Healthy Green Beans with Almond Breadcrumbs

Healthy Green Beans with Almond Breadcrumbs

The start of the holiday season always gets me looking forward to the classic dishes that appear on the table around this time. Green beans are a very popular side dish for Thanksgiving or Christmas, whether in a casserole or simply prepared. This lemony green bean dish is a delicious, vibrant alternative to casserole. It not only tastes amazing, it is also much healthier for you.

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Fresh green beans are a vegetable that I have always liked, even when I was a kid and a very picky eater. Back then I would normally shirk around the word vegetable. But when summertime rolled around and the beans were ready to pick, surely enough I was out in the garden eating them straight from the stem. Fast forward to the present day, and now I enjoy them as a healthy side dish to many meals. This savory preparation of green beans combines lemon with an almond breadcrumb sort of crust. I love the added crunch and nuttiness of the breadcrumbs, and the brightness of the lemon and olive oil vinaigrette.

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There is also no need to worry about keeping this dish warm, which is one less stress around the holiday table! It is still delicious at room temperature. You can also prepare the simple lemon vinaigrette and breadcrumbs ahead of time. When it’s time to eat, just combine with cooked green beans.

To prevent the green beans from turning an unappealing olive color, make sure to dunk them in an ice bath after cooking. The olive color can also happen if the beans are overcooked, so make sure to watch the time on the stove. After the ice bath, you simply toss the green beans in the lemon and olive oil vinaigrette, and then top the dish with the toasted almond breadcrumbs.

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This simple recipe will leave you feeling satisfied without weighing you down. You won’t miss all that heavy cream of a casserole. I scraped my plate clean because the almond breadcrumbs were so tasty. It is a great compliment for any holiday table, and easy to put together in a hurry.

Healthy Green Beans with Almond Breadcrumbs
 
Author:
Recipe type: Side Dish
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1½ lbs green beans, trimmed
  • ½ cup slivered almonds
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Over medium heat, lightly toast the almonds. Transfer to a blender or food processor and chop until they are the same consistency as breadcrumbs.
  2. Mix together 3 tbsp of olive oil and the lemon juice in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
  3. Heat the remaining tbsp of olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic, breadcrumbs, almonds, and lemon zest and stir. Cook until golden, stirring continuously. Remove from heat and stir in the chopped parsley.
  4. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the green beans and blanch for 4-5 minutes. Prepare a large bowl of ice water while the beans are cooking. Remove beans from hot water – they should be tender and still crisp. Place the beans into the ice bath to stop the cooking. Drain the green beans and return them to the pot. Toss with the olive oil and lemon juice. To serve, top with almond breadcrumbs.

 

Golden Summer Kale Salad

Golden Summer Kale Salad

For a great, light meal on a warm summer evening, this potent and simple Kale salad and watermelon dressing is the perfect combination of sweet and savory!

Salad Ingredients:

-1 Bunch (approx. 14 oz.) of Kale
-6 brussel sprouts
-1 medium-sized carrot
-1 cup walnuts
-1 cup golden raisins
-1 yellow or orange pepper
-6 tablespoons Olive oil
– Salt
-1 tablespoon Dried parsley

Salad Directions:

It’s a pretty straight-forward salad, but you’ll want to get started on the brussel sprouts first. Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees, first. Then slice of the ends of the brussel sprouts, then slice them into halves. Toss them in about 3 tablespoons of olive oil with the dried parsley and a pinch of salt added. When they are well-coated, lay them flat-side down on a baking tray, and put them into the oven for about 30 minutes, checking and moving them at about 15 minutes in.

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Next is just a matter of preparing the contents of the salad. After washing and de-stemming the kale, thinly slice it and place it in your salad bowl. Toss the kale in 3 tablespoons of olive oil and massage for a minute or so to loosen it up.
Now, go ahead and dice your pepper, the carrot (I like to use long, thin cuts on the carrot), and the golden raisins. If you have walnuts, you might like to chop them down to size before adding them to the salad.

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When the brussel sprouts are quite dark on the bottom and a little gold and soft on the sides and top, you can go ahead and take them out and let them cool briefly.

Dressing Ingredients:
-1/4 medium watermelon
-1/4 cup basil
-1 tablespoon Apple cider vinegar
-1/4 tsp. Dijon mustard
-5 tablespoons Olive oil

Dressing Directions:

To make this sweet and tart dressing, start with taking ¼ or so of a watermelon into a household blender. First remove the rind and as many seeds as you can (or use a seedless variety) and blend to a liquid. Strain the pulp out of the mixture using a strainer or cheese cloth until you are left with about one cup of liquid. Set to boil in a small sauce-pan over medium heat for 8-10 minutes. Remove from heat when it has reduced to about 2 tablespoons. Set aside in blender to cool.
To finish, simply add the basil, vinegar, and mustard to the watermelon and blend while slowly adding in the olive oil.

By now, the brussel sprouts should be cooled somewhat, and you can add them to the salad, next add the dressing and toss.

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Enjoy with a crisp lager or lemonade!

Halloween Hotdog Worms

Halloween Hotdog WormsIf you want to amaze your family on Halloween by serving something different then this is going to be the perfect recipe.

This is a fun way of presenting traditional hotdogs. People normally eat hotdogs throughout the year. The Halloween meal has got to be different. Traditional hotdogs are quick and easy to prepare; so are the Weiner worms.

Halloween Hot Dog Worms
 
This is a really simple recipe. It uses the common ingredients that almost everyone has got at home. It just takes a little creativity to give a spooky look to a common meal.
Author:
Ingredients
  • Enough hot dogs (100% beef seem to work best) for each person
  • Enough large hamburger buns for each person
  • Softened butter or margarine to toast the buns
  • Your favorite condiments – Ketchup, Mustard, Mayonnaise and/or Pickle Relish
Instructions
  1. Start by cutting the hotdogs. Put hotdogs on a cutting board and cut each hotdog into 2 halves. Depending upon the size of hotdogs; you might want to cut each half into 2 more halves or into thirds. When you are done with cutting all the hotdogs; set them aside.
  2. Carefully score one edge of the hotdog; this will cause the hotdogs to curl more. Scoring does not need to be done along the entire length of hotdog.
  3. You can boil, microwave or grill your “Weiner Worms”. The grilled hotdogs are the most cherished ones. While grilling, make sure that the hotdogs are placed perpendicularly on the grill or else they will fall through the grill. As the hotdogs cook, they will begin to curl and look like worms.
  4. Set your oven to broil. Spread some butter on each half of the hamburger bun. After placing them on baking sheet, put them under the broiler. Keep an eye on hamburger bun so that they do not burn. Remove the buns from oven and allow them to cool for a while.
  5. Weiner worms can be served on the toasted hamburger buns with some of the “worms” hanging out of the bun. This will definitely amaze your family. They can also be served as finger foods; place them in a bowl and drizzle ketchup all over them. Use your favorite condiments with the “Weiner Worms”.

 

Slow Cooker Macaroni and Cheese

photo credit: loleia

Who doesn’t like macaroni and cheese? This recipe takes the comfort food classic to your slow cooker.

Slow Cooker Macaroni and Cheese
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
The comfort food classic prepared in the slow cooker.
Author:
Recipe type: Main - Slow Cooker
Ingredients
  • 1 Box of Macaroni Noodles
  • 1 can Evaporated Milk
  • 3 Eggs
  • ½Stick of Butter
  • 2 Bags of Mild Cheddar Cheese
  • Milk
Instructions
  1. Cook the noodles according to the directions on the box and strain.
  2. Then, place half of the cooked noodles in the slow cooker and half of the cheese on top, then place the other half of the noodles and the remaining cheese on top.
  3. Next, in a bowl combine the evaporated milk, eggs and salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Pour over noodles and cheese.
  5. Finally, slice the butter and place around the top of the noodles and cheese then add a small amount of milk (about ½- 3/4 cup).
  6. Cook on low for approximately three hours.