If you find green beans a little too bland or your kids think they're a little too green, try these quick recipes for a couple of delicious side dishes that are sure to please.
Ever been to that point where you're running out of things to cook, you're down to a few odds and ends in the fridge and cupboard, and you don't feel like going to the store? Of course you have. That's when it's time to get creative. Like with those cans of green beens you've got just sitting there collecting dust. (Or that bag of frozen staving off freezer burn in fridge.) Sure, the kids don't care for them (yuck -- they're green!) and they need a little work to keep from tasting like water-saturated grass, but, hey, you can make them work. Here's how to dress them up two different ways for dinner at your table.
The first recipe is a personal concoction derived from the true parents of invention: inspiration (for creativity) and laziness (because we all want to do things with the least amount of effort, like cook a meal with what's on hand instead of going to the store). Both are highly suggested as dinner side dishes or an alternate course for the starving student sick of that Ramen noodles diet.
Spicy Parmesan Green Beans with Garlic
1 (14 oz) Bag of Green Beans or 4 cups fresh (for the desperate, 15 oz can of French-style or regular)
3 Tsp of Butter
Cayenne Pepper (to taste)
Garlic Powder (to taste)
Parmesan Cheese (to taste)
To Prepare: Melt butter in a wok (or appropriately sized pan) at medium high heat. (For those not partial to butter, 2-3 tablespoons of cooking oil -- canola or vegetable have a less intrusive flavor -- can be substituted.) For frozen, boil half recommended time or microwave 3-4 minutes -- stovetop preparation will cook the rest of the way while sautéing. (For canned, drain all water.) Place green beans in wok. After a couple minutes or after beans are coated with butter (and no butter residue exists on bottom of the wok), allowing beans to heat, add cayenne pepper and garlic powder (this will be added according to taste). After five minutes, constantly tossing, add parmesan cheese. Cook for an addition minute or so.
Note: The cayenne was an addition to make the dish spicy and can be be optional. In fact, so can the garlic.
For a drier texture, add parmesan to taste after cooking. For a different flavor, instead of parmesan, try Boston Bay Seasoning. (Okay, it must be admitted that there were several cans of green beans in the cupboard -- and a bag of frozen, so...)
Knowing that this couldn't have been the first time someone came up with the idea of cooking green beans with garlic and parmesan cheese (and the writer makes no claims to be the original creator, just one inspired by convenience), a quick search on the Internet provided a similar recipe but with a twist. Courtesy of Dashing Dish, it is one that your kids will likely enjoy more than the above.
Crispy Parmesan Green Bean Fries
1 (14 oz) Bag of frozen whole green beans (about 4 cups fresh)
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 tsp Garlic powder
1/4 tsp Salt (or to taste)
1/8 tsp Pepper (or to taste)
To prepare: Preheat oven to 425 degrees. For frozen green beans, place in microwave for about 4 minutes. (If fresh, wash and "string" -- snap off ends and pull sideways, which de-strings them.) Place beans on cooking pan, spread evenly. Sprinkle seasoning and parmesan over beans. Place beans in pre-heated oven and cook for 10-15 minutes -- or until they've browned or become crispy. (For extra crispy green beans, leave in oven for a couple more minutes.)
Serving suggestion: Serve with ketchup or with a preferred dipping sauce.
(photo credit: Jeremy Keith, Creative Commons)
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