Szechuan Green Beans

I love the crunchy sweetness of stir-fried green beans, and the dish compels me to slink into Chinese dives for a fix. This version from Whole Foods’ blog lacks the specific taste of a commercial wok, but it’s a fast and tasty rendition. Use the freshest, firmest green beans you can find for an easy side dish.

Ingredients

1 pound green beans, ends trimmed
1 teaspoon medium-heat oil (canola, peanut, macadamia, etc)
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 garlic clove, chopped finely and set aside for 10 minutes (this maximizes the health properties of garlic)
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
1 teaspoon soy sauce or tamari
1/2 inch piece fresh ginger, skin removed and finely chopped

Directions

1. Place the green beans on a baking sheet and broil about 10 minutes or until speckled with black spots. Rotate the sheet once halfway through. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and turn out the beans into a large bowl. Set aside.
2. Add oil to a small skillet over medium heat. Add red pepper flakes and garlic and cook about 3 minutes until golden. Turn off the heat and immediately add the vinegar. Swirl the skillet and then stir in the soy sauce.
3. Pour the garlic-vinegar sauce over the green beans and toss well. Toss in the ginger and serve.

Makes 4 servings. Takes 15 minutes.

Green Beans with Parsely and Tahini

Beans have been in season for a while now, and they’re still coming. I love this recipe because it’s a creative, healthy take on green beans almondine.

This recipe first appeared on Suziesfarm.com.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. green beans, trimmed
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbs. tahini
  • 2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbs. coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Directions

  1. Bring a medium pot of well-salted water to a boil over high heat and cook the green beans until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes; drain and cool under cold running water.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, tahini, lemon juice, garlic, and salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle the green beans with the dressing, sprinkle with the parsley, and serve.

Roasted Green Bean Salad with Quinoa

Most green bean salad recipes call for blanching the beans; this recipe roasts them. I love the way roasting beans brings out a deeper sweetness. Either way, cooked green beans absorb dressings and other flavors while raw ones don’t. While this recipe uses quinoa, which is a high-protein grass seed, not a grain. You can substitute bulgar wheat for the quinoa.

Ingredients

1/2 pounds green beans, cut into halves or thirds
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup cooked quinoa
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
4-6 cups arugula, washed, dried and chopped
2 tablespoons stoneground mustard
salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Preheat the oven to 425.
Trim the stems from the green beans and cut them in halves or thirds.  Toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil, salt, and pepper.  Arrange in a single layer on a large baking sheet and roast in the oven.  Stir the beans once or twice so they cook evenly.  When they begin to brown, add 1 minced clove of garlic and cook another 2-3 minutes.

Meanwhile, pour boiling water to cover over 1 cup of cooked quinoa, then cover it and let steam for 20 minutes.  Drain any excess water.

Mix 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar, 2 tablespoons stoneground mustard, and 2 tablespoons olive oil.  Toss half of it with the green beans and reserve the rest.

Wash 4-6 cups arugula leaves, spin dry, chop and toss with the green beans.  Sprinkle the bulgar over the salad and toss it, a little at a time until you have a nice balance of the three ingredients.  Add more dressing to taste.

Optional: Crumble 1/2 C. feta cheese over the salad.


How to Grill Sweet Corn

Following these instructions will avoid charred corn, BBQ fires, and other unfortunate July 4th bloopers.

Fill a 5 gallon plastic bucket 3/4s full with clean cold water.  Make sure to rinse out whatever had been in the bucket before first.

Break off the bottoms of the corn cobs.  Some of the husk will come off with them.  You want at least 3 layers of husk to remain on the cobs, but not the darkest green outer leaves.

Grab the silk at the top of the cob and gently pull it out of the husk.  Remove as much of the remaining silk threads as possible.

Drop the ears of corn into the water and let them soak for 10 minutes.

Light your grill.  You want it hot, but not intensely so.  If you are using charcoal, you can grill the corn while it’s still too hot for anything else, but you want to wait 10 minutes or so after lighting.  Put the ears of corn on it in a single layer.  Covering the grill will increase the “smoky” flavor.  Turn each cob 4 times, so that the husk gets nicely browned on all sides.  Remove and allow to steam in the husks for 10 minutes before pulling them off and serving.

Cool Cucumber Pasta Salad

In the heat of summer, nothing cools the body faster than cucumbers. Combine them with carrots, fresh arugula or basil, beans and pasta for a hearty salad or delicious potluck dish. There is no dairy in this dish so it can sit out safely at a summer party.

Ingredients:

  • 1 package Spiral pasta (we used quinoa pasta)
  • 1 large cucumber
  • 4 small carrots
  • 1 spring onion
  • 2 Tbsp. Fresh arugula or basil
  • 1 cup cooked white beans
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions.
  2. Rinse cooked pasta in cold water and place in large bowl.
  3. Chop all vegetables and herbs (reserving the lemon).
  4. Place chopped vegetables in large bowl with pasta.
  5. Add white beans, olive oil, juice of 1 lemon and salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Eat or place in fridge for flavors to marinate.

Blackberry String Beans

The tang of blackberries plus the crunch of green beans combines the best of early summer into a single, devourable dish. Recipe and Photo by Sarah O’Toole of Cooking with CSA.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup blackberries
  • 2 cups green beans
  • 1⁄4 cup walnuts
  • 2 Tbsp. maple syrup
  • zest of 1 lemon

Directions

  1. In a large pot bring 4 cups of water to a boil.
  2. While water boils fill up a large bowl with ice water.
  3. Place green beans in boiling water for 5 minutes.
  4. After 5 minutes submerge beans into ice water for 5 minutes.
  5. Drain beans and place back in large bowl.
  6. Add blackberries to large bowl along with maple syrup and lemon zest.
  7. Mix well.
  8. Roughly chop walnuts, and place on top of beans and blackberries.

Grilled Strawberry Basil Kabobs

Grilling strawberries concentrates the natural sweetness in the berries. Try out the kabobs as a side dish or a dessert. Recipe from Suzie’s Farm.

Ingredients

About 16 medium to large strawberries (firm but ripe)
1 small bunch fresh basil
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Sea salt
Grapeseed oil

Directions

To clean the strawberries, use a damp paper to wipe each one off. Remove the stems and cut each one in half, lengthwise.
One by one, gently slide each strawberry half onto a metal or wooden skewer (if you’re using wooden, soak them in water for about 10 minutes first). Between each strawberry half, slide on one or two basil leaves. Set aside.
In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the honey, vinegar, vanilla and a pinch of sea salt. Set aside.
Preheat a stove-top grill or your barbeque and drizzle or brush a bit of grape seed oil onto the flat surface of each strawberry. Once the grill is hot, place the strawberry skewers on it, flat side down. You should hear a sizzling sound — if you don’t the grill is not hot enough. Wait until it is! Grill until each side is marked from the grill, about 30 seconds per side. Place the skewers on a plate and while they’re still hot, use a pastry brush to add the glaze to the kebabs. Remove them from the skewers to serve.

Spinach Basil Penne

Mid-June is when late spring spinach meets early summer basil. The tomatoes aren’t in yet to direct the show, and this pasta dish makes the most of the meeting of the greens.

Recipe and Photo by Sarah O’Toole of Cooking with CSA.

Ingredients:

  • 1 package penne (“ancient harvest” brand is a gluten-free option that cooks to an al dente texture)
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 2 cups basil
  • 3 Tbsp. tahini
  • 1 Tbsp. miso paste
  • 1⁄4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 2-4 Tbsp. water
  • 1 Tsp. garlic minced
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Cook penne according to package directions.
  2. Meanwhile, add all other ingredients into food processor.
  3. Add water to reach desired consistency.
  4. Drain pasta and pour sauce on top.
  5. Serve hot or cold.

Sprouted millet au gratin

Beets and millet improve the flavor and nutrition of a traditional au gratin while eggs and cheese deliver creamy smoothness. Makes 4-6 servings that you’ll be tempted to eat straight from the pan.

This recipe first appeared on NYTimes.com by Martha Rose Schulm and and was adapted here.

Ingredients

1 generous bunch beet greens

Salt to taste

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1/2 medium onion, finely chopped

2 large garlic cloves, minced

1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme

1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary

2 eggs plus 1 egg yolk

1/2 cup low-fat milk

1 to 1 1/4 cups sprouted (or cooked) millet

3 ounces Gruyère cheese, grated (3/4 cup)

Directions

1. Stem the greens and wash the leaves in 2 changes of water. To blanch the greens, bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil, salt generously and add the greens. Blanch for 1 minute or until tender. Alternatively, steam the greens over 1 inch of boiling water for about 2 minutes, until tender. Transfer to a bowl of cold water and drain. Taking the greens up by the handful, squeeze hard to expel excess water. Chop medium-fine. You should have about 11/4 cups.

2. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Oil a 2-quart gratin or baking dish. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a heavy skillet over medium heat and add the onion. Cook, stirring often, until tender, about 5 minutes. Add a generous pinch of salt and the garlic and cook, stirring, until the garlic is fragrant, 30 seconds to a minute. Add the herbs, beet greens, and salt and pepper to taste, and stir and toss in the pan for about a minute, until the mixture is nicely infused with the oil, garlic and herbs. Remove from the heat.

3. In a large bowl, beat together the eggs, egg yolk and milk. Add salt to taste (about 1/2 teaspoon), pepper, the millet, the greens and the cheese and stir together until the mixture is well blended. Scrape into the oiled baking dish. Drizzle the remaining tablespoon of olive oil on top.

4. Bake in the preheated oven for 35 minutes, or until it is sizzling and set, and the top is just beginning to color. Remove from the oven and allow to sit for 10 minutes or longer before serving.

Advance preparation: The blanched beet greens will keep for 3 or 4 days in the refrigerator. Sprouted or cooked millet can be kept in the refrigerator for 5 to 7 days and in the freezer for longer. The gratin can be made a day ahead and reheated or served at room temperature.

Martha Rose Shulman is the author of “The Very Best of Recipes for Health.”

Summer Squash Squares

Summer squash squares are healthy take on lemon squares. They are easy to bake and make a conversation-starting appetizer or brunch side. This recipes makes 24 squares.

The post Summer Squash Squares appeared first on FullBellyFarm.com and was adapted here.

Ingredients

1 cup gluten-free baking flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup finely chopped onion

1/2 teaspoon chile pepper

1/4 teaspoon dried leaf thyme

6 slices bacon, cooked, not crisp, diced (optional)

1/2 cup shredded Cheddar or Jack cheese

4 eggs

2/3 cup oil

3 cups thinly sliced zucchini

Directions

Heat oven to 350°. Grease and flour a 13-x9-inch baking pan.

In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, seasonings and chopped onion.

In a small bowl, whisk the eggs with the oil. Add egg mixture to the dry mixture and stir until blended. Fold in the cheese, zucchini and bacon.

Spread in the prepared baking pan. Bake for about 25 minutes, until set and lightly browned around the edges. Cool slightly and cut into squares.