Gingery Green Beans for St. Patrick’s Day

March 17th, 2018

I wanted to call this “Cooking String Beans by the Strings of your Apron,”  but it was too long to use as a title. Nevertheless, I did want to introduce the idea of putting together a dish without explicit amounts, especially dishes with a lot of leeway, that is, a little more of something or a little less of something else does not hurt the results. Coincidentally, I did not measure the ingredients for this recipe until I made it a second time before going away, so it is a perfect choice for me to introduce the concept and be able to back it up with the actual list of ingredients.

First, while string beans may not be on the 10 heart-healthy food list on my Home Page, green beans contain nutrients worth mentioning.  I would not consider them a super-food, but they have a place in my recipes because they are quick cooking, flavorful, and can be used hot or cold.

Below the recipe is a listing* I found from typing the “nutritional value of green beans” in my address bar.

Gingery Green Beans 

Utensils: Cutting board and knife, strainer, pot for cooking (with a steamer, optional), bowl and serving platter
Prep. Time: About 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 5-7 minutes
Categories: Vegan (V), Gluten-Free (GF), No Sugar Added (NSA)

About 8 oz. of green beans
Fresh ginger slices
Salt & Pepper to taste
Water or stock (aboput 1/2 inch in pot)
About 2 tsp. Olive oil
Sesame seeds

1. Wash the green beans and drain in the strainer. Then cut off stem tips, the ends attached to the plant, not the pointed tips, and cut beans into thirds or halves, depending on how long they are.

2. Place cut beans in a large pot with 2″ of water or stock, either in a steamer rack or  directly in about the 2″ of water or stock. (To cut down prep time, bring water to a boil while you are preparing the beans.) Add ginger slices to water/stock.

3. Cook beans about 5-7 minutes, depending on how thick they are and how crunchy tender you like them. They should keep their dark green color and not change to an olive-green shade.

4. Drain and place in a bowl with  2 tsp. olive oil (or other oil of your choice) and toss, adding salt and pepper to taste. (Feel free to keep the ginger slices with the beans, or not.)
5. Sprinkle on sesame seeds and serve immediately.
Serves 4-6, depending on what you have for a main course and if you have salad.
Note: Any leftover green beans can be refrigerated and added to a cold salad or stew or soup the next day.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

* Nutrition Facts

Amount Per
Calories 31
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0.1 g 0%
Saturated fat 0 g 0%
Polyunsaturated fat 0.1 g
Monounsaturated fat 0 g
Cholesterol 0 mg 0%
Sodium 6 mg 0%
Potassium 209 mg 5%
Total Carbohydrate 7 g 2%
Dietary fiber 3.4 g 13%
Protein 1.8 g 3%
Vitamin A 2% Vitamin C 27%
Calcium 3% Iron 5%
Vitamin D 0% Vitamin B-6 5%
Vitamin B-12 0% Magnesium 6%
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Pre-Figured Skates by Mary Lou Meyers

March 13th, 2018
Photo by Sue Meyers, Mary Lou’s Daughter
Like Sky Writer’s on Ice,
I still see their forms and figures,
pointe and pirouette, leaping
tour en l’air triggered their scripts
aided by Music of the Spheres
with figure eights and valentines,
barely touching the scarred ice
of McGuillvrey’s Pond.
Weaving in and out of our doubts
when we saw shadows
with symphonic shifts of ice, they
richly endowed with skirts high-born
above brave legs
defied even the coldest days
uniting our scattered Beings into
something rich and meaningful.
Plain and unadorned, but seemly,
we praised their exalted forms,
while we shivered and quaked
with hockey skates,
their buoyant lives reborn
each time they escaped to the ice.
Our still born thoughts
grounded in doubts
barely propelled us;
even our body heat
steeped in blankets
gave us no relief;
while our insular lives
concave at best
kept repeating themselves——
magnified by bulky sweaters
and heavy-duty legs
our earth-bound futures
were ready-made;
soon to be wives and mothers
a poor excuse
for these anointed figures
held in space with singular grace
vaulting to such lofty heights.
Soon to be defaced
by the lost luster
with their concrete futures