Green Beans with Bacon and Cider Vinegar

For the past few days I have been wondering if I would ever be able to access this blog again!  Wordpress is great but they seem to have very strange policy’s when it comes to account access.  Anyway, my friend Lizzy helped me out and, we’re back!  I found this recipe in ‘Hobby Farmer’ magazine which started showing up at my house for some reason.  A well intentioned but forgotten Christmas gift perhaps?

A word about bacon, and meat in general:  When I was 16 I stopped eating meat and was a vegetarian for 12 years.  I was horrified by the animal cruelty I knew was going on behind the highly guarded doors of factory farms and slaughterhouses across our country.  I knew the one thing I could do was to not participate in this disgusting, immoral, environmentally devastating and completely unhealthy system.  Today I am lucky to live in what the New York Times calls the epicenter of the local food movement.  I’m far from wealthy, in fact just two years ago I was relying on food stamps to buy my organic, local foods.  Meat in the grocery store, really any animal product that is not from a sustainable, certified organic, free range, healthy farm, is, I guarantee you, from a sick and abused animal.  It’s full of antibiotics, pesticides, herbicides: chemicals that will only make you and our planet more and more unhealthy.  If you have 10 bucks to buy meat, consider eating it only once or twice a week instead of buying the cheap stuff.  There is nothing more costly than cheap food.  And animal products from eggs to bacon to cheese from healthy, happy animals are really good for you and taste much better, you know, like actual food!  So enjoy your bacon, knowing you are doing the right thing by supporting organic, ethical farmers and their healthy animals.  Stop buying into the myth that cheaper is better and that the meat on sale is anything but poison for your body, mind, spirit and OUR environment.

Ingredients:

1 pound fresh green beans

1 cup water

4-6 slices of thick cut bacon, diced – The Meat Market, Berkshire Organics, Holiday Farm are a few of many places in the Berkshires to get high quality, healthy animal foods.

2/3 cup chopped onion

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

salt, pepper and a dash of stevia or honey, to taste

Procedure:

In a medium sized sauce pan over medium heat, cook the beans in water until they are tender.  Drain the beans and reserve about 3/4 cup on the cooking liquid.

In a large, heavy bottom skillet over medium high heat, saute bacon and onion until the onion is lightly browned.  Add reserved bean liquid and cook until it has reduced to 1/4 cup.  Add vinegar and sweetner and stir well to combine.

Add the cooked beans and heat through.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Original recipe from page 77 of the January/February issue of “Hobby Farmer”

Green Bean Romano: Good Fast Food

Cheese makes everything better!

It’s dinner time.  I’m hungry but I don’t feel like spending even 15  minutes in the kitchen.  I need something healthy, fast! Lucky me,  my dad gave me a bag full of green beans from his garden last night.  This big bowl full of crunchy, green garden food took me less than 7 minutes from start to plate and you probably already have everything you need to make it:

Olive oil

A mashed garlic clove

Salt n pepper

Romano, Parmigiana or similar hard cheese, grated.

And of course a bag full of freshly picked green beans.

First, set up a steam basket in a pot of water on the stove and let the water come to a boil while you pick the stems off and rinse the green beans.

Throw all the green beans into the steamer for a few minutes while you grate as much cheese as you need to dress your beans.

Then, in a big serving bowl combine salt, pepper, enough olive oil to coat the veggies and a mashed clove of garlic, if you like.  Mix well, add the tender, barely steamed green beans and toss to coat.

Add half the cheese, mix, top with the remaining cheese and more cracked black pepper.  Done!  Quick, healthy and it has lots of finger food potential so your kids just might eat it.