Tag Archives: green beans

Summer Lovin’

Why I love summer:

Praise THE LORD school’s almost out.  I know there are lots of people that are anxious (or flat-out don’t like) summer vacation because they have to occupy their kids… or so they think… I’m a proponent of teaching them to self-occupy, but that’s another blog post for another day!  I miss my girl SO MUCH when she’s gone.  Her sister does, too.

That, and it means NO MORE PACKING LUNCHES.  I really hate doing it.  But I hate what they serve in the cafeteria more (and how much it costs!) so packing it is.  That, and I feel that I can convince her to eat well and a more diversified plate if she’s home.  She’s my texture-aversion kid, and for those of you who don’t know, part of getting them to conquer this anxiety is consistency, lots of affirmation, lots of experimenting… in other words, impossible to do for that middle meal for a whole 9 months. I have to give her whatever she’ll eat that whole time. I have to save up the work of coping with the fear for the evening meal, which can make for some stressful times. In other words… I would like to have another meal or time of day to deal with this! Looking forward to it!

The other thing I’m greatly looking forward to – my schedule permitting (I hate that I have to say that!) – is strawberry picking.  I’m looking for jelly/jam/preserve recipes for which I don’t have to use white sugar, and my hope is between strawberry and blueberry season I can manage to put up enough for a year! (And believe it or not, I think it can be done between the two seasons!)

His Mercies - Foodies Gone Real

If you follow on instagram, you might have seen our chickens were moved to the tractor up in the orchard.  (For the record, this agriculture/homesteading venture is joint with family… so if you ever think this stuff seems so huge for one family to bite off, you’re RIGHT! We all have certain responsibilities, and most of us work another job… which is why we’re doing it together).  I think my unofficial job title is the animal husband-er.  I’m raising the chickens, and have plans for layers… and have my hopes on a pig, goat, sheep, dairy cow…. and the list goes on.

I’m ready “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle” by Barbara Kingsolver and I A-D-O-R-E it.  All locavores, or real foodies, or homesteaders should be required to read it.  Her chapter on her daughter’s chickens was spot on.  I agree with her, when she says she’s so glad that baby poultry don’t stay looking like this:

P1190739

They would be impossible to cull! Instead, they turn into moody teenagers, then into brutes that attack each other.  I am so humbled and thankful I get this experience of knowing where my food comes from.  These chickens are getting an incredible life (compared to the chickens raised commercially) and maybe it’ll all just be in my head, but I just KNOW the experience of eating them will be hands-down better.

Also on instagram, I excitedly presented some of my early carrot seedlings.  Gardening I can do, (no black thumb) but I’m still cautious and learning ALOT.  My mother-in-law’s thumb is so effortlessly green I think she just has to wave it around dirt and things magically sprout!  Needless to say, my little carrot seedlings I am so proud of!  Carrots take a long time to germinate, and you have to direct sow (no transplanting), which in my humble opinion, gives lots of room for things to go wrong.  At least when you start seeds indoors, you can pick which ones get transplanted, and get them established before you let the bunnies and deer anywhere near them.

I’m desperately trying to raise green beans again – which I LOVED growing last year, but the bunnies are killing me, here.  My mother-in-law has the right idea on her property: they installed a fabulous hoop house.  Duly noted, duly noted. I’m not sure my beans are going to make it unless I figure out a way to fence it all in.

Green Beans Introduced to Bacon - Foodies Gone Real

(Two years ago green beans!)

On top of raising our own food, we do buy into a CSA (Community Shared Agriculture). (We don’t yet produce enough to be entirely self-reliant.) Basically, a farmer sells shares of his/her produce.  I bought a share, so every week I get 1 share’s worth of vegetables, and a little bit of fruit.  This is worth EVERY penny.  Aside from the locavore aspect – supporting a farmer in the community – this was the BEST way I learned to try new foods, and it felt risk-free since I already paid for the share.  It almost feels free. (It’s not, but it feels that way because you go to pick up your food every week and don’t leave any money behind!) My first “found” veggie – that I just had NO idea what it was, or what it tasted like – was garlic scapes.  I wrote up an explanation and recipe on it two years ago here.  I CAN HARDLY WAIT FOR MY SCAPES!

