Posts Tagged ‘side dish’


My April vacation has come to an end and I’m back to the daily grind. I will get more into what I did in my Travel Tuesday spots but I spent about a week at the Sunshine Coast, two days on a tour of Fraser Island and 4 days on the Gold Coast. The Gold Coast was a surprise addition to my travels and I am so glad I seized the opportunity to go when it was presented. Sometimes the best things in life are the ones that aren’t planned!

Anyway, with all of my traveling I haven’t had a ton of opportunities to cook. I did have a chance to help out at Easter dinner on the Gold Coast, though. I spent dinner with one of my boss’s business partners, Sharon, who opened her home to me and made me feel like family. Her family was so welcoming!

On Easter, I was put on veggie duty and helped make some homemade salsa and this super yummy salad. I was surprised how much I loved it! The ingredients are so simple but it is just so delicious. The first thing I did when I got back to Toowoomba was make a big batch for myself.

Of course, my second attempt at this salad didn’t come out as good as the one I made at East. Apparently, searching Youtube for Taking Back Sunday music videos instead of stirring the pine nuts is a big no-no. So you know, I wouldn’t recommend doing that.


White Bean and Tomato Salad

  • 1/2 c. pine nuts
  • 550g or about 3 cups of mixed tomatoes, sliced (I used 350g of mixed grape tomatoes and 200g of yellow perino tomatoes. I like the smaller tomatoes but any kind will work)
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 c. basil, thinly sliced
  • 1 can cannelloni beans, drained and rinsed
  • slightly less then 1/4 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Place pine nuts in a small skillet and heat over medium-low heat. Stir continuously until the pines nuts begin to turn golden. Remove from heat and set aside.

Combine tomatoes, red onion, basil beans and toasted pine nuts.

Right before serving, add olive oil, salt and pepper to the tomato mix and tossed until well combined.


I opted for the mixed grape tomatoes and the yellow perino because they tend to be sweeter and because they were just so gosh darn pretty! I mean, the deep red ones are practically purple so clearly I had to purchase them.

Plus, You tube distractions aside, this was such an easy dish to make. I love it because it comes together in minutes and it will last me a few days. It’s pretty and it comes together easily. What more could you ask for??


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Leave it to me to wait until the last minute to give you a 4th of July recipes. So, to make it up to you, I’m giving you a recipe round up of the last years recipes that would be appropriate for todays festivities. If you want even more recipes, click on the July 4th Popsicle recipe below for last years round up.


Buffalo Hummus Courtesy of my friend, Amelia. It’s hands down my all-time favorite hummus


blueberry salsa The best salsa. Ever.

Main Dish:

Blueberry BBQ sauce I made this with baked tofu but it would be great with grilled tofu and veggies also.

Sloppy Chicks: This was consumed at a Game of Thrones Season 1 viewing party. My friend’s boyfriend, Ben, went back for seconds and thirds and he is usually a carnivore!


Sweet Potato Black Bean Burgers You can make extra of these and freeze them for later. These are also carnivore-approved. My parents and Grandma gave them thumbs up all around

Side dishes: Because warm mayo potato salad is so overrated!

Peanutty Noodles and Veggies Part 1 These were non-vegan crowd tested at a pot luck and there was absolutely no left overs for me to enjoy! Big hit and no one took notice that they were vegan

Corn, Tomato and Avocado Salad A light alternative to potato or pasta salad that is fresh and in season



Strawberry Macaroons You could also try these with freeze dried blueberries.

Grapefruit Sorbet Skip the pies and cake drenched in vanilla ice cream and make this insanely refreshing sorbet. Top with fresh fruit, granola and or honey. This will be great on a hot day.

S’more Truffles Bite-sized s’mores delicious-ness without the mess…or bon fire…or the hunt for vegan marshmellows

July 4th Popsicles  The dessert that is currently blowing up on pinterest! There is also my 2012 recipe round-up in this link so take a look at those recipes, too!



