Garlicky Green Beans with Confit Tomatoes
I apologize for the repeat photo but none of the ones of the green beans straight on were in focus – so a repeat it is! Since I had been falling behind a bit for my 52weeksfood challenge, I decided to do two challenges in one week. The Turkish dish being the delicious stuffed eggplant I posted about this past Thursday, and the confit dish being today’s feature. While I had heard of confits before (thank you Top Chef), I always assumed it required skills well beyond mine. Nothing like being proved wrong and getting a delicious meal out of it! BTW – this is not an appropriate side dish for people that don’t enjoy garlic.
The tomatoes can be done a day or two in advance – just add them a little bit earlier so that they can get heated up. Taste wise they reminded me of sundried tomatoes, just a real concentrated WOW of tomato goodness. The tomatoes would also go well on top of pizza, pasta, or as an alternative to brucshetta.
Sesame Green Beans
Good morning from gorgeous sunny (seriously!!!) London! Our trip has reached it’s halfway point and so far everything has been amazing. There are so many recipes I can’t wait to test out when I get home, from sweet to savory all things I’m sure my hubby will love. Today is another packed day on the agenda, starting with Hampton Court Palace (Henry VIII) and ending with a show at The Globe. I still can’t believe how many things we have been able to do, and being just halfway there are still so many things to look forward to.
Today’s recipe is one of my favorite Asian-inspired sides – and perfect for spring when green beans are starting to pop up in large amounts. Seeing the local produce, especially that in Cardiff, has me eager to go home to tend to my garden in hopes of producing similarly enticing.
To turn this simple side in to a vegan feast simply add some tofu to the pan after the sesame seeds have finished toasting and double the sauce. Eggplant and broccoli also go great in place of, or with, the green beans. I’m sending this quick dish over to the Fabulous Ren and her awesome Simple and in Season challenge – hello May and welcome Spring!
Every now and then I tend to bite off more than I can chew when it comes to blog challenges, and this week’s r/52weeksofcooking is a prime example. The theme this week was Indian which is a cuisine I’m familiar with and have done a few times in the past. However I wanted to try something different so instead of my standard tomato based curry I decided to attempt a yogurt based dish, and then go the extra step in making it vegan. I researched a variety of different dishes before finally deciding on Navratan Korma which translates to Nine Gems Curry. For my nine gems I settled on: peas, green beans, Indian Eggplant, green bell pepper, tofu (or paneer), Indian red chilies, shallots, cashews, and carrots. I debated about using cauliflower or broccoli but it’s still too early in the season for them and couldn’t find any at the local market. Needless to say this is a very (very!!!) prep-heavy dish with lots of cleaning and cutting.
I started prep work with the tofu in order to give it time to press before moving on to the eggplant, for similar reasons, and then all the remaining vegetables. To figure out the right spices I looked at a variety of online recipes before finally settling on the below combination. For a more traditional dish use paneer in place of tofu, just keep it mind it will cook a lot faster than tofu and might require additional vegetable oil in order to brown.
I served the cashews only on top of mine since I couldn’t find a bag that was marked in such a way to indicate it was 100% peanut free. This dish might have taken a while to get started but it’s incredibly quick to come together and delicious – making all the cutting worth it! I also have a feeling this dish would work well in a slow cooker and look forward to testing that theory shortly.
Note: I’m submitting this to the So Delicious Dairy Free Recipe Contest
Green Bean Salad
After my delicious pizza earlier this week it was time to get healthy again, and with that back to the basics. I’ve never been too big on salads, they are the easy option for vegetarians and vegans which is why most restaurants think they can saw they have vegetarian entrees if they have salads on the menu. However salads can be more than just greens and random wilted vegetables or in this case have no lettuce in them. Beans are always on my must have list and with that something I always have in my pantry. This salad was the perfect excuse to clean out the pantry of some beans since I tend to open multiple bags and forget about them. The only thing I had to add to my grocery list were the green beans which are always in abundance thanks to a local hothouse, gotta love easy dinners!
For the dressing I decided to use some of the leftover garlic feta dip from my Downton Abbey Viewing party, but any Greek Yogurt based dressing would go great with these beans. To add more healthy and delicious stuff to the salad serve over a bed of kale or spinach or wrapped up in cabbage.
