I was craving green beans and our book club was meeting to discuss ‘Gone Girl’ by Gillian Flynn. Our hostess served Tom Yum Koong Soup, favored by one of the characters in the book when fighting off a cold. Others brought bar food and I brought green beans…never mentioned in the book but satisfied my craving.
This is a simple and absolutely delicious recipe. I’ll be making it again, and again, and again.
GARLIC ROASTED GREEN BEANS WITH SHALLOTS & ALMONDS
2 lb. fresh green beans
5-6 shallots, peeled, and cut into thin slivers
5 large cloves garlic, peeled and cut into thin slices
3 T olive oil
1 tsp. salt (or more to taste)
fresh ground black pepper
1/4 cup flat leaf parsley, very finely chopped
1/2 cup almonds, sliced or chopped
1 tsp. lemon zest
Preheat oven to 450 F.
Trim ends from green beans. Peel and cut shallots and garlic, then place with beans in plastic bowl. Add olive oil, salt & pepper, parsley, almonds and lemon zest. Toss until ingredients are well coated with oil.
Spray roasting pan with nonstick spray or mist with olive oil, then arrange the vegetables in a single layer. (I used parchment paper for roasting vegetables and the results are great). Roast 12-15 minutes for thin beans, or slightly longer for regular beans, until beans are slightly shriveled, and shallots and garlic are lightly browned.
Cranberry and Mango Quinoa Salad is a favorite salad shared by friend, Chris, at many of our Book Club and pot luck dinners. Finally, I decided to prepare it and savored every serving. I’ve also tried adding other ingredients to add variety, including bits of turkey or slices or fresh avocado.
This salad is great for summer meals and gatherings.
CRANBERRY AND MANGO QUINOA SALAD
2 cups of water
1 cup of quinoa
1 cup fresh kale or spinach in bite size pieces
1.5 cup fresh or frozen mango chunks (one to two fresh mangos should yield just about 1.5 cups)
1.5 c cubed melon (I used Honeydew)
1/2 cup slivered almonds (toasted/optional)
1/2 cup dried cranberries
Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon of honey
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
pinch of salt
Bring water to boil and cook quinoa per the instructions. Cool.
Add kale (or spinach), mango, melon, almonds, and cranberries to quinoa.
Mix together Lemon poppy seed ingredients and pour over quinoa salad.
Serving Option: Slice fresh avocado slices over top of salad.
Mandarin Salad, Colorado Cache Cookbook, is a staple for my friends and I. It is so yummy and refreshing and perfect with BBQ chicken (check out my coming post on June 29, 2012).
It’s perfect any time of year. Experiment with it when other fresh fruits are available. This time, I added kiwi and Craisins and loved it! The tangy kiwi and Craisins with the sugary almonds are delightful.
KIWI MANDARIN SALAD
1/2 cup sliced almonds, `
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 head iceberg lettuce
1/2 head romaine lettuce
1 cup chopped celery
2 whole green onions, chopped
11 ounces can mandarin oranges, drained
3 fresh kiwi, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup Craisins
In a small pan over medium heat, cook almonds and sugar, stirring constantly until almonds are coated and sugar dissolved. Watch carefully as they will burn easily. Cool and store in air-tight container.
Mix all dressing ingredients and chill.
Mix lettuces, celery and onions.
Just before serving, add almonds, mandarins, kiwi and Craisins. Toss with the dressing.
Adapted from Colorado Cache Cookbook, Mandarin Salad
Everyone in my life knows I’m a little nuts about nuts. Last week I purchased a box of cocoa roasted almonds at my local King Soopers and loved them! The bit of sweetness along with the nut crunch and cocoa blast was divine.
They were easy to make and store well. I had dry ingredients left over, so I tried the recipe with English Walnuts. They were equally wonderful! Cocoa roasted almonds and walnuts are my new, favorite afternoon snack!
COCOA ROASTED ALMONDS
1 pound raw, shelled almonds
8 Stevia sweetener packets (next time, I’ll try it with powdered sugar)
1/4 teaspoon popcorn salt
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/4 cup cocoa powder
Pour the almonds in a large bowl. Spray the almonds lightly. Toss the almonds and spray again, to assure that the almonds are lightly coated.
In a small bowl, combine the Stevia, salt, cornstarch and cocoa powder. Pour the dry ingredients over the almonds and toss to thoroughly coat the almonds.
Line a baking sheet with parchment or wax paper. Bake at 250 degrees for 25 minutes, stirring every 8 minutes. Remove from the oven and place the almonds (or walnuts) on paper towels. Cool.
Each almond has about 7 calories.
Nuttin’ to it!
Recipe adapted from ehow.com Cocoa Roasted Almonds
When I want my daughters to come home for a meal, THIS is the ticket. They both love this dish and the sides have also become tradition, serving a wild rice blend, steamed broccoli, salad and rolls.
My sister-in-law, Betty, gave me this recipe early in my marriage and it is truly fabulous. The chicken is oh, so tender, and the combination of the flavors is fabulous. In an effort to make this dish a tad healthier, I precook the bacon to remove a good part of the grease and use low-fat (or no-fat) sour cream and soup.
This recipe is a wonderful dish to serve at a dinner party. The majority of the work is done far before the guests arrive and you will have more time to enjoy the party.
CHICKEN BREASTS SUPREME
12 half chicken breasts, boned
12 strips bacon (I cook slightly to remove some of fat)
1 large jar dried beef
1 can mushroom soup
1/2 carton low-fat sour cream
sliced almonds and paprika
Grease a 9×13″ baking dish.
Brown bacon until bacon is about 70% cooked. Drain bacon on paper towels.
Cover bottom of dish generously with dried beef. Wrap chicken with bacon. Place chicken in single layer over the beef.
Cover with mixture of soup and sour cream. Sprinkle with almonds. No salt needed.
Bake uncovered at 250 degrees for 4 hours. Cover the last hour.