Tag Archives: green beans

Thanksgiving 2013: Green Beans and Roasted Vegetables

12 Dec Maple Ginger Roasted Vegetables with Toasted Pecans

First, I’m happy to say that this post is my 100th post! I can’t believe it’s been almost 15 months and 100 posts! I’m happy that my 100th post is a new recipe that I tried, and for Thanksgiving Dinner. Thank you for joining me on this journey, hope you enjoy this post and all future posts!

Last Thanksgiving I blogged about everything I made. There was Part 1 that documented all the turkey and stuffing goodness and Part 2 that continued with the rest of the side dishes. This Thanksgiving, as November wore on and I was seeing so many recipes coming through my inbox and on my Yahoo homepage, I decided that I wanted to try something new. One of the newsletters I subscribe to is from Food & Wine. They’ve got great recipes, tips and cooking articles. One thing they like to do is themed recipe collections, and in the days leading up to Thanksgiving they had a new collection every few days. It was great! I saw so many that made my mouth water, but I finally settled on two side dishes: Maple Ginger Roasted Vegetables and Haricot Verts with Chestnuts and Date Vinaigrette.

Both recipes were a hit, although my dad and I decided to go back to our original green bean recipe for next year. The roasted vegetables were definitely a hit, although you could easily do it without a parsnip and for a regular dinner just cut the recipe in half, as it does serve a large gathering. Hope you enjoy as much as we did! And look for another Thanksgiving post next week!


  • 1 1/2 cups pecans
  • 4 medium carrots (3/4 pound), peeled and sliced 1/4 inch thick on the bias
  • 2 large parsnips (1 pound), peeled and sliced 1/4 inch thick on the bias
  • 1 medium head cauliflower (2 1/2 pounds), cut into 1-inch florets
  • 1 small butternut squash (2 pounds)—peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch dice
  • 1 pound brussels sprouts, halved
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup

Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees and spread the pecans on a large cookie sheet. When the oven is ready toast for about 5 to 8 minutes, then remove and set aside. Keep at 425 for roasting the vegetables. I was really lucky that my aunt and uncle have two ovens so while our turkey was roasting in the big oven we were able to use the smaller oven for the vegetables.

toasted pecans

Pecans all toasted. Watch out for thieves!

While you’re waiting for the oven to heat up prep all your veggies. My dad and I split the chopping duties. He taught me a great little trick to cut the carrots and parsnips on the bias. After peeling them lay one on your cutting board and cut on the bias (aka, at a diagonal). Then turn the vegetable 90 degrees and cut again. This will give you various shapes and makes it a little easier to cut the vegetable.

Carrots chopped on the bias

Carrots chopped on the bias

All the vegetables ready for roasting (clockwise): Carrots, Brussel Sprouts, Butternut Squash, Parsnips, Cauliflower

All the vegetables ready for roasting (clockwise): Carrots, Brussel Sprouts, Butternut Squash, Parsnips, Cauliflower

Once all the veggies are peeled and cut, throw into a large bowl and grate the nutmeg right over the veggies and season with the salt and pepper and the olive oil. (If you don’t have fresh nutmeg, already ground nutmeg works too!) Toss well with a large spoon, or dig right in with your hands, which is what I did. There are so many vegetables I found this to be much easier. I also added a little more nutmeg, salt and pepper after tossing them so that all the veggies got some spice.

Vegetables ready to be tossed with nutgmeg, salt, pepper and olive oil

Vegetables ready to be tossed with nutmeg, salt, pepper and olive oil

roasted vegetables

Ready for roasting!

Spread the vegetables on two large, rimmed cookie sheets or lasagna pans and stick in the oven and roast for 30 minutes. While they’re in the oven mince the fresh ginger and set aside and have the maple syrup ready as well. After 30 minutes pull out the pans and scatter the toasted pecans, minced ginger and maple syrup over the vegetables. We then combined them into one pan and tossed well. Place the pan(s) back into the oven and roast for another 25 minutes. They should be tender and slightly browned. Serve in a large bowl and enjoy!