Green Beans with Spicy Tomato Sauce
Time for the January installation of Random Recipes! This month the amazing Dom of Belleau Kitchen challenged us to try a recipe from a friend’s cookbook, which worked out perfectly. For the past few weeks one of my coworkers had been talking about a new cookbook she got and how I had to give it a try. After telling her about the challenge this month she brought the cookbook right in and started showing me all the recipes from it that I had to try. Up until she brought in Jamie Oliver’s Great Britain cookbook I had no idea what the book would be, and got quite the kick out of it being a British cookbook since the challenge this month was inspired by UK based Dom being in the US visiting family. I had my co-worker pick my recipe and she selected the Green Beans with Spicy Tomato Sauce which I had no objections with, outside of one slight dietary tweak. I also had to figure out what a “knob” of butter was since that is not a standard US measurement.
I’m not sure how knob-like my knob was but this recipe was delicious! Everything came together so quickly and the sauce had just the right amount of oomph. I also have a feeling that this sauce would go great with zucchini or squash – maybe even tofu! I can’t wait to see what other recipes this amazing cookbook has, hopefully my coworker will let me borrow it for a little bit longer.
Thai Green Beans and Tofu
Time for another installment of Secret Recipe Club! This month I was assigned two (2!!!) SRC blogs, so double the fun and double the cooking. To read my other entry for secret recipe club please go here for an awesome sweet potato side dish. My first assignment brought me to Sara’s Cupcake Muffin blog. Originally I planned to go for one of the many delicious desserts Sara has, but in the end I kept going back to her savory dishes. For the longest time I thought I was going to attempt her French Onion Tart, but since I’m suppose to be avoiding rich cheeses I decided to be a good girl and avoid the dairy temptation. I checked out a few more recipes before finally deciding to try her Thai Green Beans with Tofu, which wound up being the PERFECT choice. I had to make a few changes to the recipe for dietary purposed, so be sure to check out Sara’s blog for her original recipe.
I plan on trying this recipe again with the red curry paste that Sara used, but that will have to wait until my husband is out for the evening since I could not find a peanut free version. I debated adding a yellow curry paste instead, but decided to just skip that step since I wasn’t sure what yellow curry would do to the profile. These green beans reminded both of us of our favorite take out place, except much crispier which is a huge bonus. I have a feeling these green beans are going to make frequent appearances on our menu, since they could easily be adapted to go with soba noodles or pad thai.
Would also like to take this time to wish Sara a happy birthday, though I’m not sure if I’m early or late.
Green Bean Bean Salad
I have finally harvested my two first tomatoes, that is if two tomatoes can be considered a harvest. I also noticed three eggplant blossoms so maybe there is still hope of homegrown eggplant after all! I have a few ideas for how to improve things for next year, which will essentially turn my front flower beds into vegetable gardens. I still haven’t decided what all I will plant but I’m hoping that my little groundhog friend will stay away.
One of the things I’m debating are the addition of green beans. They are probably my favorite vegetable and I love how many different ways they can be prepared, from blanched to steamed, to a simple stir fry they are essentially the perfect vegetable. My only problem if figuring out where to put them since they need full sun. It seems more and more likely that I’ll need to expand the garden around the side of my house. All of which is perfectly doable, just have to find the time to tame the beast that is my side yard.
This recipe is one of the many reasons why I would love to have my own green beans, not only is this salad amazing warm it’s only great the next day straight from the fridge. This salad is basically a hodge-podge of many salads all thrown together to create a master salad.
Ingredients: (serves 4-5)
- 1 lb green beans, ends trimmed and in 3in pieces
- 1 1/2 lbs baby red potatoes, halved
- 1 can cannellini beans, rinsed/drained
- 1/2 vidalia onion, chopped
- 1 7oz can tuna (dolphin/sea turtle safe) (optional)
- 3 cloves garlic, finely diced
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 4 basil leaves, finely chopped
- 1/4 tsp salt/pepper
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and the potatoes, cooking for 10minutes or until potatoes are just tender. Remove the potatoes, set aside, and then add the green beans to the boiling water. Cook the green beans for about 5minutes, then drain rinse and pour into a large bowl.
- In a small bowl mix together the garlic, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar. Set Aside
- Add the white beans, onion, cooked potatoes, and tuna to the green beans. Mix well and then add the dressing. Add the basil, salt/pepper, and toss. Season to taste as needed with additional salt/pepper. Serve!
This dish can easily become a vegan dish by dropping the tuna and adding some more beans or some extra firmed tofu. This salad also goes great inside a pita, just break the potatoes up into smaller pieces before stuffing the pita.