Green Bean Almondine
Yield: 4 servings
3 cups (705 ml) water
1 pound (454 g) fresh green beans, ends trimmed
2 tablespoons (28 g) vegan butter or olive oil
8 ounces (227 g) sliced button or cremini mushrooms
2 tablespoons (30 g) minced garlic
salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 cup (27 g) slivered or sliced almonds
1/4 cup (25 g) imitation bacon bits (store-bought or home-made, recipe below)
In your largest frying pan, add the water and bring to a boil (you can add a pinch of salt to the water if you choose). Add the beans and boil for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat, drain, and set aside.
Dry the pan and add the butter. Melt the butter over high heat. Add the mushrooms, onion, and garlic. Sauté until the mushrooms have reduced in size by half, about 7 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add the almonds and bacon bits. Cook for 2 minutes longer. Add the green beans. Toss to coat, and cook for 3 to 5 minutes longer.
I love a challenge, so when asked about the hydrogenated fats in imitation bacon bits, I started on a quest. I normally don’t buy premade meat analogs anyway, so why not figure out how to make these little bits of bacon-y goodness on my own? Of course, buying a jar of Bac-Os is still the easiest. But, if you are a smidge adventurous, try this.
1 scant cup (205 ml) water
1 cup (100 g) TVP granules
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons (30 ml) liquid smoke
3 tablespoons (45 ml) canola or other vegetable oil
Bring the water to a boil, pour over the TVP granules mixed with the salt, mix in the liquid smoke, cover, and let sit for 10 minutes.
Preheat a frying pan with the oil. Add the reconstituted TVP to the pan and toss to make sure it all gets coated with oil. Panfry until desired crispness. Stir often. You don’t necessarily want to brown them, but rather dry them out, about 10 minutes.
Allow to cool completely before transferring to an airtight container. Store in the refrigerator. Should last at least a week, but probably much longer.
Yield: About 1 cup (100 g)
Recipes excerpted from The Best Veggie Burgers on the Planet by Joni Marie Newman. (Fair Winds Press, 2011)