Oven-Fried Green Beans with Chipotle Aioli

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A while back, I spent the weekend in northern VT with my SO, who is finishing his degree in the coldest place on the planet.  I mean, it’s beautiful, and it’s a great school, etc etc etc, but there’s Miami, Hawaii, Cali… what’s wrong with those?  All joking aside, it’s a lovely time, mainly because we pig out.  That’s really all I do on the weekend, but we do it like we are trying to win a prize.  This particular weekend, we went to a spectacular dive to shoot pool, and of course needed to order every appetizer they have on the menu.

And that’s when they entered my life:  Green Bean Fries.

Come on.

I’ve had (and made) fries of all sorts:  carrot, sweet potato, you name it.  But beans?  As fries?  Seriously?  I was skeptical.  And wrong.  These things are so addictive!  Dangerous.  Don’t think that you deserve a pat on the back for choosing green beans on the menu:  these battered-and-deep-fried bunches of goodness are death.  The best part had to be the dipping sauce:  they had this chipotle mayo that was so heavy and spicy and oh oh oh my mouth is literally watering right now.

So, being a formerly extremely heavy gal, I had to figure out how to harness their superpower for good.  I give you: the oven-fried green beans.  Their only breading is parm cheese, so if you’re carb-contious you’re still safe.  And the sauce?  Yup, I got that for you too.  My boo gave it a “hey, when are you making that sauce again?” approval, so you know it’s a win.  Enjoy!


 

Materials:

  •  2 mixing bowls (one can be small)
  • fork
  • non-stick pan
  • cooking spray

Ingredients:

For the green beans:

  • fresh green beans (I didn’t measure… I just grab about 2-3 handfuls)
  • 1 egg
  • minced garlic
  • Parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste

For the chipotle aioli:

  • 3T mayo (I use olive oil-based)
  • 1T lemon juice
  • 1/2 to 1T smoked paprika

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Wash and snap the ends off the green beans.  Pat dry.IMG_6939
  3. In a bowl, mix egg, garlic, salt, and pepper with a fork (like you’re making scrambled eggs).IMG_6942
  4. Dip green beans in egg mixture, shaking off the excess egg.  Place in a non-stick pan (be sure to spray it first).IMG_6943
  5. Coat beans with Parmesan cheese.IMG_6944
  6. Bake for about 12 minutes, or until crisp and golden brown.FullSizeRender
  7. While the beans are baking, mix the mayo, lemon juice, and paprika in a small bowl; IMG_7012set aside.IMG_7013
  8. Serve beans hot with the aioli.  Enjoy!FullSizeRender (1)

 

Oven-Fried Green Beans with Chipotle Aioli

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print

FullSizeRender (2)

Materials:

  •  2 mixing bowls (one can be small)
  • fork
  • non-stick pan
  • cooking spray

Ingredients:

For the green beans:

  • fresh green beans (I didn’t measure… I just grab about 2-3 handfuls)
  • 1 egg
  • minced garlic
  • Parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste

For the chipotle aioli:

  • 3T mayo (I use olive oil-based)
  • 1T lemon juice
  • 1/2 to 1T smoked paprika

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Wash and snap the ends off the green beans.  Pat dry.
  3. In a bowl, mix egg, garlic, salt, and pepper with a fork (like you’re making scrambled eggs).
  4. Dip green beans in egg mixture, shaking off the excess egg.  Place in a non-stick pan (be sure to spray it first).
  5. Coat beans with Parmesan cheese.
  6. Bake for about 12 minutes, or until crisp and golden brown.
  7. While the beans are baking, mix the mayo, lemon juice, and paprika in a small bowl; set aside.
  8. Serve beans hot with the aioli.  Enjoy!

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Courtesy of Cookinglight.com

When I was a little whipper-snapper, all I wanted was a doll that looked like me.  I know what you’re thinking:  a toy-maker could never capture my beauty.  An impossible mission.

Joking aside, I wasn’t all that into the whole Barbie thing, mainly because the gal was a tall, skinny, blue-eyed blonde, and I was, well, pretty much the exact opposite of that:

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Where was I going?  Not sure.  But I was going to be fabulous.

Studies show that girls desire to play with dolls that most mirror themselves, and I was no exeption:  I wanted an olive-skinned, short, dark and curly-haired doll, preferably one with high ambitions and little patience. My poor mother’s best solution was a Native American doll, thinking that the hair and skin would be a closer match than Barbie.

Now, Barbie has launched a new campaign with a wider range of dolls:  there are tall, curvy, and the original skinny B’s with a variety of styles.  But…. what about us average gals?  I know Matel cannot please everyone, but how about a brunette with green eyes, and normal height and weight?  Maybe they thought the most popular combination of female attributes was too obvious…

Anyway, given the way my weight fluctuates the search for the doll in my image is futile.  If they can come up with a doll that is constantly stressed at work, eats like a linebacker, then guilt’s herself into losing the weight a few times a year, I’m game.

