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Break the casserole habit

Classic and modern takes: Thanksgiving green beans

Published: Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT
Caption
(AP)
Green beans topped with bacon and blue cheese

Can we all just agree that by 2013 we should be able to do better by green beans than dumping canned soup and fried onions all over them? Surely, there is a better way.

Actually, there are lots of better ways. Even if all you do is crisp some chopped bacon in a skillet, then pop fresh green beans in for a few minutes of stir-frying, the end result still will be better (and probably more welcome at the table). But that’s just the start.

To help you get your green bean creativity flowing, we’ve given you a basic recipe for cooking them, plus two ways of finishing them – one with bacon and blue cheese, the other with honey-sweetened spicy coconut.

Green Beans Two Ways

Start to finish: 20 minutes

Servings: 8

2 tablespoons olive oil

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 pounds fresh green beans, trimmed

Salt and ground black pepper

For the bacon and blue cheese topping:

1/2 cup crumbled cooked bacon

1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese

1/4 cup chopped scallions

For the sweet-and-spicy coconut topping:

1/4 cup honey

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/2 cup toasted coconut flakes

In a large skillet over medium-high, heat the olive oil. Add the garlic and sauté for 2 minutes, or until softened. Add the green beans and saute until just tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Choose one of the two variations and gently toss all ingredients for either one together with the green beans in the skillet.

Nutrition information per serving for the bacon and blue cheese variation: 110 calories; 60 calories from fat (55 percent of total calories); 7 g fat (2.5 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 10 mg cholesterol; 8 g carbohydrate; 4 g fiber; 3 g sugar; 4 g protein; 190 mg sodium.

Nutrition information per serving for the sweet-and-spicy coconut topping: 120 calories; 50 calories from fat (42 percent of total calories); 6 g fat (0 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 0 mg cholesterol; 17 g carbohydrate; 4 g fiber; 12 g sugar; 2 g protein; 60 mg sodium.

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