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Green Beans Almondine

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Green Beans Almondine is a versatile vegetable side dish. It is quick and simple enough to throw together on a busy weeknight but nice enough to serve to guests.

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I’m always looking for ways to dress up vegetables. Actually, one of the first recipes I ever “invented”, back in high school, was a spicy sauce to put on steamed broccoli. Vegetables always seem more appetizing when they have some extra flavors added to them. Even if you love the taste of plain vegetables adding a unique flavor every once and while will keep things interesting.

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Although I’m not sure if this recipe is representative of traditional Green Beans Almondine, I am pretty sure that you will enjoy it anyway. Cooked in a bit of butter with the subtle taste of shallots and topped off with some almonds, these green beans have a few delicious additions. And its all ready in just about 10 minutes!

Yup, I just mentioned butter up there as an ingredient, which is an unusual ingredient here on this blog. I’m really not sure what to make of butter. I feel like there are some many different schools of thought on what fats to use that I can’t keep track. Personally, I like butter in this recipe. Would olive oil be good? Yup! Margarine? I haven’t tried it, but I think it would work. I think some people would probably use coconut oil, but I haven’t gotten into that yet so I can’t speak to how I think that would work. What do you think about butter? I’m curious what other people use and why! Let me know.

So, there are my thoughts, or lack there of, on butter. Probably not quite what you expected to read on a post about green beans.

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Green Beans Almondine

Ingredients
  • 1 lb green beans, cleaned and trimmed
  • 2 small shallots, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4c slivered almonds
  • 1 Tbs butter (or olive oil, margarine, etc – see post above)
Directions
  1. Place the green beans in a medium sauce pan and fill with water, until the beans are totally covered. Bring the water to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Drain the beans and run cold water over them until they are no longer hot.
  2. In a large skillet melt the butter over medium heat. Add the minced shallots and garlic, and slivered almonds. Cook, stirring frequently, until the garlic and shallots and softened. The almonds will start to get browned, also.
  3. When the shallots and garlic are soft add the green beans to the skillet and stir to coat the beans. Cook the beans, stirring frequently, until they are tender and warmed through, about 2 or 3 minutes.

Thai Basil Chicken (GF)

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I’m eating some of the leftovers as I type this. Delicious.

My love of this dish started two years ago when my sister bought me a packet of Thai basil seeds. I planted them in a small purple pot and a couple of months later I had a Thai basil plant. Sister and I decided it was time to cook with the Thai basil and, since this was in the dark ages before Pinterest, we googled “Thai basil recipes”. One of the first results that popped up was for Thai Basil Chicken. Sounded good. We only had some of the ingredients on hand and weren’t interested in even eating some of the other ingredients listed, so we made due with what we had. And that was how two Italian girls created a “Thai” recipe!

If you haven’t had Thai basil before, it’s a different taste that the Genovese Basil you can buy in bunches or dried at grocery stores. In fact, you may have trouble buying it at a traditional grocery store. I grow mine from seeds, and when it isn’t in season I use a pre-chopped variety in a bottle that I’ve found at Harris Teeter and Wegmans. I suppose you could potentially find it fresh at an Asian market. Since my Thai basil plant currently has only six full size leaves on it, I went for the bottled variety in this recipe. The taste is stronger than a traditional basil, and, as the bottle describes “anise-like”.

One component of this recipe is chili garlic sauce. I love spicy food, so this stuff is right up my alley and I add a full tablespoon to the recipe. I’d suggest toning the spice level down when you first make this dish and start with just a teaspoon, or even less if you know you have a low spice tolerance. Or, serve with lots of rice to counter the spiciness.

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Thai Basil Chicken

Ingredients (makes 4-5 servings)
  • 1 lb. ground chicken breast
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3 oz shallots, minced
  • 2 Tbs fish sauce
  • 2 Tbs Bragg’s Amino Acids (or soy sauce)
  • 1 Tbs sesame oil
  • 1 Tbs chili garlic sauce
  • 3 Tbs Thai Basil, chopped
Cooking Directions
  1.  Mince the shallots, garlic, and Thai basil.
  2. Heat sesame oil in a large frying pan with shallots and garlic.
  3. When you hear the shallots and garlic sizzling, and the ground chicken.
  4. “Brown” the chicken on medium high heat, breaking up into small chunks. The end result will actually look white, not brown (see picture below).
  5. Add the amino acids/soy sauce and fish sauce to the chicken mixture. Take a few minutes to thoroughly combine this with the chicken. You will notice the chicken absorbs the liquid and turns a slightly darker color.
  6. Add the chili garlic sauce and mix.
  7. Finally, mix in the Thai basil.
Serve with rice and/or a vegetable. As you can see from the pictures, I enjoy eating this with green beans.
 
Photo Directions:
"Browned" chicken, shallots, and garlic.

“Browned” chicken, shallots, and garlic.

 
 
Chicken mixture with 2 tbs fish sauce and 2 tbs soy sauce added.

Chicken mixture with 2 tbs fish sauce and 2 tbs soy sauce added.

 
Completed dish, with 1tbs chili garlic sauce and 3 tbs chopped Thai basil.

Completed dish, with 1tbs chili garlic sauce and 3 tbs chopped Thai basil.

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