Lemon Lime Margarita There is nothing patriotic about this. It’s just delicious.

Pomagranite Margarita It’s Red. It’s Tequila. What more could you want? Maybe throw some blueberries in it?

and here’s a new recipe for you,  a vegan-friendly potato salad, sans the mayo. I brought this to a cook out a few weeks ago and then like a ditz, I forgot to put it out when we were eating. This means I’ve been eating this whole potato salad, by myself, for about a week. Trust me. I will not be eating potato salad today at any fourth of July parties. oi


Southwestern Potato Salad
from: Edibleperspective.com

For the salad:

  • 2 lbs sweet potatoes, chopped into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 3/4 cups cooked black beans, rinsed + drained
  • 2 bell peppers, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped red onion
  • 1 1/2 cups sweet corn (about 2 or 3 ears of corn on the cobb)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tablespoon safflower oil
  • salt + pepper
  • lime wedges + fresh parsley/oregano/cilantro, to top, optional (I didn’t have any so I skipped this step)

For the dressing:

  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3-4 teaspoons chipotle adobo sauce (found in the mexican food section in a little can. I only had whole chipotle peppers in adobe sauce, so I just pureed them in my nut chopper and they worked great)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons lime zest
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure maple syrup, or honey
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • scant 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt + pepper
  1. Add dressing ingredients to a jar and shake vigorously until fully combined.  Set aside.
  2. Add water to a large pot and bring to a boil.
  3. Add chopped potatoes to the pot of boiling water and boil for about 8-12 minutes until just tender.  Do not overcook.  Taste-test a few cubes for doneness.  
  4. Pour potatoes into a large colander and rinse with cold water for ~1 minute to stop the cooking.
  5. While the potatoes are cooking, heat a medium pan over medium heat with 1/2 tablespoon oil.
  6. Once hot, add the onion and a large pinch of salt to the pan and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently.
  7. Add the garlic and stir for 30 seconds then add the corn and cook for about 6-8 minutes, stirring frequently, until the corn starts to slightly brown and the onion is soft.
  8. Remove from heat and pour onto a plate to cook for a few minutes.
  9. Empty the sweet potatoes, black beans, bell peppers, and corn mixture into a large bowl.
  10. Pour about 3/4 of the dressing overtop and gently toss to coat.
  11. Place in the fridge [uncovered] until fully chilled and then cover until ready to serve.
  12. Gently stir the mixture, then taste and add more dressing, salt, and pepper if needed and stir again to distribute.
  13. Place in individual bowls or in a large serving dish and top with fresh parsley, oregano, and/or cilantro.  Serve with lime wedges on the side.
  14. This lasts upwards of 1 week.


Even though I’ve been eating this for over a week, I have to say, it’s still pretty delicious! I love, love, LOVE the lime chipotle dressing and actually only used about half for this recipe and used the other half on a different salad I will be sharing with you later. It’s super light and flavorful, perfect for summer. I think this recipe will be a great change for your picnics or cook outs and will keep things vegan without people even noticing!


Ironically, I have been going non-stop all week and have plans all weekend but today is looking pretty quiet! I’m hoping to lounge around all day and do a whole lot of nothin’! Maybe I’ll go purchase some sparklers to keep in the spirit but other then that, relaxation is the word of the day. Hope everyone has a great 4th and stay safe!!

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So, things are going to be getting a bit healthy up in this joint, I suspect. Last week, my co-worker, friend and fellow blogger, Rachel, joined our company’s fitness challenge, Team Lean Challenge. Neither of us were too interested in joining but we both made New Years Resolutions to hit the gym harder and we thought this would be a great way to stay on track.

Team Lean Challenge is a 12 week competition where teams of 2 compete to lose the most BMI/weight. They tweaked the rules a little this year so I’m not 100% sure how everything factors in but it’s been fun! You really stop and think about what you eat and how you exercise knowing someone else is going to be effected. Yesterday, instead of just running on the treadmill, I added some weights and attempted to jump rope. Hey, know what’s really difficult? Jump roping when you’re 27! That shit was easier when you were close to the ground.

