Land of Leftovers

Since my garden is forcing me to deal with nature's leftovers this month, I thought it might be fun to cover green beans in all their glory. I've been picking green beans from my garden just about every other day lately and, while I absolutely adore their sweet taste and versatility, I am getting close to canning whatever the season offers me for the remainder of the year!

While green beans are wonderful when steamed until crisp-tender and served as a side dish, their uses extend far beyond that. From adding a sweet crunch to a hearty casserole to playing partner to spicy grilled pork in a savory soup, green beans can star in anything from first courses to the main attraction on your dinner table.

While fresh green beans are what this article is all about, if absolutely necessary, frozen beans can be substituted. However, avoid using canned varieties as they tend to be too limp to hold their own in these recipes. Save those for the green bean casserole recipe found on the backs of French's fried onion cans!

In celebration of freshness and an overabundance of green beans, I'm starting you out with four of my favorite recipes using fresh green beans. Enjoy!

As always, I look forward to hearing from you about your recipe ideas and comments. You can always post comments in the BBS using the forms provided in the articles or email me directly at .

Quick Green Bean Salad

While you micro-steam the beans, you can prepare the other vegetables for this fast salad.
  • 3 c. green beans -- cut into 1" pieces
  • 1 large tomato -- cut into 10-12 sections
  • 2 c. coarsely chopped red cabbage
  • 1/4 c. salad dressing (I use Italian or another oil and vinegar dressing)
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste

Micro-steam the green beans with 1/4 c. water, covered, for 4 minutes on HIGH.

Meanwhile, prepare the tomato and cabbage.

Rinse the beans with cold water until they are cooled. Combine the beans and cabbage in a large bowl. Add the tomato sections and the salad dressing and toss the salad well to coat. Add the pepper and chill the salad until you are ready to serve it.

  • Yields: 4 servings
  • Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Turkey-Bean Stroganoff

This easy stove-top stroganoff recipe takes advantage of ground turkey and fresh green beans.
  • 1 lb. lean ground turkey
  • 2 c. green beans -- cut into 1" pieces
  • 1 tsp. chicken seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 can evaporated skim milk
  • 1/2 c. sour cream
  • 2/3 c. sliced green onions
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Hot cooked egg noodles

Brown the ground turkey over medium heat. Add the green beans, chicken seasoning and black pepper. Cover and cook an additional 3-5 minutes or until the green beans are crisp-tender.

Add the evaporated skim milk, sour cream and green onions; stir well to mix. Cover and cook until heated through -- 2-4 minutes. Adjust seasonings as desired. Serve immediately over hot cooked egg noodles.

  • Yields: 4 servings
  • Preparation Time: 30 minutes

Pork and Bean Soup

This soup was born out of leftover pork chop that was too big for one person to handle, but a little too small to split between two. Instead, it became part of a tasty soup!
  • 1 pkg. savory herb with garlic soup mix (or 4 c. beef broth)
  • 1/2 c. diced onion
  • 1/2 c. diced red pepper
  • 1 c. green beans -- cut into 1" pieces
  • 1 c. cubed grilled pork
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Prepare the soup mix according to the package directions. Bring the soup to a low boil. Add the onion, pepper and green beans. Cover and boil for 3 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and add the pork and seasonings; cook until heated through. Serve with grilled cheese and tomato sandwiches, if desired.

  • Yields: 4 servings
  • Preparation Time: 30 minutes

Beans and Blueberries

This simple side dish was introduced to me by my husband. When he first suggested the combination of green beans and blueberries, I was skeptical. However, it quickly became a favorite in our household.
  • 4 c. green beans -- cut into 1" pieces
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 T. butter
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1 c. fresh blueberries
  • 2 T. sliced almonds

Bring the green beans to a boil in a saucepan filled with water and 1 teaspoon salt. Steam until crisp-tender -- about 5 minutes. Drain.

Add the butter, pepper and blueberries to the drained beans. Mix gently to combine. Sprinkle the sliced almonds over the top just before serving.

  • Yields: 4-6 servings
  • Preparation Time: 10 minutes