Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Green Beans with Almonds

Here's a perfect side dish for your Christmas day feast. Fresh steamed green beans with crunchy almonds pair perfectly, and garlic gives it all a finishing flavor kick. My Green Beans with Almonds travel well, so bring a casserole dish full if you are a guest. Your host will surely place it between the centerpiece roasted turkey and sweet potatoes with marshmallows.

(And if you are here looking for a whole lotta Christmas budget recipes, I got your back, just click here to see them.)

The green beans are steamed for a couple of minutes while some almonds saute with garlic in a frying pan. Finally spoon out the cooked green beans and mix it all together and serve. I used fresh green beans, but for an easy and cheap substitution it's okay to use fresh frozen green beans.

Green beans are a little more expensive than dried beans, but they frequently come on sale, especially during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. Green beans even show up at my local 99c only Stores.

Nuts have been in the news lately touting their health benefits and as a diet aid to your appetite. Read about it by clicking here. You only need a 2.5 ounce package of almonds (only a handful.)  I used unsalted, but it's easy enough to rinse off typical over-salted ones. Again I get my tiny package of almonds from my local 99c only Store. You can use almost any nuts on sale, including peanuts.

Add my Green Beans with Almonds to your Christmas dinner menu, I'm sure the bottom of the bowl will be scrapped by hungry diners looking for seconds.

Ingredients (about 3 servings)
  • 1 pound green beans - stringy stems removed. Okay to use frozen green beans. Canned green beans may be too mushy for this recipe.
  • 1 small package of almonds - I used a 2.5 ounce package. They were unsalted and whole. I chopped each almond in half. If you get salted almonds then do a quick rinse and drain.
  • 1 teaspoon garlic - I used chopped garlic from a jar.
  • 1 teaspoon oil - I used olive oil.
  • Salt and pepper to taste - optional. For salted almonds leave out salt in this recipe.

Rinse off fresh green beans. Cut off stems and any brown, discolored parts. If green beans are very long, it's okay to chop them in half.

You can stem the green beans in a couple cups of water or put them on a steam rack with water. Steam covered for 2 to 4 minutes to desired tenderness. I like them a little crunchy.

If you are using frozen green beans then follow package directions to heat them up - usually just steam in a 1/4 cup of water for about 3-5 minutes until defrosted and warm. Drain green beans when done.

While green beans are steaming, chop each almond in half (or most of them.) You could buy slivered (pre-cut) almonds, but they are much more expensive.

In a large frying pan add a teaspoon of oil over a medium/low heat. Add chopped almonds; stir and lightly toast them for about 2 minutes. You are just heating them through until just starting to brown - you will keep sauteing with garlic and steamed green beans.

When almonds are done turn down the heat to low and add a teaspoon of garlic. Stir as you add the garlic so it doesn't splatter out of the hot pan. Saute about one minute.

Green beans should be done by now, so add them (without the water) to the frying pan with the garlic and almonds. Mix well.

Ready to serve when green beans and almonds are mixed together and warmed through.

If you don't have access to almonds, almost any type of nuts will do. Just remember to rinse off salted nuts. If you use peanuts just call the dish Southern-Style Green Beans with Peanuts, or Chinese Stir-Fry Green Beans with Peanuts -- it'll taste delish with any name.

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