This Thai inspired green bean salad is a healthy and extremely tasty way to serve green beans. The recipe is from Amber, who blogs at Loves Food Loves to Eat.
I love Thai flavors, so I knew I’d love this salad. I admit that I overcooked my green beans a tad (I’d have prefered ‘em a little greener/more firm), but they were still delicious. I added quite a bit of sriracha, so the salad was nice and spicy. I doubled all the ingredients and served a big batch of this at a barbeque…everyone loved it.
As you can see in the photo above, I served the salad on compostable plates made with palm leaves. Justin from Marx foods sent me a bunch of these eco-friendly plates to test, and I really like them. They’re such a great alternative to disposable dishware- good looking and good for the planet, as well.
Thai Green Bean Salad Recipe
Adapted from Thai Green Bean Salad at food52
* 1/2 cup wheat-free soy sauce or tamari
* 2 large cloves of garlic, minced
* 1 tablespoon Thai fish sauce
* 2 tablespoon rice vinegar
* juice of 2 large limes
* 2 tablespoon light brown sugar
* Sriracha sauce to taste
* 2 pounds fresh green beans/string beans- ends removed and sliced in half
* 1 large tomato, sliced
* 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
* 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
* 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
* 2 sprigs fresh mint, chopped
* 1/4-1/2 cup roasted peanuts, chopped (optional)
* sliced green onion for garnish
* black pepper
1. For dressing, whisk together the soy sauce, garlic, fish sauce, rice vinegar, lime juice and zest, brown sugar, and sriracha.
2. Bring a pot of water to a boil and blanch beans for about 2 minutes, so they are still crunchy and bright green…don’t pull a Winnie and overcook them! Shock in cold water so they stop cooking and maintain their color.
3. Combine red pepper, tomato, cilantro, basil, mint, and green beans. Toss with dressing and add black pepper to taste. Let sit for at least 30 minutes for flavors to meld.
4. Toss in peanuts and garnish with green onion before serving.
I wish I could take credit for this brilliant idea, but I can’t…
I first saw homemade pop tarts in the April 2010 issue of Bon Appetit, and soon after I saw them on Smitten Kitchen and Anecdotes and Apple Cores. Pim did a version some time ago, as well.
I was a big fan of these as a child but haven’t had one in years, so of course I just had to make some. I tried the Bon Appetit recipe but I found the dough to be too buttery (yes, there is such a thing in my opinion).
So I set out to create my own dough. After a couple of tries, I decided that the one below (which was inspired by the Yogurt Dough in Nourishing Traditions
) is my favorite. It’s not at all terrible for you and it’s really easy to work with. If you don’t want to use spelt flour, you can try this with all purpose unbleached white flour or with whole wheat bread flour.
As for the filling, I experimented with a few different strawberry jams, but I think the best one by far was this Spicy Strawberry Jam.
If you’re making these for kids or you’re just not into the spicy thing, feel free to use your favorite jam (it doesn’t have to be strawberry).
Nutella is also good as a filling for these homemade pop tarts. If you want to go the full-on DIY route, you can try these with my Homemade Nutella.
These are best a short time after they come out of the oven (though you can certainly store them at room temperature for a few days and reheat them before serving).
Homemade Pop Tarts
*2 cups spelt flour
*2 tablespoons organic sugar
*pinch of sea salt
*1 stick organic unsalted butter
* 1 cup Greek yogurt or real buttermilk
* approximately 1 cup of strawberry jam (preferably homemade) or Nutella (preferably homemade) or filling of your choice
* approximately 3 tablespoons of melted butter, for brushing the dough
* organic sugar for sprinkling the dough
1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat all ingredients until the dough comes together. Divide dough in half, flatten each ball into a disc, and wrap in plastic or parchment paper. Chill several hours or overnight.
2. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper (or use a silpat). Flour your surface and roll one disc out into a large rectangle. Trim the edges (reserving the extra dough to roll out again with the next disc) so you have a rectangle that is approximately 9 or 10 inches by 12 inches. Cut the large rectangle into 8 smaller and equal rectangles.
3. Place about 1 1/2 tablespoons of filling on each of 4 rectangles. Try not to just plop it right in the center- spread it down the length of each piece of dough (but keep it in the center, so that you can seal up the dough on all sides).
