Monday, November 2, 2009

Recipe Exchange

Last week I asked for some slimming sides and hors d'oeuvres to serve on Thanksgiving. No one responded, so until I start hearing from my cyber friends, it will be me sharing recipes each Monday. And -- I'm still looking for new ideas for this year's feast!

Today, two versions of string beans, one with tomatoes, the second, caramelized red onions. For my family, the holiday wouldn't be the same without green beans, but my usual way to serve them, all buttered up with lemon and almonds, does not fit into my new way of eating. Both of these versions does. They are from "The Essential EatingWell Cookbook," edited by Patsy Jamieson.
Braised Green Beans & Tomatoes
8 ripe tomatoes, see Note
1 lb. green beans, trimmed
2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 Tblsp. fennel seeds, crushed
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  1. Bring a large saucepan of lightly salted water to a boil.. Dip tomatoes in boiling water. Peel and seed, then chop.
  2. Cook green beans in the boiling water until just tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain and refresh with cold water.
  3. Heat oil in a large nonreactive saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-low heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add fennel seeds and crushed red pepper; cook, stirring, for 30 seconds more. Add tomatoes and green beans. Cover and cook, stirring often, until the tomatoes from a sauce and the beans are soft, 30 minutes. Season wiht salt and pepper. Serve hot or at room temperature.
  4. Makes 6 servings, 3/4 cup each. Per seving: 79 calories, 2g fat, no cholesterol, 14g carbohydrates, 3g protein, 6g fiber, 35 mg sodium.
  • Note: This time of year, I would choose plum or canned, and if canned, look for San Marzanos. They really are with the extra money.
Green Beans with Caramelized Red Onions
To make ahead: Prepare through Step 2. Cover and refrigerate onions for up to 2 days. Refresh beans under cold running water; cover and refrigerate up to 2 days.
1 Tblsp. extra-virgin olive oil
3 medium red onions, about 1 3/4 lbs., cut into 16 wedges each
1 lb. green beans, trimmed
1/2 cup vegetable broth
1 Tblsp. balsamic vinegar
2 tsp. light brown sugar
1/4 tsp. salt, or to taste
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden, 10 to 15 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, bring a large saucepan of lightly salted water to a boil. Add green beans and cook, uncovered, until crisp-tender, 6 to 7 minutes. Drain.
  3. Add broth to the onions, cook for 5 minutes. Stir in vinegar, brown sugar, salt and pper, add the beans, cover and cook for 2 minutes. Serve warm.
  4. Makes 8 servings, about 2/3 cup each. Peer serving: 82 calories, 2g fat, no cholesterol, 16g carbohydrates, 2g protein, 3g fiber, 108mg sodium.

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