Friday, February 10, 2012

Oh So Yummy Green Beans!

As I am learning this whole blogging thing... (yes, I've been doing it for almost two years but I am a slow learner!) I'm learning about blog etiquette. Its frustrating to want to do the right thing when your computer isn't letting you.  I apologize for not responding to comments.  Honestly, I can't begin to express the joy I get when I have a comment to my post.  I'm working with blogger help to get this resolved (God Bless those marvelous patient people!) but not having much luck finding the problem. Keep writing though... please!

As my Fibromyalgia has been battling me and my knees are screaming, the doctor and I agree that its time for me to drop some weight.  Why is it that even though I went into the doctor with a firm conviction to speak with her about dieting, the minute the doctor tells me I should lose weight , I get the attitude of "YOU can't tell me what to do!"  After I had my short burst of rebellion (maybe it lasted a few days :-)) I spoke with my husband about a new plan.  I've struggled with an eating disorder and and having "Forbidden" foods is a trigger for me.  So we decided that we would just implement more fruits and veggies into our diet.  Mind you, I'm not a huge vegetable fan but I will tolerate some.  I found some fresh green beans down at our local Costco and wanted to jazz them up a bit.  On I found a recipe called Green beans with Almonds and Caramelized  Shallots.  I was totally game with it but had to do a bit of fussing with it. Part of the reason is because I had only one shallot on hand so had to substitute regular onion.  The other reason being I like to add Cayenne pepper to my vegetables.
Oh So Yummy Green Beans
adapted from this recipe this recipe
1/4 blanched slivered almonds or chopped almonds (see note to learn how to blanch your almonds!)
1 tablespoon butter
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1 orange bell pepper, chopped (can substitute using red or yellow bell pepper)
2 teaspoons white sugar
1 teaspoon salt (more if desired)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper (more if desired)
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (omit if desired)
1 1/2 pounds fresh green beans, trimmed and snapped

In a dry skillet, over low heat, place the almonds and cook and stir continuously until they are lightly toasted.  Almonds can quickly go from tasted to burnt so be sure to pay attention!  It took me only three minutes to get mine toasted. Remove from pan and set aside.
Insert a steamer into a saucepan and fill with water to just below the steamer.  Bring water to a boil.  Add the green beans, cover and steam until tender enough to pierce with a fork.  I like my beans a little less done... I want a bit of a crunch so I steamed for five minutes.  Drain the green beans and set aside.
While green beans are steaming; using a skillet, heat butter overmedium-low heat; add onions and bell pepper until softened.  This took me about eight minutes.  Reduce heat to low and add sugar, salt, pepper and cayenne pepper.  Cook until sugar is dissolved and onions have caramelized, about 5 to 8 minutes.
Add the green beans to the skillet, mix well and stir in the toasted almonds.

Serves 6

Note: how to blanch almonds
Place almonds in a bowl.
Pour boiling water to barely cover almonds.
Let the almonds sit for 1 minute and no longer.
Drain, rinse under cold water, and drain again.
Pat dry and slip the skins off.

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