Anyway, so I will be competing in this challenge so I can’t binge on cookie dough truffles, Avocado Chocolate Cupcakes or Deep Dish Cookie pies (all which would go be great for Valentines, btw). Nope! Things are going to get way healthier up in here!

Um…right after I provide you with the 2-4 Valentine’s desserts I have tentatively planned…THEN, things will get serious.

Today  I do have a relatively easy and healthy recipe for you- Roasted Veggies. I know this is sort of a cop out recipe but I have to tell you, this is one of my favorite cooking tricks lately. You just roast a ton of veggies one night and then you have yummy vegetables to be served with your meals for a week! It cuts down on prep time if prepared ahead and it gives you a healthy cornerstone for several meals.


Roasted Vegetables, Taralynn-style:
from Undressed Skeleton

  • 5 Mini Purple Potatoes
  • 4 Mini Honey Gold Potatoes
  • 2 Large Yellow Bell Peppers
  • 1/2 Box Low Sodium Vegetable Broth
  • 3 Large Zucchini
  • 3 Large Summer Squash
  • 2 Medium Sweet Potatoes

Cook in oven for 1 hour on 350 degrees. Stir every 15 minutes.

This first recipe is a great blank canvas. You can have the veggies as is or you can prep it different for each meal. For instance, because the veggies were just cooked with veggy broth, if you are having taco night, you could toss a serving or two with a little taco season or fajita seasoning, reheat them at 350 for a few minutes, and serve them along side or even in your taco. But, if the next night, you are having spaghetti, you can toss a couple servings with italian seasoning and serve it along side a different meal. Then, on Saturday morning, you can sautee them in a skillet with an organic, cruelty-free egg or tofu and make a breakfast hash (this was my favorite way to eat them). It’s flexible and keeps you from getting bored.

It’s also super customizable with veggies. I found that the above recipe was good but a bit too starchy with the food I was making. Plus, it was meant to serve two for a week so I had a hard time finishing all of them. So I made this recipe:


Roasted Veggies, Erin-style:
seasoning from Healthfulpursuit.com

half a butternut squash*, cubed

1 punch of asparagus

1 red pepper

2 summer squash

2 zucchini

2 carrots

2 TBSP of coconut oil

1/2 tsp of cinnamon

2 pinches of cayenne pepper

*Apparently, at Whole Foods, if you only want half a butternut squash, you just have to ask the cute hipster boys and they take it in the back and cut it up for you. Seriously, why did I ever shop at Stop and Shop?

Preheat oven to 350.

Keep the butternut squash separate from the other veggies. They take longer to cook so you want them on their own. Toss the veggies with about 1 TBSP each of coconut butter, 1/4 cinnamon and a pinch of cayenne (1 TBSP of coconut oil, 1/4 cinnamon and a pinch of cayenne for the butternut squash, same for the other veggies). Place the butternut squash in the oven first, let cook for about 15 minutes and then put the other veggies in for 20 minutes. If you are feeling lazy, you can roast everything together but your veggies will be soggy by the time your butternut squash is done.

I ate this plain with just the maple dressing from Healthful pursuit, with quinoa and again, as a breakfast hash. Slightly less versatile with the spices but no less delicious.


Alright, I’ve worked out some frustrations on the elliptical AND plie-ed my ass off in ballet today so I’m hitting the hay. Let me know if you try this and with what veggies!

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This weekend was CRAZY! I had three whole days off and I feel like I was kept busy for every second of it.

Highlights: Staying in bed late on Saturday morning, cooking marathon Saturday evening, waking up to find a guy sleeping on my couch on Sunday and then having him take and post pictures of me on instagram as I took photographs for WV (Hey Rob! Hope you didn’t think  I was too weird standing on chairs…), Hanging with Whitney, Seeing Taking Back Sunday in Maine and having them sing the Ballad of Sal Villanueva (I screamed so loud when I realized they were playing this…), eating at Silly’s in Maine, AND I started some christmas presents.

