August 13, 2009 at 7:56 a.m.

Sauce up your green beans

Sauce up your green beans
Sauce up your green beans

For the past 5 weeks or so I've given you fruit recipes, so now I'm going to do veggie recipes for a few weeks. There's nothing quite so good as home grown veggies and fruit in the spring, summer and autumn in our part of the world. Granted, we can't raise everything in Minnesota, but we come close.

When I grew up on our little farm in St. Anthony Village, we had a huge, huge garden with a variety of veggies, plus apples, plums, raspberries and strawberries. We raised lots of cabbage, green beans, potatoes, corn and more. In the fall Dad would get the horse and wagon ready to deliver the veggies to the little grocery stores in northeast Minneapolis. I always went with and was first to hop down from the seat and go into the store. Why? Because the man behind the counter always opened the big jar of candy and I could help myself to, not one, but four or five pieces. How good was that! And I didn't have to use the pennies my dad gave me for riding along. Many people bought corn from us and Mom took care of that. People would call to order corn but Mom never picked it until they drove in the yard. Talk about fresh!

And so, it's about green beans today...with other veggie recipes to come. I have a Farm Journal cookbook written in 1961 that has a lot of delicious recipes for any category of food. Some of these recipes are from that book and they are every bit as good now as they were forty-eight years ago!

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CHEESY GREEN BEANS

4 c. fresh green beans, snipped and cut or 2-one lb. cans green beans, drained

1 can cream of mushroom or cream of celery soup

1/2 c. grated Cheddar cheese

Cook beans until tender; drain. In a bowl, combine beans and soup, mixing well. Turn into a buttered 1-1/2 qt. casserole dish. Top with cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until bubbly.

Makes 6 servings.

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GREEN BEANS AND

PIMIENTO

2-1/2 c. fresh green beans, snipped and cut or 2-10 oz. pkg. frozen beans

1/4 to 1/2 c. french or Italian salad dressing

1 small pimiento pepper, diced or 1 small sweet red pepper, diced (about 1/2 c.)

1/4 t. salt

Cook fresh beans until tender. Or cook frozen beans according to pkg. directions; drain. Add pimiento and salt; toss gently to mix. Serve hot.

Makes 6 servings.

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ITALIAN GREEN BEANS WITH SOUR CREAM

3-1/2 c. fresh Italian green beans, snipped and cut or 3-9 oz. pkg. frozen Italian green beans

1-4 oz. can mushrooms, drained, save the liquid

1/4 c. green onions, sliced 1/4-inch thick

2 T. each, butter and flour

1/2 t. salt

1 c. sour cream

Cook fresh beans until tender, about 15 minutes; drain or cook frozen beans following pkg. directions; drain. Meanwhile, in a small pan, saute mushrooms and onion in butter 1 minute. Stir in flour and salt. Slowly add mushroom liquid, stirring constantly. Stir in sour cream and heat to almost boiling, stirring. (If you boil the mixture, it will curdle.) Add creamed mixture to green beans and toss gently. Serve hot.

Makes 6 servings.

Note: You can prepare this dish ahead of time. Put it in a 2 qt. casserole dish. Refrigerate. Take out of fridge and let sit 15 minutes. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes. Also, you can substitute regular green beans for the broad Italian beans.

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SAUCY GREEN BEAN BAKE

4 c. fresh green beans, snipped, bias-sliced in 1-inch pieces (1 lb. beans)

1/2 c. diced onion

1/3 c. diced green pepper

1 medium clove garlic, minced

2 T. butter or margarine

1-8 oz. can tomato sauce (I use no-salt tomato sauce)

2 T. diced pimiento or sweet red pepper

1-1/2 t. prepared mustard

1/8 t. each, salt and pepper

3/4 c. shredded Cheddar or Jack cheese

Cook beans in water for 15-20 minutes or till tender; drain. In a saucepan, saute onion, green pepper and garlic in butter till tender but not brown. Remove from heat; stir in tomato sauce, pimiento, mustard, salt and pepper. Add beans. Turn into a 1 qt. casserole dish. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until heated through. Sprinkle cheese atop casserole. Bake, uncovered for 3 minutes more or till cheese is melted.

Makes 6-8 servings.

TFD: Veggies are a must on a diet, eat carrot cake, Zucchini cake, bread or Pumpkin pie. Some diet, huh!

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