4. Lay the other pieces of dough on top of the ones with the filling. Use your finger to press the edges down, then use the tines of a fork to press firmly around all the edges. It's important that the pop tarts are sealed well, so a lot of the filling doesn't come oozing out (a little might, and that's fine). Repeat with the other disc of dough so that you have 8 pop tarts.
5. Poke a few holes into each pop tart with a fork or a toothpick and then arrange on your baking sheet. Place the pop tarts in the refrigerator for 30 minutes while you preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
6. Remove from the refrigerator and brush each pop tart with melted butter. Sprinkle each one all over with organic sugar.
7. Bake the pop tarts for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown. Allow the pop tarts to cool on a rack before serving.
The weather here has dipped down to the low 70s. After what seems like weeks (months?) of 90+ degree days, it really feels like heaven outside right now, and I don’t feel too ridiculous posting this minestrone soup recipe.
A couple of weeks ago, I entered this recipe into “The Best Minestrone” contest at food52. I’m very pleased to report that the recipe won; this means I have two recipes going into the food52 cookbook (my turkey pho won the contest for “Best Turkey Leftovers” last fall).
I’ve really enjoyed being a part of the food52 community this past year. I’m extremely grateful for all the wonderful people I’ve met (and all the wonderful recipes they’ve shared) through the site. The first 52 weeks are just about over, but I’m really looking forward to the next 52!
Now, about the minestrone…I love this soup because there’s so much veggie goodness, but it’s so hearty, too. This recipe starts with just a little bit of all-natural bacon, but if you’d rather leave it out, go ahead and proceed with the rest of the recipe. You won’t get the smoky flavor, but you’ll still get a great soup (you could also substitute pancetta for the bacon, but obviously you won’t do that if you are a vegetarian).
I didn’t add any salt to the soup because the bacon and my homemade chicken stock did the trick, but please add it to taste, if necessary. If you eat gluten-free or avoid wheat, you could replace the tortellini with some rice, corn, or other gluten-free pasta, or just leave the noodles out.
As for the pesto, I went the hand-chopped route here because it’s a small batch, I didn’t want to drag out the food processor, and I wanted to use a minimal amount of olive oil. I made the pesto with parsley, which I love, but feel free to use basil instead. You can also use your own favorite homemade or store-bought pesto instead of this one, if you prefer.
use organic ingredients whenever possible
* 3 tablespoons olive oil
* 2 slices preservative-free, all-natural bacon, chopped into small pieces
* 1 large onion, peeled and chopped
* 2 large cloves of garlic, minced
* 1 leek, trimmed and sliced
* 3 carrots, peeled and chopped
* 2 ribs of celery, chopped
* 1 zucchini, chopped
* 1 potato, peeled and chopped
* 4 cups vegetable or chicken stock, preferably homemade
* one 15 oz. can of cooked chickpeas, preferably organic
* one 28 oz. can of peeled San Marzano tomatoes, with juice
* sea salt, if necessary
* 1 cup kale, chopped fine
* 1 package of high quality, all-natural cheese tortellini
* 1 cup loosely packed basil or parsley
* 2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
* 2 cloves garlic, peeled
* 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
* 1 tablespoon olive oil
* Aged balsamic vinegar, for drizzling- optional
* Grated parmesan cheese for garnish- optional
1. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large pot over low-medium heat. Add the bacon pieces and cook for a minute or two, until they start to brown.
2. Add 2 more tablespoons of oil along with the chopped onion, garlic and leek. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, over low-medium heat until softened.
3. Add the chopped carrot, celery, zucchini, potato and stir around for a minute or two.
4. Add the stock, the chickpeas, and then the tomatoes, crushing them with your hands as you go. Add a few generous pinches of salt (be judicious if your stock is salted already). Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 30-40 minutes, until the potatoes are just tender.
5. Add the kale and the tortellini, and continue to cook over a simmer until both are tender and cooked through, 5-7 minutes. Taste and add more salt, if necessary.
6. Make the pesto by chopping (and chopping and chopping) the basil by hand until it's very fine...when you do this, you'll reduce it down to about 1/4 cup. As you chop the basil, start to incorporate the other ingredients and chop them fine, too, until you have a lovely finely chopped pesto. Transfer to a small bowl and stir in the olive oil. Use as a garnish for the minestrone.
7. Serve the minestrone garnished with a spoonful of the pesto, a few drops of the aged balsamic, and a generous sprinkling of grated Parmesan cheese, if desired.
Come join the fun at the My Baking Addiction and GoodLife Eats Holiday Recipe Swap sponsored by Le Creuset.