Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Schezwan Green Beans

Ahhh Thanksgiving!  My favorite holiday.  Don't get me wrong, Christmas with the decorations, parties, cookies, family get-togethers and the true "meaning" of the holiday is magical.  And who doesn't love Memorial Day, Labor Day and 4th of July with the warm weather, picnics, barbecues and outdoor activities? Easter, Valentine's Day, Halloween...whatever.  Special food, festive atmosphere, relaxing, time off from work.  What could be better?  But, to me, nothing beats Thanksgiving.
ok...maybe a tiny bit of stress when carving the turkey!

I call it the no pressure holiday.  No frantically shopping for gifts, no worries about whether the weather will be nice enough to be outside.  No complicated dishes. A time to be with people you love, sharing a familiar meal and giving thanks for all that you have.  This year I will be spending the day with family.  Some years it is with a huge group of friends. Either way, gratitude is the word best used to describe this most wonderful day.

I love planning a very traditional meal but mixing it up with some spice because, let's be honest, don't you sometimes find turkey, mashed potatoes and stuffing a little bit bland?  One of my favorite items to add to the menu is spicy Schezwan Green Beans. The heat and flavor from the garlic, chili paste and red pepper flakes are delicious on their own, but mixed with turkey and the rest of the meal?  Perfection! Best of all they taste terrific hot, warm or at room temperature so you can make them early...not during the last minute dash to get everything on the table while piping hot.

If you are participating in a pot luck dinner, sign up for vegetables and bring the green beans, they travel really well.  Try them this will thank me! (as will your guests.)

Schezwan Green Beans 
1 tbsp olive oil
1 lb fresh green beans (any kind will work..I usually like the Chinese long beans with this, but today I am using haricots verts because that was what they had at the local market)
1/2 white onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced fine
2 tbsp chili paste
1/2 tsp dried red chili pepper flakes
1/4 c soy sauce
freshly ground black pepper
salt (if needed)

Heat large skillet (or wok) over high heat until hot. Add olive oil, green beans and onion and stir fry 4-6 minutes until beans are crisp tender..time will vary depending on thickness of beans.
Stir in garlic, chili paste, red chili pepper, soy sauce and black pepper and cook an additional 1-2 minutes.Taste and add salt if needed (the soy sauce and chili paste will usually add enough salt so taste before adding additional)
Serve hot or at room temperature

Other dishes to spice up your Thanksgiving menu:

It is "Favorite Thanksgiving Side" week at Food Network's Fall Fest roundup. Check out the other delicious sounding recipes from my blogger friends. Do you have a favorite Thanksgiving recipe? Share in the comments section and/or link to your blog if you have one. 

Feed Me Phoebe: Swiss Chard Gratin
The Lemon Bowl: Quinoa with Acorn Squash, Apples and Walnuts
Jeanette's Healthy Living: 16 Clean Eating Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes
Big Girls, Small Kitchen: Nancy's Vodka Cranberries
Weelicious: Maple Roast Vegetables
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Easy Mushroom-Chile Risotto
Red or Green: Schezwan Green Beans
Domesticate Me: Sweet Potato Gratin with Pancetta, Parmesan and Sage
Virtually Homemade: Sweet Potato Casserole with Walnuts
Elephants and the Coconut Trees: Purple Potato Salad with Grapefruit Vinaigrette
The Sensitive Epicure: Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Thyme and Rosemary
The Heritage Cook: Maple-Roasted Root Vegetables
Food For My Family: Honey-Roasted Cauliflower with Pine
Dishin & Dishes: Twice baked Sweet Potatoes
Devour: Top In Season Thanksgiving Sides
FN Dish: 10 Seasonal Thanksgiving Sides
Taste With The Eyes: A Fresh California Twist on Brussels Sprouts

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone reading my blogs.  I am very grateful for all of you! 
Thank you,
california girl in taos
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I have started sharing my Taos experiences on my newest blog "California Girl in Taos". Please visit and let me know what you think.


  1. My mother would love this recipe! She likes spice...I'm a whimp! I'm going to send it to her to try. Thanks for sharing!

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