40 Shades of Green Salad

40 Shades of Green Salad

It’s almost St. Patrick’s Day! That makes me happy. I happen to particularly enjoy St. Patrick’s Day, but I have yet to meet for an excuse for a party that I didn’t like. That and I’m Irish (thanks ma and da). I have some traditional (Mama CC made/approved) and not so traditional things in store for the week. Unfortunately, my celebrations can’t begin until I’m done with midterms. Hopefully dreams of potatoes and whiskey will be enough to see me through…

This salad is definitely not your stereotypical Irish fare. It’s light and healthy and vegan actually, the exact opposite of meat and potatoes.  It would be a great starter for any dinner party. It would definitely help balance out any and all corned beef and whiskey that might be consumed. I was actually surprised by how much I enjoyed this salad. I really like salads with multiple lettuces and this had a great mixture. The crispy, cool iceberg, peppery arugula, soft butter, and some spinach just because. They all really worked together and made each bite interesting. I basically opened the fridge and grabbed anything green. It worked out to be a festive little number and perfect early spring lunch.

Johnny Cash wrote a song “Forty Shades of Green,” which I am a bit embarrassed to say that I only discovered yesterday. My Ireland born, Johnny Cash-loving father will be so disappointed. I remember flying into Dublin when I was younger, and shockingly, it wasn’t raining. I think she was trying to get me to shut up, but my mother told me to try to count the 40 shades of green out the window and that’s been the only connotation I’ve ever known until yesterday. 


40 Shades of Green Salad


For the Cilantro Lime Dressing: 

  • 2-3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 1-2 Tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons grainy Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tablespoon cilantro, finely chopped
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
For the Salad:
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • 2 cups arugula
  • 2 cups butter lettuce
  • 1/4 head iceberg lettuce, finely chopped
  • 1 bunch (about 8) green onions, chopped
  • 1/4 pound green beans, trimmed, blanched and cut in half
  • 1 avocado, pitted and diced


For the Cilantro Lime Dressing: 

  1. In a small bowl, combine all the vinaigrette ingredients and whisk until thoroughly blended.
For the Salad:
  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the lettuces, green onions, and green onions. Gently toss the greens thoroughly with about 3 tablespoons of the vinaigrette. Place the greens onto six salad plates (white looks nice), arranging any of the little pieces that have fallen to the bottom of the bowl on top.
  2. Place several pieces of the diced avocado on each plate. Lightly drizzle with a bit more vinaigrette. Serve immediately.

Gluten-Free Green Bean Casserole

Gluten Free Green Bean Casserole

Normally I am super into Thanksgiving. It’s usually one of my favorite holidays of the whole year. This year I am a Thanksgiving Grinch. I just cannot get into it. I blame christmas, which I am a normal Grinch about. Christmas needs to stop encroaching on other perfectly good holidays… That being said Thanksgiving still has to be dealt with.

When I was much younger and naive and still excited over Thanksgiving, about two weeks ago, I tested out a few potential recipes. This green been casserole was an instant winner. It is a relatively easy recipe. The most time consuming part is coating and cooking the onions, but they are well worth the effort. I would highly recommend making some extra onions while you are at it. A number of mine managed to disappear before I assembled the dish. They are quite tasty and very snackable.

Gluten Free Green Bean Casserole


Gluten-Free Green Bean Casserole

  • Olive oil nonstick cooking spray
  • 1 large (12-ounce) onion, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices and separated into rings
  • 5 Tablespoon all-purpose flour (I used Better Batter.)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 1/2 pounds green beans, trimmed
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 1 large shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 container (10-ounce) sliced cremini or white mushrooms
  • 1 cup reduced-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup milk
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line large cookie sheet with foil; spray with nonstick spray.
  2. In bowl, toss onion with 2 tablespoons flour and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Spread onion in single layer on prepared foil; spray onion with nonstick spray. Bake 14 minutes; toss to rearrange, then spray again. Bake 15 minutes or until crisp.
  3. Meanwhile, in 5-quart saucepot, heat 3 quarts water to boiling on high. Add beans and cook, uncovered, 5 minutes or until tender-crisp. Drain beans in colander; rinse under cold water. Drain.
  4. In 4-quart saucepan, melt margarine on medium. Add shallot; cook 2 minutes, stirring. Add mushrooms; cook 7 to 8 minutes or until tender, stirring often. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, and 3 tablespoons flour; cook 1 minute. Add broth and milk; heat to boiling on high, stirring. Reduce heat to low; cook 2 minutes. Add beans.
  5. Transfer mixture to 2-quart baking dish; bake 15 minutes. Stir mixture; top with onion. Bake 5 minutes or until sauce is bubbly.

Sweet and Spicy Green Beans

This recipe is delicious. I love green beans, so I’m always excited to find new ways to serve them. These beans had the perfect blend of sweet and spice and were beyond tasty. I think that this sauce would be great with nearly any kind of vegetable you would want to sauté, like asparagus, onions, broccoli, bell peppers, or whatever else does it for you. I served these green beans up with a vaguely Asian-inspired meal, but they would be a great side to spice up nearly any meal. They would be great with meatloaf or burgers and they are pretty good cold as well.

If you can’t find chili garlic sauce, you can just use regular Sriracha sauce and add as much minced garlic as you like.

And yes, I know I broke every rule of food photography in this one, but with the sun going down so early now, I have to start cooking dinner at 10 am to get good lighting. In the mean time, we will all have to just deal with horrible pictures. Luckily the recipe more than makes up for the photo quality.

Sweet and Spicy Green Beans (from allrecipes.com)

  • 3/4 pound fresh green beans, trimmed
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon garlic chili sauce (like this)
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 2 teaspoons canola oil
  1. Arrange a steamer basket in a pot over boiling water, and steam the green beans 3 to 4 minutes.
  2. In a bowl, mix the soy sauce, garlic, garlic chili sauce, and honey.
  3. Heat the canola oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the green beans, and fry for 3 to 5 minutes. Pour in the soy sauce mixture. Continue cooking and stirring 2 minutes, or until the liquid is nearly evaporated. Serve immediately.

Green Beans with Hazelnuts & Blue Cheese

This recipe combines, what are probably, my 3 favorite foods. Green beans. Blue Cheese. Hazelnuts. What’s not to love? The other great thing about this recipe is that it’s ready, prep to table, in under 10 minutes. It will probably take more effort to fight for seconds thirds, than it will to make.

These green beans would make a great side dish for Thanksgiving or even a late summer barbecue. Now, I know blue cheese is not everyone’s personal favorite. I happen to be a bit obsessed with it. The stinkier the better. I used a really delicious gorgonzola for this, but I am sure it would be just as tasty with a milder blue in case you are sharing a dish with someone, who for some unfathomable reason doesn’t like blue cheese that much.

Green Beans with Hazelnuts and Blue Cheese (from this recipe)

  • 2 pounds green beans, trimmed
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons butter
  • 3/2 cup whole hazelnuts
  • 3/4 cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
  • Salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  1. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the green beans, return to a boil and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until bright green and crisp. Drain well and set aside.
  2. Return the pot to medium-high. Add the butter and hazelnuts and stir until the nuts are lightly toasted and fragrant, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the green beans and stir until heated through.
  3. Remove the pan from the heat. Add the cheese and toss until melted. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Serve and enjoy!