Maple Ginger Roasted Vegetables with Toasted Pecans

Maple Ginger Roasted Vegetables with Toasted Pecans ready for serving!


  • 2 cups vacuum-packed peeled chestnuts (10 ounces)
  • 2 pounds haricots verts
  • 2 small shallots
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup grapeseed oil (olive oil will also work)
  • 1/4 cup chopped pitted dates
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • Salt and Freshly ground pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. On a rimmed baking sheet spread the chestnuts and bake for about 5 minutes, just enough to dry the chestnuts. Allow them to cool and slice them up. Or you can do what we did and not slice them. (We actually forgot to slice them in the busyness of the kitchen at the time. But no one complained and they were soft and small enough to easily cut on the plate later.) Set aside.

roasted chestnuts

Chestnuts all roasted and fresh from the oven.

Next cook your green beans. Be sure to cut the tips of the green beans before cooking. Nowadays you can even buy them pre-cut (which my aunt does and helps cut down on prep time). You should be able to easily snap off the tips by hand. Once your green beans are prepped, boil about an inch and a half to two inches of salted water in a large saucepan. Add in the beans and cook until crisp tender, about 5 to 7 minutes. Be sure to mix them up so they cook evenly. When done, drain and run under cool water then pat dry with a paper towel or clean dish towel. Transfer to a large bowl and add in the chestnuts.

green beans

Cooking the green beans

green beans and chestnuts

Green beans and chestnuts ready for the dressing

Finally, make the date vinaigrette. Chop the shallots and puree in a blender along with the olive oil and cider vinegar. Add in the chopped dates, thyme and a couple pinches of salt and pepper and pulse just enough to combine all ingredients but not too much that the dates are pureed.

date vinaigrette

The date vinaigrette all mixed up.

Wait to dress the green beans and chestnuts until you are ready to serve. Add just enough to lightly dress the beans. Toss well. You can put the rest in a small bowl on the table for your guests to add to their liking. I’m sorry I don’t have a photo of the completed dish, look for them on my plate in the next post. Enjoy!


Balsamic Glazed Salmon and Green Beans

3 Dec Wild Atlantic Salmon on Sale at Whole Foods

Salmon is one of those super foods you always hear about. I’ve also blogged about one version of baked salmon before, using aluminum foil to bake the fish, but you don’t have to use foil to bake salmon, and it tastes just as yummy! (That’s a technical term by the way: yummy.) I had picked up some green beans earlier in the week while grocery shopping, not entirely sure when I would cook them or with what. But after a couple of nights of chicken I needed something different so I decided to stop at my local Whole Foods to grab some fish. When I pulled in they were having a sale on fresh Atlantic salmon so it was an easy choice as to what I would get. I pulled out my “Weeknights With Giada” cookbook and found the below salmon recipe. I had all the ingredients for the glaze so I was set. Yes! another recipe from Giada done! *side note: my regular digital camera broke this night so photos are from my old iPhone 3GS.

Balsamic Glazed Salmon Ingredients L-R: Olive Oil, Green Beans, Garlic, Dijon Mustard, Honey, Cooking Spray, Atlantic Salmon Fillet, Balsamic Vinegar, Salt and Pepper

Balsamic Glazed Salmon Ingredients L-R: Olive Oil, Green Beans, Garlic, Dijon Mustard, Honey, Cooking Spray, Atlantic Salmon Fillet, Balsamic Vinegar, Salt and Pepper


  • 1 6 oz. Salmon Fillet
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • Cooking Spray
  • 1/4 Cup Balsamic Vinegar
  • 2 Tsp Maple Syrup
  • 1 Tsp Dijon Mustard
  • 1 Large Garlic Clove
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

First, make sure your oven rack is in the middle position then preheat the oven to 400 degrees. While your oven is heating up make your balsamic glaze. First, mince your large garlic clove, set aside half to use with your green beans. Combine the other half with the vinegar, maple syrup and mustard in a small saucepan over medium heat. Once it reaches a boiling point reduce the heat to low and simmer until it thickens, about 10 minutes. (May take longer if you make more glaze.)

balsamic glaze

Balsamic glaze simmering

Spray a small baking sheet (or a large one if that’s all you have, like me) with your cooking spray where you will place your salmon fillet(s). Drizzle both sides of your salmon fillet with about a tablespoon of olive oil then season with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 8 to 10 minutes. The flesh should easily flake off with a fork.

