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Recipe Ideas for Green Beans

By Ali Struhs

If your first thought of green beans is of cut, canned green beans mixed in a soupy, mushy casserole, it’s time to reconsider how to prepare this traditional vegetable side. Afterall, green beans are an excellent source of essential vitamins and minerals, like vitamins C and K and iron. Go beyond the boring, sodium-heavy green bean casserole and try these four recipe ideas for green beans.

Summertime Grilled Green Beans
Crank up the grill for this summertime side. Grilling green beans is not only easy and quick, but it’s also a flavorful way to add this vegetable to your menu. Grilled green beans pair well with a Grilled Chicken Sandwich or Chicken Pesto Pasta. To grill green beans, wash and pat dry fresh green beans, and then lightly spray with nonfat cooking spray. Season with pepper and garlic before placing them in a grill pan. Cook on the grill for about 10 minutes, occasionally stirring, until slightly charred to perfection.

Oven-Roasted Green Beans
If the weather is not pleasant enough to start up the grill, you can get a similar flavor by roasting green beans in your oven. Like grilling green beans, you’ll want to spray washed, fresh green beans with nonfat cooking spray. Arrange green beans in a single layer in a baking pan and sprinkle pepper and garlic over them. For a spicier flavor, sprinkle red pepper flakes! Roast in the oven at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes or until tender and slightly browned. Boost the flavor of Lemon Garlic Shrimp by adding a side of oven-roasted green beans.

Steamed Side
One of the easiest ways to prepare green beans is to steam them. Whether you buy fresh from the farmer’s market or a bag of green beans from the freezer aisle at the supermarket, steamed green beans are fast and easy to make. Many of the frozen varieties of green beans can now be steamed inside of the bag, which means one less dish to wash after dinner. Steamed green beans are a light and simple side to Fish and Chips or mixed in with Chicken Fettuccine.

Fresh Green Bean Salad
Skip the lettuce and try a fresh green bean salad to accompany a Classic Cheeseburger. Blanch fresh green beans by placing washed green beans into boiling water for 2 minutes and then transfer them to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process. Combine the now tender, yet crisp, green beans with diced onion, tomato, basil, and toss in a light balsamic dressing.

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