Monday, November 16, 2009

Green Beans and Ground Bison with Crunchy Peanuts

I recently dug out my copy of "Eat, Drink and Weigh Less" by Mollie Katzen and Walter Willett, M.D. after listening to a lecture from Dr. Willett. I had bought the book several years ago because I liked Willett's earlier book "Eat Drink & Be Healthy" and I love anything Mollie Katzen does and have most of her cookbooks. The book is mostly a healthy eating plan (with great information BTW) but it also has a bunch of recipes from Mollie in the back of the book. I went through and tabbed a bunch (I really should buy stock in Post-Its soon) and since I had a pound of long beans from the farmer's market, decided to make the "Green Beans in Crunchy Peanut Coating with Protein-of-Choice". Although I think it sounds much better the way I made and am titling it, Green Beans and Ground Bison with Crunchy Peanuts.

The book says: "Fun is not usually the adjective we use to describe a dinner entree. Here is an exception. The fresher and firmer the green beans, the better this will taste. There are two cooking processes invloved--toasting and seasoning the peanuts, followed by a dramtic green-bean stir-fry. You can save labor by using the same pan for both, although it will seem a bit large for the relatively small volume of peanuts."

Green Beans in Crunchy Peanut Coating with Protein-of-Choice
Eat, Drink, & Weigh Less, Mollie Katzen and Walter Willett, M.D>
(Makes 3 Servings)

3/4 cup peanuts (unsalted)
2 Tbsp peanut oil or canola oil
2 Tbsp minced fresh ginger
1/2 tsp grated lemon zest
1 lb fresh green beans, trimmed, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)
2 servings Protein-of-Choice, cooked and cut into bite sized pieces (I used ground bison/buffalo)
1 Tbsp minced or crushed garlic
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
red pepper flakes

Place the peanuts in a blender, and ground briefly in a few bursts, until they form a course meal. Set aside. Place a large, heavy-bottomed, non-stick saute pan or large frying pan over medium heat for about 2 minutes. When it is hot, add about 2 tsps of the oil. Wait another 10 seconds or so, then swirl to coat the middle section of the pan. (It won't be enough oil to reach all the way to the edges.)

Add the ginger and saute for a few minutes then add the crushed peanuts and the lemon zest. Cook over medium-low heat for about 10 minutes, stirring often, until the peanuts are lightly toasted. Transfer to a dish, and return pan to the stove over medium heat (You don't need to clean the pan at this point.)

After the pan has been sitting over medium heat for 3 minutes, add the rest of the oil, wait another 10 seconds, then swirl to coat the pan. Turn the heat to high, and add the green beans and salt. (The pan should sizzle when the green beans hit.) Stir-fry over high heat for about 5 minutes, or until "tender-crisp," shaking the pan and using tongs to keep the green beans moving as they cook.

Stir in the Protein-of-Choice along with the garlic. Lower the heat to medium, and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes, or until everything is heated through. Toss in lemon juice and the peanut mixture, and stir until well combined. Sprinkle lightly with red pepper flakes, and serve right away.

Per serving: Calories: 345, Protein: 29g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g, Monounsaturated Fat: 9g, Dietary Fiber: 9g.

Notes/Results: Yum! This was a really good combination of flavor and texture. I liked the pairing of the crisp-tender green beans with the ground bison, (although the recipe is written for any lean protein like beef, chicken, tofu, etc.), combined with the garlic, ginger and lemon. It was perfect with the texture and roasted flavor of the crunchy peanuts added in. A couple of small changes; I had about 3/4 of a pound of the ground buffalo that needed to be used up so I put it all in (the recipe called for about 8 oz). I also added extra garlic of course, and sprinkled my red pepper flakes more than "lightly" for extra kick. Quick to throw together and perfect with some brown rice and a a small salad for dinner. I will make this again.


  1. LOL - I am always adding extra garlic too! I love the sound of this. Crunchy peanuts and green beans with the meaty bison- delicious!

  2. Deb, this is definitely something I would like to try. As a boy of the South, peanuts & greens beans are my favorite. And I do love the leanness of bison. So this has to be good. Thanks

  3. Chinese long beans and peanuts is one of our fave side dishes. Adding meat makes it a much more rounded meal.

  4. And here I only had a peanut butter sandwich for lunch! I should have been over at your place.
    Looks very fresh and healthy and yummy. Love the use of bison.
    And yay for extra garlic!

  5. We have a bit of a joke in my family. The kids insist they used to hide the garlic when I was making cookies because I added it to everything. It's a great way to add flavor to food. I really like this recipe Deb. It looks fresh and delicious and bison is super lean. This would be a healthy addition to the rotation.

  6. yummy! and I have those same exact chopsticks :)

  7. Is canola oil a healthful choice for cooking? Would butter be better?

  8. I never tire of good green bean recipes! This looks like a terrific one.

  9. Deb, this looks delicious. I've always wanted to try bison, but haven't found it here in town. I'll keep looking then try your recipe. Till then I'll just keep coming back and keep drooling! :)

  10. I should have made this for dinner tonight, I had ground bison defrosted but just made burgers instead.

  11. Kim--extra garlic is always a must!

    George--I hope you like it--it's a nice light dish but good flavor.

    Duo--I agree, with a lean protein it is very satisfying.

    Natashya--come on over and I'll make you a plate!

    Mary--that is funny--I am the same way--a little garlic is good in (almost) everything.

    Kat--funny! What good taste we have!

    Jim--Great question! I am no nutritionist and there are differing opinions but olive oil is probably the best fat/oil over all but it isn't good for high heat. Canola oil has a couple more grams of fat then butter but much more healthier fat (less saturated fat) and works in higher heat so to me (and the book authors!) it is the better choice. That being said, there isn't a ton of it in the recipe so if you want to use butter, you'll still end up with a pretty healthy dish. Hope that helps!

    F, L & B--hope you try it and enjoy it.

    Teresa--it can really be made with any cooked lean protein and ground turkey or beef would work just fine. I am lucky that several stores carry buffalo here-hope it gets to your area soon.

    5 Star Foodie--This was great but a bison burger sounds really good right now too! ;-)

  12. I order a dish similar to this from the Chinese takeaway - I'm glad to see a healthy recipe for it! I like Mollie Katzen's books for cooking with children.

  13. There is such a nice ring to "Green Beans with YOUR PROTEIN OF CHOICE". Definitely winner on restaurant menus around the globe :p

    I always add more garlic to everything. Once I'm peeling and chopping cloves, what's the point in stopping at one (or two or three?)

    This looks fantastic. I really like the combination of textures!

  14. this looks so good!! I've never had bison before i'm intrigued


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