Here’s a binge-worthy recipe for you!  I got this recipe from Cooking Light, and it was a HUGE hit at my Superbowl gathering.  I served it slightly warm, with sliced french bread.  Enjoy!


 

Materials:

  • mixing bowl
  • aluminum foil
  • small pot with lid
  • food processor
  • measuring cups and spoons

Ingredients:

  • 1 package of sun-dried tomatoes, not packed in oil
  • 1 c water
  • 1 head of garlic
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 can of white beans, drained
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 c lime juice (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Remove paper coating from garlic.
  3. Cover garlic with olive oil. Wrap garlic in aluminum foil, and roast for about 12 minutes.
  4. While garlic is roasting, place sun-dried tomatoes and water in a small pot.  Boil until tender, about 5 minutes.  Drain.FullSizeRender (5)
  5. Remove garlic head from the oven, carefully popping out the cloves from the shells.FullSizeRender (4)
  6. In a food processor, combine all ingredients.  FullSizeRender (3)
  7. Pulse until well-combined.  It should have the consistency of hummus.FullSizeRender (2)
  8. Serve warm with bread.  Enjoy!FullSizeRender (1)

 

Sun-dried Tomato and Roasted Garlic Dip

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print

Materials:

  • mixing bowl
  • aluminum foil
  • small pot with lid
  • food processor
  • measuring cups and spoons

Ingredients:

  • 1 package of sun-dried tomatoes, not packed in oil
  • 1 c water
  • 1 head of garlic
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 can of white beans, drained
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 c lime juice (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Remove paper coating from garlic.
  3. Cover garlic with olive oil. Wrap garlic in aluminum foil, and roast for about 12 minutes.
  4. While garlic is roasting, place sun-dried tomatoes and water in a small pot.  Boil until tender, about 5 minutes.  Drain.
  5. Remove garlic head from the oven, carefully popping out the cloves from the shells.
  6. In a food processor, combine all ingredients.
  7.  Pulse until well-combined.  It should have the consistency of hummus.
  8. Serve warm with bread.  Enjoy!

White Cheddar Cran Ball

 

Oh, hi.  It’s me.  I hope you had an epically fantastic holiday!  I did, which is partly why I am just now writing, two weeks later.  Whomp whomp.

I spent several bliss-filled days with my two 10-ish-year-old nephews.  and my 8-month old niece. I love spending time with them so much, and get so depressed when I have to drive back to Boston, far, far away from them.  My niece is without a doubt the most adorable baby on the planet, and happens to be the heaviest thing I’ve held since Nam.  Seriously, after Day One of my visit, my biceps were sore.  Why is it that rolls of fat on my niece’s thighs are adorbs, but not so much on my 30-year-old legs?  Oh, the humanity. Continue reading

Caprese Salad Skewers

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How was your Thanksgiving?  I know, you’re over it, right?  That was so last week.  Well, I’ve been completely swamped, and sick, and am finally starting to catch up with y’all.  So, I hope it was wonderful, and full of family drama, arguing over the Macy’s parade vs the football game, and of course a food-induced coma.   Or, maybe you skipped all of the nonsense to hit the stores!  I mean, it’s only a matter of time before our Thanksgiving day will be completely replaced by Brown Thursday, or whatever ridiculous name they come up with.  You know what I’m thankful for?  Amazon prime.   Continue reading

Kale Chips

Oh my me oh my.  I turn 30 in 30 days.  Can you believe?!  Don’t answer that.

Like I said last year, I get very reflective around my birthday.  I tend to look inward a lot this time of year– taking into account where i am in my life, what I have achieved thus far, what I have yet to achieve and still want to, and changes I want to make.  With such a large milestone as this,  I am pretty much in a constant state of self-reflection.  Soon, I will be revisiting my “things to do before 30” list, and see where I’m at.  For now, I am thinking about where I am in my life in a larger sense, and what BIG changes I want to make.  I’ve decided that I need to make some changes in my life, and have put myself on a timeline to really kick myself into gear. Continue reading

Game Day Treats: Cleaned Up Stuffed Mushrooms

It’s been so summery outside, it’s hard to remember that it’s officially football season!  Of course, how could we think of anything else but football with the Tom Brady Deflategate on every freakin channel?  Let me tell you something that I’m sure I’ve already mentioned:  the suffix “-gate” should not be widely-used term for any scandal that comes to light.  Watergate was the name of the hotel.  That’s where the -“gate” name comes from:  so going by that logic, the scandal had to be about water, right?

People are so dumb it hurts.

Speaking of being hurt, I’m so glad it’s football season again.  I love me some football.  And I love being in a city that is obsessed with sports!  I don’t cheer for any of the teams here, but I appreciate the shared sentiment for the sport 🙂   And of course, maybe one of the best parts of Sunday are the endless bounds of finger foods.  Winning.
Mushrooms: love them or hate them. I think they are a bonus in a dish, but others can barely be in the same room as them. Then, you stuff them and all of a sudden they are deemed delicious by all. Hmm…
Anyway, every recipe I’ve read uses cream cheese, which totally flabbergasts me. Cream cheese?  Really?  That grosses me out, and I can’t express why.  I’ve been making my simple, incredible recipe for years, and I’ve never thought of using cream cheese. My recipe is healthy, but packs a punch of strong, hearty flavors. It’s a huge crowd-pleaser, and doesn’t weigh you down, so you have room for more chicken wings and pizza for the night games.

Materials:

  • oven-proof dish
  • cooking spray
  • food processor
  • spoon

Ingredients:

  • 10-12 baby portabella mushrooms
  • 1/4 c sun-dried tomatoes (I prefer packed in oil)
  • 1/4 c breadcrumbs
  • 1/3 c Parmesan cheese
  • black pepper to taste
  • splash of red wine vinegar (optional)
  • dried parsley (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Remove stems from mushrooms, and place the stems in the food processor.  DO NOT throw the stems away!
  3. Spray dish with cooking spray, and place mushroom caps, face up, in the dish.
  4. Place all other ingredients in the food processor.  Pulse until well-blended.  You’re looking for a thick, gritty, wet sand consistency.IMG_5769
  5. Spoon mixture into mushroom caps.FullSizeRender (1)
  6. Bake for about 10 minutes.
  7. Enjoy!image1

Cleaned Up Stuffed Mushrooms

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print

Materials:

FullSizeRender (3)

  • oven-proof dish
  • cooking spray
  • food processor
  • spoon

Ingredients:

  • 10-12 baby portabella mushrooms
  • 1/4 c sun-dried tomatoes (I prefer packed in oil)
  • 1/4 c breadcrumbs
  • 1/3 c Parmesan cheese
  • black pepper to taste
  • splash of red wine vinegar (optional)
  • dried parsley (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Remove stems from mushrooms, and place the stems in the food processor.  DO NOT throw the stems away!
  3. Spray dish with cooking spray, and place mushroom caps, face up, in the dish.
  4. Place all other ingredients in the food processor.  Pulse until well-blended.  You’re looking for a thick, gritty, wet sand consistency.
  5. Spoon mixture into mushroom caps.
  6. Bake for about 10 minutes.
  7. Enjoy!

The Best Fruit Salsa

The end of August already?! If I wasn’t surrounded by UHauls for the annual College Move-In Weekend, I wouldn’t believe it. I did not take full advantage of the summer. In June I make all of these grand plans for the summer- lots of beach time, hiking, kayaking, going to baseball games- and every September I feel like I wasted pretty much every weekend doing none of the above. Oh well, always next summer, right?

My 30 days project of tracking all of my food intake hit a speed bump during my vacation. At an all-inclusive resort, you really don’t want to know just how much you’re eating, right? You just pay for it when you get back.
Speaking of my expanding waistline, I have decided to give my 30 workouts in 30 days project another shot. Now that I know how tough it is, I think I can do it.  Hopefully September will prove to be more successful than July, and I’ll be able to reverse some of my over-indulgence from my trip.

As a salute to the end of summer (and needing to get my digestive system back on track), I have a wonderful, colorful, insanely delicious snack:  fruit salsa.  This is a simple recipe, and was a big hit with my test crowd.  The fresh basil really makes this dish, so don’t skip out!  I have included instructions on how to cut the basil leaves into ribbons.  Enjoy!


Materials:

  • large bowl and spoon
  • cutting board and knife

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 to 1/2 watermelon, cubed
  • 1 quart strawberries, cubed
  • 1 large cucumber, cubed
  • 1/3 onion cubed (I used onion powder for this)
  • 10-15 basil leaves
  • juice from 1 lime (about 1/4c)
  • paprika and salt to taste
  • pita or tortilla chips, for serving

Directions:

  1. Dice all fruit and cucumber into bite-size pieces. IMG_5554
  2. Stack basil leave on top of each other.  Tightly roll them together and hold.  IMG_5557With your free hand, thinly slice the leaf bunch.  This will make basil leaf ribbons.  IMG_5556
  3. Mix basil leaves, lime juice, and spices in with the fruit. IMG_5560
  4. Serve with your favorite chips.  Enjoy!

image2


The Best Fruit Salsa

  • Servings: 2 quarts
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print

Materials:

image1

  • large bowl and spoon
  • cutting board and knife

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 to 1/2 watermelon, cubed
  • 1 quart strawberries, cubed
  • 1 large cucumber, cubed
  • 1/3 onion cubed (I used onion powder for this)
  • 10-15 basil leaves
  • juice from 1 lime (about 1/4c)
  • paprika and salt to taste
  • pita or tortilla chips, for serving

Directions:

  1. Dice all fruit and cucumber into bite-size pieces.
  2. Stack basil leave on top of each other.  Tightly roll them together and hold.  With your free hand, thinly slice the leaf bunch.  This will make basil leaf ribbons.
  3. Mix basil leaves, lime juice, and spices in with the fruit.
  4. Serve with your favorite chips.  Enjoy!