Traditional southern-style green beans are made with bacon, sugar onions, and often potatoes. The ingredients are mixed in water and slow cooked, often for an hour or two, depending on whether the potatoes were used. They come out very tender, mushy really, and with a wonderful bacon flavor. They're also very high in fat, salt and calories and much of the bean's nutrients are left behind in the water.
I set out to capture the flavor profile while keeping the beans tender, but still a little firm, and retaining all their nutrients. I lightly steamed the green beans, about 5 minutes so that they were just tender. Then sautéed them with just a little bacon, butter and onion. They came out far better than I expected, both in flavor and in nutrition value. These beans had all the wonderful bacon and onion flavor we were after, retained all their nutrition and one serving was only 90 calories with 4 grams of fat and 5 of fiber. Yum!
I served these as part of a Southern-style meal that included Oven-Fried Catfish, mashed sweet potatoes and corn bread. More of those recipes in the near future.
Healthier Southern-Style Green Beans
Makes 6 servings
2 pounds fresh green beans, lightly steamed
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 ounce bacon, chopped (we use the thin sliced Ready Crisp)
1/2 cup onion, chopped
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add bacon and butter and render bacon until cooked, but not yet crispy. Add onion and continue to cook until just tender. Add beans and sauté until the beans are tender and heated through.
Deal of the Day: If you're not using a steamer pot, you should be. It's a fast, easy, very nutritious way to prepare vegetables and other dishes.