Whew! How was your weekend??

cashew cream!

Now, to focus on Thanksgiving which is two days away! Oi with the poodles…

So, to stay vegan during Thanksgiving, I have found the best thing to do is be prepared! Be prepared, be prepared, be prepared. I can’t say it enough. Last year (and this year too), my mom was super helpful in working out things I can and can’t eat but it’s because we knew what everyone was bringing so we could work around it. Last year, I had a tofurkey and a bunch of veggies. I also made an appetizer (this salsa…so good!) and a dessert (these cookies) and got my mom to make this casserole, which we are making again this year because everyone loved it (sub Earth Balance for butter and leave out marshmallows to make vegan). By planning ahead and strategically contributing to the spread, I was able to make sure that I had at least one thing to eat per course and that was super helpful in allowing me to avoid things.

So, when prepping this year I wanted to tackle some classic staples that may be favorites for you. First up, green bean casserole. I LOVE green bean casserole! Though it’s a classic, I only started really loving it recently so I was pretty bummed when I couldn’t have it last year. Thus, it was the first thing on my list of things to make this year.

Green Bean Casserole
casserole from Fat Free Vegan Kitchen
toppings from How Sweet Eats


  • 1 1/2 pounds of fresh green beans, ends removed and cut in half
  • 1 TBSP salt


  • 10 oz of mushrooms (I bought the pre-washed, pre-sliced variety. Save time on Thanksgiving day!)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
  • salt, to taste
  • fresh pepper, to taste
  • 2 TBSP flour
  • 3/4 cup vegetable brother
  • 1 TBSP dry sherry
  • 3/4 cup cashew cream* or soy creamer (important note)

(Note: to makes cashew cream- soak 1 cup of raw, unsalted cashews in water for a minimum of 4 hours or over night. Then, drain the cashews and place them in a blender with 1 c. of dairy milk of choice. Blend until smooth. Soy creamer can be used in place but I’m much prefer cashew cream. I think it provides a much more neutral base and it’s something that can be made if soy creamer is not stocked at your local grocery store)


  • 1 large sweet onion, very thinly sliced
  • 1 TBSP olive oil
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat panko crumbs
  • 1/4 tsp thyme
  • 1/4 tsp oregano


Preheat oven to 425.

Beans: Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add the beans and the salt. Cover and cook 6 minutes. Remove from heat and immediately run cold water over them to stop the cooking process. Let drain and see aside.

Topping: While the beans are cooking, heat a large skillet over low head and add the olive oil, onions and salt. Stir well to coat, then cover and cook onions until caramelized, about 20 minutes. While the onions are cooking, mix together the panko crumbs, thyme and oregano and set aside. Alternatively, I imagine if you have 1/2 tsp of onion soup mix, that would also taste great mixed in with the panko crumbs.

Sauce: Spray a skillet with non-stick spray and heat over medium heat. Add the mushrooms, garlic, salt pepper and (optional) cayenne pepper. Cook until mushroom are soft and exude their juices. Whisk together the veggie broth and the flour until mixture is smooth and then add to the mushroom mixture along with the sherry. Simmer, stirring and everything is well mixed. Add the cashew cream and cook for about 5-10 minutes until the mixture thickens (the cashew cream is pretty thing anyway so this only took be 5 minutes). Add the beans.

Place the green bean/mushroom mix into a casserole dish. Top with caramelized onions and panko crumbs. Place in a pre-heated 425 degreee oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, until the casserole is warmed through and the  panko crumbs are golden.

