Archives for posts with tag: green beans

It all started with an innocuous enough looking sign:  Green Beans, $2.00 / lb.  Only … the beans were purple!  Not just any purple – a deep, beautiful aubergine, in fact.  I honestly had no idea green beans could be so pretty or, really, any other color but green.  I asked the grocer, who said that they were a bit sweeter but pretty much exactly the same.

Same or not, I could not get over how lovely they looked.  I admit it, something as simple as a new look on an old vegetable can immediately impress me!  Don’t judge me for liking my food to taste good AND look nice!

Oh who am I kidding … judge away, I know you are!  I like yummy, pretty food and I’m not afraid to say it.

And so begins my love affair with any green beans that aren’t, well, green.  I took them home and prepared them my favorite way: I coat them in olive oil, spread them out on a baking pan and sprinkle them generously with salt and freshly cracked black pepper.  Then I roast them in high heat for a few minutes, enough so they’re still crisp but the sweet flavor can come out.

Disappointingly, after roasting, these ended up looking no different than their green cousins.  But they did not disappoint in the taste department and were very delicious.

This week at the Farmer’s Market yielded no purple green beans but I was able to complete the trifecta: YELLOW!  The minute I saw them, they called to me.  Knowing my love of all things yellow, how could I possibly not get these beans?

And then, having gotten them, how could I not eat them?

This is pre-roasting.  YUM.

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Last night, I again didn’t know what to make and I had a crisper full of vegetables that were starting to look very sad indeed. In the past, when I had that, I would generally throw my hands up in defeat. This time, I decided to make stuffed shells. I poked around for a few recipes and realized I had no ricotta on hand, but I did have a bar of cream cheese.

The result was creamy and I actually liked it better than the normal ricotta-Parmesan mixture. This might also be because I generally hate ricotta and only tolerated its addition to stuffed shells for its binding cheesiness. Now that I know cream cheese can also work, I will be using this method from now on. Mashed potatoes, stuffed shells … cream cheese, you can randomly turn up into anything and taste yummy. You are awesome!

In an attempt to add a color besides orange to our meal (though it WAS Halloween!), I briefly blanched some green beans and sprinkled them with pepper and garlic powder. They added a nice crunch to the smooth and creamy pasta.

So here is the recipe. Original recipes called for nothing but beef + cream cheese + shells + sauce. I had no thawed beef but I had plenty of vegetables and so …. Vegetarian Stuffed Shells was born! I commented during dinner that I would have liked more spice, such as pepper, which I’d forgotten to do during the sauteing process) but Martin commented that he thought it was great as is. Take that how you will.

For the record, my chopped vegetables were Italian bell peppers, fresh mushrooms, spinach and onion. I should have seasoned the vegetables with pepper before adding it to the cheese. The next time I make this, I am definitely going to try ground beef, like the original recipes suggested. That is all.

Stuffed Shells

1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
1 box stuffed shells
2 cloves garlic, minced
Shredded cheese
Filling of choice (ground beef, chopped vegetables, etc.)
1 jar vodka spaghetti sauce

1/ Preheat oven to 350-degrees and lightly grease baking dish.

2/ Arrange shells in baking dish to determine how many shells need to be boiled. Add to pot and boil shells until al dente.

3/ Heat oil in large skillet until hot. Add minced garlic and cook until golden brown.

4/ Add vegetables or ground beef and sauté until completely cooked.

5/ In a bowl, combine cream cheese, filling and 1 cup of spaghetti sauce. Mix well, until combined.

6/ Stuff into shells and arrange so that the opening is facing down.

7/ Bake for 30 minutes. Sprinkle with cheese and keep baking until cheese is bubbly.

Servings: 4


Fresh out of the oven


Served nicely on a plate