Thursday, January 27, 2011

Spicy green beans and salmon

I don't eat at Chinese buffets much anymore. Mostly, because I can't help but think of all the germs shared with the previous customers but also because I have the hardest time telling what is vegetarian. That doesn't mean I don't crave a little "take-out" food now and again and last night happened to be one of those nights. Thus we had spicy green beans over brown rice alongside grilled salmon, wilted spinach, and sauteed peppers drizzled with the Thai "peanut" sauce I made a few nights ago.

Spicy Green Beans:
This recipe was adapted from my 'Homestyle Vegetarian' cookbook.
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 long red chili, seeded and finely chopped (I only had a jalapeno so I used that and added red bell pepper slices for color)
  • 1/4-1/2 inch of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed and chopped
  • 14 oz of green beans, ends trimmed and cut into short pieces
  • 1/2 c hoisin sauce
  • 1 Tbsp soft brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp mirin
Heat the oil in a wok or large frying pan and cook the chili, ginger and garlic for 1 minute (be sure not to burn the garlic, it makes it bitter). Add the beans, hoisin sauce and sugar. Stir fry for 2 minutes. Stir in the mirin and cook for an additional minute, or until the beans are tender but still crunchy. Remove from heat.* Serve over rice (we use brown rice but it does take a little longer to cook). My hubby isn't a big fan of green beans because of their texture so I let them simmer a little longer so they were softer and he was surprised that he liked them and even went back for seconds. :)

*The recipe also suggested 9 oz of roughly chopped tamari roasted almonds (available at most health food stores), which would be fantastic but I didn't have any. Stir in after removing the beans from the heat.
The complete milling that turns brown rice into white rice destroys some of the nutritional value. Therefore, brown rice has more vitamin B3, B1 and B6 in addition to manganese, phosphorus, iron, and fatty acids. Whole grains help control blood pressure and reduce wide fluctuations in blood sugar. Plus, brown rice is higher in fiber and this helps control cholesterol and is more filling.

The extra cooking wilts the green beans and makes them less "pretty." Another way to soften green beans is by boiling them for a few minutes before plunging them into an ice bath to preserve their beautiful color.

Wilted spinach topped with grilled salmon, sauteed bell peppers and jalapenos plus a drizzle of homemade sauce for extra flavor.

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