I love to cook. I get a lot of enjoyment from thinking about potential recipes, different ingredients I can substitute and switch out and the physical act of preparing food. All of these tasks are similar to creating art. I think about the art that is my food. I imagine how I can make my art my own. I imagine how I can make my art enjoyable for me and for other people to consume. I want to share my art. But other times I don’t need to make a big deal about my food. Sometimes I am hungry and I just want to eat— that is the main reason for food. Food’s main task should be to feed our bodies with energy and nutrients. So sometimes I just want to eat something healthy, speedy and yummy. This recipe came from one of those times.

Most of the recipes that I end up making I don’t put a whole lot of pre-planning into, to be honest. I like to experiment and play with ingredients while I am cooking. We had more green beans in the freezer so I decided to make another dish with nutritious green beans in it. We also had canned tomatoes and I just can’t say no to more tomatoes. I LOVE tomatoes.

But I thought to myself, “I just made something with green beans and tomatoes. How can I make the flavor different but use the same ingredients?”

Duh. Spices.

Spices and herbs and other seasonings are a cook’s best friend. A dish can either rise up or fall flat according to the amount of spices and variety of spices that are used when cooking. So instead of using ingredients that would result in a spicy dish, I decided to change it up. I went the savory route instead.

Tomatoes seem to work best if they are used in dishes that aren’t super sweet, so my options were go to spicy (again), savory, umami, or bitter. Because tomatoes naturally have the umami flavor, I paired that natural heartiness that comes with tomatoes with savory flavoring. I was also inspired by trying to look at another part of the world. Mean Green Beans were very Central/South American. I was decided to go more European this time. As tomatoes are an integral part of Italian cuisine, I decided to pair my tomatoes and green beans with a few Italian flavors.

I thought through all of this in the span of a minute or two. I was hungry and I wanted something good to eat. I labeled this dish as a side dish, but I ended up eating the whole recipe myself as a main meal.

Recipe:

This recipe is a small hop from Mean Green Beans. Recipes that have similar ingredients but different tastes are great to keep around and the best ingredients are those that can be made into a large number of dishes! Italian Beans should please most people because you don’t have to enjoy spice to enjoy this recipe. Switch out the spicy with the savory to make Italian Beans!

Vegan and free of added sugar, salt, oil, gluten, soy, nuts and seeds.

Reasons to love this recipe: ready in less than 30 minutes, uses frozen and canned produce, less than 10 ingredients, Italian

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb (500 g) frozen green beans
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (14 oz or 400 g)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp dry parsley
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup stock

Preparation:

Add all ingredients to a fry pan, cover and turn heat to high until the contents of the pan start to boil. Turn down the heat so the ingredients simmer for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, allow the mixture to simmer uncovered for another 10 minutes to allow the flavors to deepen and the sauce to thicken. Serve immediately.

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  • Updated last year
Sara Binde
 

Sara is a health and nutrition coach. She advocates for a whole foods plant-based lifestyle and teaches the world how to achieve weight loss.