To make this the night before, follow the steps through placing the green bean/mushroom mix into a casserole dish. Cover and chill until prepared to serve. Right before placing this in the oven, top with caramelized onions (I cooked these the night before and kept in a separate bowl until ready to put on casseroel) and panko mix. Cook for 15-20 minutes at 425. If you find that the mixture has turned too solid in the fridge over night, pour a little bit of soy milk on the green bean mixture, stir it around, then top with onions and panko.

I really love this dish! I was actually eating it cold and uncooked out of the casserole dish the night I was prepping it. Unfortunately, unlike the Sweet Potato casserole above, I don’t think this dish will pass as non-vegan to the other people at your Thanksgiving dinner. I think traditional green bean casserole has too distint a taste and when you start veganizing it, people will know. It’s so yummy, though! My suggestion would be if you are making this for just you, half the recipe, make it the night before,  bring it to your Thanksgiving dinner and just pop it in the oven with all the other veggy dishes when they  are heated up. You’ll get your green bean casserole AND all the left overs when you tell your family it’s vegan. At least, that’s what will happen at my house!

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Hello everyone! Sorry there was no Weekend Things post for you yesterday. Um, it was my birthday and birthdays = no work. Also…I sorta can’t figure out how to transfer pictures from my fancy new cellphone to my computer soooo you may have a Wednesday Things…or a Thursday Things…or A Whenever-the-hell-I-can-figure-out-my-phone Things.

So until then, you are stuck with my rambling and more fall recipes. Today, I will be rambling about some of  my favorite things (be lucky you are on the other side of the computer and can’t hear me singing). 1. Halloween Sprinkles. Seriously…they make everything better! Ice cream, birthday cupcakes (coming soon), peanut butter toast, oatmeal, lattes, you name it! I’m pretty much obsessed!

2. Pumpkin Beer- I have to put the kabosh on this obsession. I’ve been having pumpkin beer every. single. day. and that’s WAY more then I usually drink. Plus, beer isn’t exactly a healthy food to be obsessed with…I mean, neither is sprinkles but at least sprinkles come in fun shapes and colors!

3. Dexter. I’ve watched the show but I decided to tackle the book for Halloween. Last year I read Salem’s Lot around this time because I love me a good vampire story. This year, I thought I’d tackle the serial killer series. So far, I have not been disappointed!

and last but not least, 4. Butternut Squash. I’ve had this at least 5 times a week and when I made up my weekly meal plan, I snuck another recipe in. I can’t help it! I keep having leftovers. This recipe was thought up because I had leftover roasted squash from my Black Bean Butternut Squash Burritos. I promise I’ll try another vegetable…maybe…

Butternut Squash Kale Rice Bowls
servings 1

olive oil

2 cloves of garlic

1 c. cubed butternut squash, roasted

1/2 cup mushrooms, thinly sliced

1 c. Kale, finely sliced ( I used frozen for this recipe)

1/2 c. brown basmati rice

1/4 c. apple cider

pepita seeds (optional)

Butternut squash: Peel your squash and slice into 1″ cubes. Put into a glass pan, lined with tin foil, drizzle with olive oil and toss until squash is coated. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Roast at 400 degrees for 30-40 minutes, or until fork tender.

While the squash is roasting away, prepare the rice. Rince 1/2 c. under water. Place in a medium size pan with 1 cup of water. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for 30 minutes.

Once your squash and rice are ready, heat some olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, or 3-4 minutes. Add the mushrooms. Saute until golden, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. When the mushrooms have begun to turn golden, add the squash and the kale. Mix together really well and add 1/2 c. cooked rice and apple cider. Reduce heat to medium low and let the mixture simmer together, stirring occasionally. Simmer until the apple cider has mostly evaporated.

Serve hot in a big bowl, sprinkled with pepita seeds.

I love this recipe because it’s SUPER versatile. I used everything that I already had in my house but you could add sautéed or caramelized onions, serve with quinoa instead of rice or omit the grain and have as a side. All would be delicious.

I had this for dinner almost every night last week and I’m not sick of it at all. In fact, the more butternut squash I have, the more I seem to crave it. This is a problem… especially since we don’t have sharp knives in our kitchen anymore and I risk my fingers every time I try and peel one. It’s so worth it though!

