The summer before we married, we worked up the old pig yard at the farm and planted a huge garden. I canned tomatoes, peas, carrots, pickles…and about 50 quarts of green beans, which turned out to be literally life-saving that winter.  A car accident in October left me in the hospital for a couple of months. I was in a wheelchair when we got married on New Year’s Eve, followed by several months on crutches.  My husband went back to school and I learned how to cook on an extremely tight budget. Enter the green beans. With the help of cheap eggs, cheap rice, cheap lemon juice, and cheap garlic, our green beans became a regular feature of our student lifestyle. Filling, satisfying, and did I mention cheap?

I’ve been waiting to post this till we had enough fresh beans from the garden to make it. You can easily substitute canned beans if you reduce the cooking time. We’ve moved away from rice and are able to switch it out for quinoa most of the time, but you can also serve the beans on top of rice or couscous. It’s good alone too, served with fish or chicken to highlight the lemon.

— Joan, 30 August 2017

rinsed beans

Green Beans & Quinoa

  • 1 lb. fresh green beans, cleaned and trimmed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • ¼ c. lemon juice, fresh or bottled
  • 2 eggs, beaten well
  • ½ c. good Parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • cooked quinoa, rice or couscous for serving

Heat the olive oil and butter together till butter melts. Stir in the crushed garlic and green beans, then cover and cook over low heat till beans are tender, about 25 minutes. (Adjust cooking time to about 5 minutes if using canned beans.) Stir in the lemon juice, cover and simmer for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the eggs. The residual heat will cook them. Stir till it’s creamy, then mix in the Parmesan cheese. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately over hot quinoa, rice or couscous, or as an accompaniment to fish or chicken.


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