Blue Cheese-Walnut Green Beans

Community Sponsored Agriculture continued…

As you may know, Rachell and I participate in a community sponsored agriculture project by South Coast Farms.  The program itself is a GREAT way to support our LOCAL farmers and a good way to reduce our (chemical) footprint, not to mention the added benefits from eating healthy.  Enough with the rant, if you’re still reading than its safe to say you’re intrigued.

So every other week we are scheduled to pick up a box of fresh “organic” produce.  Really fantastic.  Prior to delivery, South Coast Farms sends out a reminder email along with recipes for the produce delivered.  It’s nothing big, but I feel that it’s an interactive way to get involved with the community and support your craft (I applauded them for the effort).

So the other night we decided to have a go with it: Blue Cheese-Walnut Green Beans. YUM!

Participation with our CSA supports local Californian produce, reduces emissions used to transport foods from out of state and (being organic) reduces the chemical output of the agriculture industry.  Yes, I know, the steak may very well offset any reduced emissions from the local veggies but the point is to acknowledge local farms with fresh seasonal produce and a GREAT meal!

Blue Cheese Walnut Green Beans

*Tender-crisp green beans tossed with creamy blue cheese and topped with toasted walnuts pair well with grilled steak or chicken.

4 servings, about 1 cup each | Active Time: 20 minutes | Total Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound green beans, trimmed
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/3 cup crumbled blue cheese
  • 1/3 cup toasted chopped walnuts , (see Tip)

Preparation:

Bring green beans and water to a boil in a large skillet. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook until the beans are just tender, 3 minutes. Uncover and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the water has evaporated, 3 to 4 minutes more.

Add oil, salt and pepper to the pan and cook, stirring, 1 minute more. Transfer the beans to a large bowl and toss with blue cheese until well coated. Sprinkle each serving with walnuts.

Nutrition:

Per serving : 163 Calories; 12 g Fat; 3 g Sat; 4 g Mono; 8 mg Cholesterol; 10 g Carbohydrates; 6 g Protein; 4 g Fiber; 302 mg Sodium; 233 mg Potassium; 1/2 Carbohydrate Serving; Exchanges: 1 vegetable, 1/2 high-fat meat, 2 fat

Tips & Notes:

Toast chopped or sliced nuts, stir constantly in a small dry skillet over medium-low heat until fragrant and lightly browned, 2 to 4 minutes.

Sweet Peas – Part I

At my bridal shower this past summer I received an envelope from my aunt, the green-thumb.  The contents were seeds from her sweet pea plant.  I was touched since I long to be the urban farmer (and gardener).  I could not wait until the beginning of the New Year so that I could plant my own sweet pea plants. 

Our current residence does not have a lavish open space to sow the seeds directly.  In fact, our apartment has a concrete patio, the luxuries of a renter’s life.  Therefore our little space is filled with pots of various sizes and contents. 

Last weekend, I planted my first sweet pea seeds into little starter pots. I picked up these biodegradable pots at the local Osh, filled them with a mixture of organic dirt and our homemade compost (courtesy of our vermi-compost) and set them in the sun to bath in the warmth of the day. 

My aunt’s directions were pretty simple, so I turned to a book that I own that has chapter on how to grow sweet peas.  Per its instructions, I started the seeds inside with newspaper on top and made sure the soil was always moist.  Within a week they had already sprouted! I have to say that the unusually warm weather probably helped.  

I am not moving the seedlings outside just yet—I am going to wait until they sprout a few leaves.  But I cannot wait for the sweet smelling flowers to begin to bloom! Stay tuned for the next step—planting the seedlings outside (and attempting to create some sort of teepee).

Until next time,
Rachell A. Wilfert

Pictures:

Links:

VermiComposting for the Household