I have not tried this with halloween sprinkles but I’m pretty certain black and purple bat sprinkles would only make it more amazing. Like, 90% certain…

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This blog is going to the birds lately. I had the Nuts and Oats burger, which my mom lovingly said looked like bird seed. And now I have these super yummy seed cracker/chip things. Crackips? Chickers? I’m not sure I can combine crackers and chip to make an appealing word but I assure you, these are yummy- bird-seed looking  or not.

This is my answer to savory snacks. You know, when you are craving the potato chips from the vending machine mid-day, or just want something salty to munch on.

from Oh She Glows


  • 1/2 cup chia seeds (can find at whole foods)
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup pepita seeds (or pumpkin seeds)
  • 1/2 cup sesame seeds
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 large garlic clove, finely grated
  • 1 tsp grated sweet onion
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt, or to taste

1. Preheat the oven to 325F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. In a large bowl, mix the seeds together. In a small bowl, mix the water, grated garlic, and grated onion. Whisk well. Pour the water mixture onto the seeds and stir until thick and combined. Season with salt and/or garlic salt to taste. Add spices or fresh herbs if you wish.

3. Spread the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet with the back of a spoon until it’s less than 1/4 inch thick. Not to worry if a couple parts become too thin, you can just patch them up.

4. Bake at 325F for 30 minutes. Remove from oven, slice into crackers, carefully flip onto other side with a spatula. Bake for another 30 minutes, watching closely after about 25 minutes. The bottoms will be lightly golden in colour. Allow to cool completely on the pan. Store in a container or plastic baggy.

 I know some of you may think these look weird but they are actually kind of like the outside of an everything bagel…without the bagel part, you know?
I’m a big fan of garlic and onion so I decided to sprinkle the crackers with garlic salt when I flipped them. Delicious but SUPER garlicky. If you want to make out with anyone within 24 hours of eating these, I would probably NOT add the extra garlic.
One thing to note is that these are pretty fragile. If you toss them in a plastic baggy and then in your book back, they are going to get totally crushed and most likely revert back to seed form. The dilemma is they taste awesome with hummus! I was finding my hummus was too thick for these babies to handle. Totally by coincidence, my roommate made the lightest, fluffiest white bean hummus that went perfectly with these!
 Mediterranean-inspired White Bean Hummus
 from Exclamations of a Curious Bonnie
  • 1 can of white beans (cannelini or white kidney beans), drained with the liquid set aside
  • 1 TBS of tahini
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 TBS olive oil

and the following seasoning, which Bonnie says she didn’t measure but would estimate at 1/2 – 1 tsp:

  • paprika
  • cumin
  • black pepper
  • ground coriander seeds
  • cayenne peper
  • dried parsley
  • salt to taste

Place all ingredients into a food processor and blend. If the consistency is too dry or sort of “cakey,” add small amounts of the bean-water you set aside. When desired consistency is achieved, taste and adjust seasonings as necessary. Add salt if needed. Enjoy with pitas or crackers or veggies!

The slow addition of the bean water made this so fluffy. I loved it! I’d been eating my hearty garlic hummus all week and this was a great change of pace, and like I said, it worked perfectly with these cracker/chips. They were made for each other!
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go bath in listerine in hopes I can get this garlic/onion smell off of me…

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Beer Fries, Y’all

If I was going to make my man a Valentine’s Dinner, I would start with these fries because

