Green Beans: Abundant, Affordable, Appetizing

It's easy being green with today's Spicy Green Beans recipe. An abundant and economical summer crop, green beans (also called string beans) are a good source of potassium. This nutrient helps to maintain body fluid movement, improve cell production, and even control blood pressure and other heart-related concerns. Iron, also found in green beans, helps muscles to store oxygen and aids red blood cells in circulating oxygen. Green beans also provide niacin and thiamine, plus carotenoids like lutein, beta-carotene, violaxanthin, and neoxanthin, according to the George Mateljan Foundation.

Preparation: 5 minutes. Cooking: 5 minutes
Per Serving: 70 calories, 2.7 grams of fat, 226.1 mg of sodium
Serves two. Serving Size: half a cup.


1 tsp., vegetable oil
½ lb., green beans, ends trimmed, chopped into bite-size pieces
2 cloves, garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp., soy sauce
1 tsp., Sambal Oelek chili paste (or 2 tsp., chili flakes)
1 tsp., ginger, grated
1 tsp., lemon juice


  • Add the vegetable oil to a frying pan on medium heat. Once it's hot, add the green beans. Let them cook undisturbed for about 1 minute.
  • Mix the garlic, soy sauce, and sambal oelek in a bowl (and the ginger and lemon juice, if using). The beans should have turned bright green. Add about ¼ cup of water to the pan. Cook another 2 minutes, until the water is mostly gone.
  • Pour the sauce into the pan and toss gently to coat.
  • Cook another 2 minutes, until everything is fragrant and most of the liquid is gone. Poke the beans with a fork: if it goes through easily, they're done. They should take about 5 minutes.
  • Taste. If you like add more chili paste or soy sauce.

This recipe comes from Good and Cheap by Leanne Brown, 2014, Creative Commons 4.0 license.

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