Friday, April 26, 2013

Fast Friday: Sesame garlic green beans

Blink and you might have missed most of this week.  It's been a busy one and yet seemed to draaaaaaag onnnnn foreverrrrrrr.  On top of that, I had day-later syndrome -- bad -- and couldn't shake it.  All of that said, I'm so thankful it's Friday because there is big stuff on my agenda this weekend that I've been looking forward to for what seems like years.  Two of my very best friends are getting hitched!  #juliebryanwedding  Get it trending, people of Pittsburgh. ;o)

Festivities begin tonight with the rehearsal and dinner at Sonoma Grille.  I've heard great things about that place for ages but never visited, so Matt and I are stoked.  The wedding is Saturday (and the weather forecast is very promising!), and there is a brunch on Sunday morning.  In other words, we'll be eating, drinking, and celebrating like royalty for nearly 48 hours.  My bridesmaid dress and shoes are ready, and I could not be more excited.  Pictures to come on Monday!

Since it's been a busy week, dinners have been quick and easy fixes.  Set it and forget it wild rice and bean casserole, grilled chicken salads, Mexican night out, and dill salmon with green beans.  But, not just any green beans...

Sesame garlic green beans with chopped almonds!  And, would you believe it all started with a bag of frozen cut green beans?  Believe it, sister.  And brother.  I'm telling the whole truth and nothing but the truth. 

Wanting to jazz up plain green beans, I went searching through the pantry on a mission.  Garlic always sounds good.  And some salt and pepper.  Ooh, and how about that rarely used bottle of sesame oil?  That'd give the beans a nice finish reminiscent of an Asian restaurant.  And, to finish, some chopped almonds to pay homage to one of the most popular green bean dishes out there -- green bean almondine. 

While I'd never expect this to compare with the offerings at a five star restaurant, I've gotta say that this was pretty darn delicious!  Considering it came together in under 10 minutes, wasn't planned, and started with very humble ingredients.  I loved the nutty toasted flavor of sesame seeds and how it paired with the garlic so nicely.  The crunch from the almonds was a nice touch, too!

And, by the time this post goes live, I will have made this dish a second time, too.  Frozen vegetables are picked at the peak of their growing season and are fresh and packed with flavor.  Believe it!

Enjoy your weekend and good eats, everyone!  I'll be in wedding land for the majority of it and can barely contain my excitement.  #juliebryanwedding  Love is in the air! :o)

Three years ago: Lemony zucchini with thyme and parmesan

Sesame Garlic Green Beans with Almonds
(an original recipe!)
-serves 4 as a side

1 pound frozen cut green beans
1 Tablespoon sesame oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup almonds, roughly chopped
Ground black pepper

In a large skillet on medium high heat, add oil.  Once oil is warm, add green beans.  Toss to coat with oil and cook for 7 to 9 minutes, stirring occasionally, until beans are warmed through.  Add garlic and toss to mix, cooking for 1 minute or until garlic is fragrant.  Add almonds, salt, and pepper to taste.  Serve and enjoy!

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