when it comes.  A girl’s got to live a little, right?

My warm cookie of choice is the Nestle Ultimate with chocolate chunks and mini peanut butter cups.  (I’m a firm believer that the chocolate and peanut butter combo was sent to us directly from heaven.) Couple that with a glass of Horizon Organic Fat Free milk and I’m good for about 10 minutes of sheer bliss!

You wouldn’t know it from most of my posts lately, but I really do try to eat healthily most of the time.  But every now and then you need a little treat, right?  So now that you know my secret, what about you?  What’s your guilty pleasure?

Cheers, y’all!
Wine Girl

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