Tuesday, November 2, 2010

177. Garlic Beans with Red Peppers,

I love buying fresh green beans especially if I see that they are, in fact, fresh. While the best green beans are the ones picked right from the garden, careful shopping at stores or farmers' markets are good alternatives. Unfortunately, many times I find that vendors sell beans that are the opposite of fresh...shriveled skin, limp textures or discoloration are definite signs that they have been around too long.

Cooking fresh beans as soon as possible is the best way to take advantage of their nutritional value but, I have found myself, from time to time, letting a beautiful bag of beans sit on the refrigerator shelf day after day. I don't know how many moldy bags of beans have been thrown out because I just did not feel inspired to do something with them!

If this has happened to you or you just want to add a new twist to your green bean favorites, Garlic  Beans with Red Peppers might just be the recipe to try. A plateful of green beans fixed this way with pasta bows and a few slices of Italian bread can be a light, healthy meal alternative. It also makes a tasty, colorful side dish.

Garlic Beans with Red Peppers

1 pound of fresh green beans or wax beans (frozen beans may be substituted)
Ice Water

1 T olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 red bell pepper, sliced and cut in half
Pepper blend

Pasta bows, optional

Heat a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add beans and cook until beans are al dente, about 5 minutes. Drain beans and put them into a bowl of ice water (this stops the cooking process). When beans are cold, drain again.

Heat oil in a skillet over med. heat. Add garlic and red pepper. Cook while stirring for 2 minutes. Add drained beans and cook until heated through. Season with salt and a pepper blend to taste. Serve.

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