Wild Atlantic Salmon on Sale at Whole Foods

Wild Atlantic Salmon on Sale at Whole Foods

While your fish is in the oven, work on your green beans. First make sure the ends are removed. In a small fry pan heat about a tablespoon of olive oil over medium high heat. Add in your minced garlic you set aside from earlier and cook for about 30 seconds, enough so you can smell it. Add in your green beans and saute for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally so the entire part of the bean gets coated in oil and cooked.

Green beans about half way done.

Green beans about half way done.

When green beans are done, remove to a plate. Add the finished salmon and top with the balsamic glaze and enjoy! Save the rest of the balsamic glaze for another night and enjoy a delicious and healthy dinner tonight!

Roasted Salmon with Balsamic Glaze and Garlic Green Beans

Roasted Salmon with Balsamic Glaze and Garlic Green Beans

Pan Fried Tilapia

1 Oct

Frying the first side, almost ready to be turned.

I always thought cooking fish was hard and my dad always laughed when I said that. The first time I made salmon I realized why he laughed. Fish really is pretty easy. But until tonight I had only ever cooked salmon or tuna. For tonight’s dinner I wanted to do fish, but I wanted to do something different. Tilapia filets were on sale at my grocery store, and after much consideration (I even thought about doing chicken instead) I bought one filet for myself.

Then I visited the produce section and grabbed a handful of green beans (one of my favorite side dishes) to cook up. They’re easy and a great side dish to any fish. I had bread crumbs at home and various seasonings so I came in at about $2 for dinner. Can’t beat that.

Most fish goes best with a white wine, especially a white fish like tilapia, so I paired mine with another Riesling (my go to white wine), this time from Hedgeline Vineyards (2010). I had never tried their wine before, but it sounded delicious! It was a crisp fruity wine that I really enjoyed and will probably purchase again. And yes, the plate is from IKEA! For dessert I had a treat from a sweet shop I discovered in Atwater Village, Sweets for the Soul. The Peanut Butter Brownie Shot (click for picture!). If you like brownies and if you like peanut butter, you’ll like this. It’s the brownie version of a mudpuddle (a future post for sure!).

Pan Fried Tilapia with Green Beans and a glass of Hedgeline Riesling


  • 3-4 oz Tilapia filet
  • 1 Tbsp very fine bread crumbs (approximate)
  • 3 Tbsp oil (olive, vegetable, canola, your choice)
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Rosemary leaves to taste
  • Handful of fresh green beans
  • Half a lemon or lime (optional)

1 Serving
(if using more than 2 filets, add another tablespoon or two of oil as needed, and only cook 2 filets at a time. Add additional green beans as needed)

Turn the oven to 300 degrees (this will be to keep the fish warm while you cook the green beans). In a medium saucepan heat the oil on high. While that’s heating, on a plate or the wrapping the fish came in, sprinkle the bread crumbs on either side of the filet along with salt, pepper and rosemary leaves to taste. Before the oil is at a full boil but a couple of bubbles have started, place the filet in the hot oil. Fry for about 2 to 3 minutes. While waiting, nip off the ends of the green beans, this should take up the time for side one, then flip the filet (carefully, you don’t want to splash the (very) hot oil on yourself) and fry the other side for 2-3 minutes. While you’re waiting for that side to finish, take out a cookie sheet or other oven safe pan and place a paper towel on it. Once the fish is done place it on the paper towel pan and stick it in the oven.

Sautéing the green beans in the oil used for the fish.

Turn the heat down to medium and throw the green beans into the oil. Yes, the oil that you just cooked the fish in. Why waste it and why dirty another pan? Salt and pepper the beans and saute for about 5-7 minutes or until they are as done as you like them. Remove the fish from the oven and squeeze your half lemon/lime over fish and beans. Enjoy!

%d bloggers like this: