As a child I had a confusing relationship with green beans. Every summer, as soon as the green beans were ready I would sit in my parent’s garden and snack on them raw. It’s still one of my favorite ways to eat them. However, at the dinner table, often canned or cooked too soft for my taste, I would refuse to eat them or try to hide them in the cat food bowl. My parents still act surprised that I love green beans. The truth is that it’s one of my all time favorite vegetables. Even after our rocky start.
I notice a similarity in many children I cook for. Children often love either raw or lightly cooked vegetables. And without a doubt, children like vegetables more often cooked fresh, not leftover. Sometimes they prefer fresh, not frozen. Have you noticed this? I cooked for one boy when I lived in Austin, TX, who loved broccoli, but only if it was lightly cooked. Not too raw, not too soft. I often wonder if they have an innate ability to tell which cooking styles bring out the most nutrients.
I found some tender, local green beans this week at my local co-op. If you have green beans such as these, eat them raw or lightly blanched. They are very portable and make a great kid snack.
I believe it’s a heck of a lot easier to put more vegetables on the table when we have super simple “recipes”. I want you to be able to fly through the kitchen without having to use up time looking up a recipe. This recipe for Saucy Green Beans follows this same philosophy. Leave the beans long or cut into bite size pieces depending on what you think your family will like. Of course they are delicious either way.
Saucy Green Beans
1 pound green beans, tips cut off
1/2 to 3/4 cup of your favorite kid-friendly tomato sauce, preferably low salt and sugar-free ( I love our local Sweet Creek brand.)
- Heat a medium size skillet with a few tablespoons of water. As soon as the water is simmering, add the green beans and water saute for a few minutes.
- Stir in the tomato sauce. Cover. Let simmer until the green beans are barely tender. Add a tablespoon of water while the beans are cooking if the sauce seems like it is getting too thick.
- Remove from heat and serve.
These beans would be lovely served with a little of the vegan parmesan from Minimalist Baker that I used in the last post. I love having a variety of dressings and sprinkles to pull out at meals. It adds spark to a dish and children love having a little extra something special to add.
A jar of tomato sauce is a staple that is always in my pantry or refrigerator.
More green bean recipes: