i’ve never liked green beans, and yet they’re so cheap, and so good for you, so i challenged myself to create a recipe that would make me fall in love with them. i was determined, and tried a lot of recipes. i pretty much guarantee you that this one will make you like green beans. and it’s not mushy overcooked beans swimming in a can of over-salted soup aka the dreaded green bean casserole.
my recipe is a creative twist on the French classic green bean almondine. it’s light, but rich and satisfying at the same time. buttery, lemony, garlicky, cheesy, crunchy, nutty.
the key is not to over-boil the beans, so they’re still crunchy and a bright green, and you benefit from their amazing nutritional benefits listed below. the sauce is so more-ish. it makes you want more and more of them. i’ve never seen my husband rave about anything green, but he loves the crunchy roasted almonds in this, and the buttery lemony garlic flavor. little does he know the lemon zest, garlic, and almonds are incredibly healthy (scroll down for health benefits).
before i start cooking, i shred the cheese and chop the nuts in my new Empire Red KitchenAid 11-Cup Food Processor. i’m so in love with it. i’ve been wanting to get one forever, and it’s even more than useful than i expected. i even make cake batter and frosting in it! and it’s so pretty and matches my other red retro looking appliances 😉
in these pics, i grind and shred enough almonds and cheese for 4 lbs of beans. cos that’s how i roll. because i use a lot of nuts, i buy them in bulk at Costco. more cost-effective and i stock up my pantry, so i have some on hand for baking my cinnamon sweet + salty superfood granola.
i also buy the organic trimmed beans at Costco, and i buy 2 packs at a time, so i can make two dishes. i always recommend buying in bulk, and making more than you need to make it easier on yourself. that’s why Costco is awesome. for example if you’re going to be making beans one monday and the next one, process enough cheese and nuts ahead of time so you only have to do it once.
speaking of monday, this is a great inexpensive, delicious, and healthy dish for meatless monday. i eat mostly vegetarian, so i usually pair this with wild rice, and it’s delicious. for leftovers, i just heat up the rice and the beans together in a cast iron skillet with some butter and salt, sprinkle more cheese, and crispy onions on top, and voila you’re done for another meal! or serve it as a side with fish, chicken, or meat.
for the nuts, i use the multi-purpose blade. for the hard cheese, the medium shredder.
thankfully this recipe even turned my baby onto green beans, as they are a wonderfully nutritious finger food for her. once she hit 12 months, i let her try the nut-laced sauce on them, so she gets used to complex flavors, and doesn’t become a picky eater like some kids.
healthy doesn’t have to taste bland and healthy! i like my healthy to taste like comfort food.
green beans– high in cholesterol lowering fiber. rich source of vitamins A, B, C and K, and carotenoids- antioxidant compounds that fight free radicals associated with aging and disease. they also contain folate, thiamin, riboflavin, iron, magnesium and potassium. folate helps with depression, sleep, mood, and prevents neural tube defects in babies, so it’s important for pre-conception and pregnancy diets. vitamin K improves bone health by improving calcium absorption.
garlic- has antibacterial, antifungal properties, is used to treat various cancers and heart conditions, contains the sulfur compound allicin which has potent medicinal benefits. may be effective in slowing the development of atherosclerosis. boosts the immune system, helps to prevent and reduce severity of colds and flus, reduces high blood pressure, improves cholesterol levels. is very rich in vitamin C, vitamin B6 and manganese, contain antioxidants that protect against aging and cell damage, and may prevent alzheimer’s and dementia.
almonds- high in antioxidant vitamin E, boost vitamin E levels in your blood, have lots of copper, magnesium, protein, riboflavin, and l-carnitine, high in healthy unsaturated fatty acids, help lower LDL cholesterol, help protect artery walls from damage, help reduce your risk of heart disease, help prevent diabetes by lowering blood sugar and insulin, alkalize the body.
lemon peel- regulates blood pressure, helps fights against cancer, maintains bone strength, provides high hygiene and health of the oral cavity, helps to reduce weight, prevents overgrowth of parasites and intestinal worms, protects against fungal bacterial infections. has a strong anti-depressive effect, helps with cystitis and tumors, decreases cholesterol levels in the body due to the presence of polyphenol flavonoids.