Green beans as the main dish for din­ner? Stay with us

The Hamilton Spectator - - FOOD - MELISSA D’ARA­BIAN

Some­times I just crave a big serv­ing of green beans. You too, right?

Hear me out. Green beans make one of my favourite veg­gie-based meals. They are loaded with vi­ta­mins, par­tic­u­larly C, A and harder-to-get K, and have only 30 calo­ries a serv­ing. But here is the real rea­son why I love green beans: they are a par­tic­u­larly fill­ing veg­etable, thanks to high fi­bre and a few grams of protein.

So that means that my kids can load up on green beans and add a cou­ple of ounces of ro­tis­serie chicken on the side for a quick din­ner that doesn’t have them hun­gry again in an hour.

We’ll eat green beans tossed in a lit­tle olive oil, salt and pep­per and roasted for 15 min­utes at 400 F, or even sim­ply steamed with a lit­tle salt and pep­per as a side dish.

But if the beans are the star of the show for a meat­less meal, I like a lit­tle more fan­fare, and do a sim­ple glazed veg­etable dish: cook veg­gies and aro­mat­ics (such as onion, gar­lic, spices, or ginger) in a lit­tle oil in a large sauté pan, add a lit­tle liq­uid — soy sauce, broth, or fruit juice work well — and cover the pan to steam for a cou­ple of min­utes, and then un­cover to al­low the liq­uid to evap­o­rate into a glaze that coats the veg­gies.

The strat­egy works for all sorts of veg­gies, but start with my crave­wor­thy Gar­lic Green Beans to get the hang of it. Serve this bean dish with some quinoa or brown rice and you re­ally may not miss the meat.

But if you want, add small cubes of chicken or tofu to the sauté pan first to cook through, or just add some left­over cooked chicken at the end. Ei­ther way, I’ll be you’ll be crav­ing green beans too.

Gar­lic Green Beans MAKES 4 SERV­INGS

3 cups green beans, trimmed 1 ta­ble­spoon olive oil (or half olive oil and half se­same oil) ¼ cup minced shal­lot 2 tbsp se­same seeds ¼ tea­spoon red pep­per flakes (more or less ac­cord­ing to spice pref­er­ence) 2 tbsp fresh minced ginger 6 cloves gar­lic, minced (about 2 tbsp) 3 tbsp re­duced sodium soy sauce 2 tsp honey

Start to fin­ish: 15 min­utes Heat a large sauté pan, heat the oil over high heat. Mean­while, place the minced shal­lot, se­same seed and red pep­per flakes in a small bowl, and have the ginger and gar­lic prepped and ready (sep­a­rately), too. Add the shal­lot, se­same seeds and red pep­per flakes to the pan and cook un­til fra­grant and se­same seeds are golden brown, about two min­utes, stir­ring fre­quently.

Lower heat to medium high and add the minced gar­lic and cook an­other minute. Add the green beans and the ginger and sauté for two min­utes. Add the soy sauce, honey and 2 ta­ble­spoons of wa­ter and cover to al­low to steam for two min­utes (or longer if you want softer green beans). Un­cover the pan, and cook un­til the liq­uid re­duces down to a glaze, coat­ing the beans. Serve.

Per serv­ing: 106 calo­ries (45 from fat); 5 grams fat (1 g sat­u­rated; 0 g trans fats); 0 mil­ligrams choles­terol; 444 mg sodium; 13 g car­bo­hy­drate; 3 g fi­bre; 6 g sugar; 3 g protein.

MELISSA D’ARA­BIAN, THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Green are loaded with vi­ta­mins, par­tic­u­larly C, A and harder-to-get K, and have only 30 calo­ries a serv­ing.

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