1. Pasta is so overrated and so predictable

2. What guy doesn’t like beer? There’s practically a beer gene in their DNA

3. They’re really frickin’ tasty.

too thin...make them fatter than these

Garlicky Beer Fries
from Edible Perspective 

  • 1-2 bottles of your favorite beer (I used an apple beer and ended up using 2 bottles as one didn’t cover my fries)
  • 3 russet potatoes
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3T olive oil
  • 1-1 1/2t salt
  • 1/4-1/2t black pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 425
  2. Scrub potatoes, and cut into thick sticks
  3. In a large bowl, soak the cut fries in beer.
  4. Let soak for 15min, tossing 1-2x.
  5. Drain beer and toss with olive oil, garlic, salt + pepper, until well coated.
  6. Line a large baking sheet with parchment* and spread the fries, in a single layer on the pan.  Use two pans, if needed.  You don’t want them stacked.
  7. Bake for 40min – 1hr, depending on how crispy you like them, tossing 3-4 times.**
  8. Add more salt + pepper to your liking.
*The recipe says the parchment paper is optional so I opted not to use it. When I went to toss them though, the fries were sticking to the baking sheet. I would definitely suggest using the parchment paper. It will help keep your fries in one piece
** I really like crispy fries so I cut my fries on the skinny side and cooked them for an hour. This ended up being WAY to long. Definitely start with 40 and work up.
These fries were delicious but if you really want the beer taste, which I did, you have to keep the middles potato-y. I would suggest cutting the fries on the thicker side and then cooking them until just crispy, not too long.

I don’t know what you should pair these with, though. I can’t plan your whole valentine’s dinner for you! Sheesh…

PS.- For Valentine’s Day, I don’t need roses. I’ll just take these, size 7. No big deal, right?

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I know what you are thinking. “Holy crap! She posted something that wasn’t covered in butter and/or sugar!” It’s true. My site has been a little bit heavy on the carbs. Surprisingly, I eat other things though, like vegetables!!

It wasn’t always that way, though. Back in the day, I would pretty much only eat canned, Green Giant corn niblets and canned Green Giant green beans. That’s it. I wouldn’t eat another name brand and I wouldn’t eat anything that was frozen. Green Giant. Canned. Corn. Green beans. The end.

green beans and garlic

Then I went to college. You would think that my taste would have expanded being away from the comforts of home. They didn’t. Unfortunately, though, my parents’ did. I remember coming home one time and being served fresh asparagus. “Um…excuse me? This is not what you have been serving me for the past 10 years. What is going on here??” When I stopped wrinkling my nose in distrust and tried them, the asparagus ended up being delicious. It’s still one of my favorite vegetables.

I hate when my parents are right.

Anyway, It’s pretty appropriate that my first veggy recipe on wickedvegan.com is my old buddy, Green Bean. They are no longer canned but I am pleased to say that they are even better than I remember the Green Giant kind being!

Szechuan Green Bean Stir Fry

from Weight Watchers

1 pound of green beans, cut into 2″ length

2 TBS low-sodium soy sauce

2 tsp of ketchup

1 tsp of red wine vinegar*

1 tsp of cornstarch (dissolved with 3 TBS of water)

1/2 tsp hot pepper sauce

1 garlic clove, minced

1 C of bamboo shoots, canned, drained

1 tsp of sesame oil

In a large sauce pan, steam green beans until crisp, about 5 minutes. Drain in a colander.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine soy sauce, ketchup, vinegar, dissolved cornstarch and pepper sauce.

Spray a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray; heat. Stir-fry green beans and garlic 2 minutes; add soy sauce mixture and cook, stirring, until thickened, about 2 minutes longer. Stir in bamboo shoots and sesame oil; serve at once.

*this recipe is incredibly versatile. I don’t think I’ve made it the same way twice. This time, I didn’t have red wine vinegar so substituted balsamic vinegar. I also didn’t have sesame oil and really didn’t want to add anymore oil to the recipe so I sprinkled sesame seeds on instead. This also goes together really quickly.

yeah for green things!

Not sure what to serve with random green beans and bamboo shoots? If you’re cool like me, you’d have just this for dinner, with a hand full of raw almonds, on your way to a second job. If you prefer sitting down at dinner and actually eating a full meal, then come back Friday. I’ll have yummy Ginger Lime Noodles!

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