Bag of scapes!

I hope what you hear here is EXCITEMENT.  Anticipation.  Never in my whole life did I enjoy summer until we started our homesteading venture.  This land explodes new life, new life which God allowed me to participate in growing.  The farmer plants the seeds, but God makes them grow.

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Introducing Green Beans to Bacon

My husband and I are pretty good sports about our vegetables — even when we don’t love them or care for them, we’ll usually endure them and eat them (and maybe even eat them again) because we know they are SO good for us — you can’t beat what good nutrition does for your health, and we try to get as much variety into our diet as possible.  There are plenty we eat with delight, though!

Green beans were not delightful for us… until we introduced it to bacon.

Introducing Green Beans to Bacon - Foodies Gonee Real

Maybe you’ve heard of it before, this concept… bacon makes all vegetables better.  And we are here to prove it!

For this recipe, fresh green beans were used.  The biggest difference you’ll notice between fresh and frozen are that the frozen will be “mushier” since they will likely have a higher water content as they cook, fresh will have more “crunch”.  I strongly recommend using the french style green beans (not cut up) if you’re going with frozen.

This dish is CRAZY easy to make it as much as you want – this isn’t so much about measuring things out, but based on how many servings you want.  I wanted five bundles, so I needed five pieces of bacon, and grabbed a handful at a time.  Not sure what I mean? Read on, friends!

Ingredients:

Green beans – “French” style (don’t use the traditional “pre-cut”)

Nitrite-free Bacon*, preferably pastured

Rapadura or Coconut Sugar

Gluten-Free Soy Sauce

Freshly ground pepper

Directions:

Preheat your over to 425*.

Take a handful of green beans.  I usually measure these out within my hand – due to the method of preparation, you want to be able to get your hand all the way around, so I wouldn’t go too big.  Judge your bunch by looking at the picture below.

Green Beans Introduced to Bacon - Foodies Gone Real

Take your bacon and begin to wrap it around the bunch, using your hand and thumb to hold it all in place.  Don’t be afraid to stretch the bacon tightly – this will help it “stick” together during the cooking. Green Beans Introduced to Bacon - Foodies Gone Real

Place your wraps in the glass baking dish, trying to keep the bacon ends tucked underneath as much as possible.  This dish does not need to be greased… remember all that bacon you’re about to use? It will keep things from sticking once it begins to cook.  (Just do your best.  It will make for easier handling later, but you won’t “break” the recipe by failing to get all the ends tucked under.) Green Beans Introduced to Bacon - Foodies Gone Real

Repeat for as much as you need, or to fill the dish.

Top your bacon with fresh ground pepper and your sweetener of choice (I recommend powder/granule forms – I have not tried this with maple syrup or honey.)

Green Beans Introduced to Bacon - Foodies Gone Real

Drizzle the soy sauce over your prepped green bean bunches.  You don’t need to drown them, but be generous.

Green Beans Introduced to Bacon - Foodies Gone Real

Bake in your over for about 15 minutes.  They bunches will start to look cooked, but we need to cook the undersides of the bacon.  With tongs, you’ll need to carefully flip each bunch over.

Cook for another 10 minutes, and then check on the dish.  Every oven is different, so it is likely that it will be cooked through at this point.

We like crispier bacon in this house, so at this point I usually turn the oven part off, and turn on the broiler.  I broil them for about 5 minutes, or until I see the right level of crispy to my preference.

Green Beans Introduced to Bacon - Foodies Gone Real

Let them cool before eating – I usually don’t add any more salt due to the bacon/soy sauce, but I would have pepper on hand as per people’s preferences.

I served this with slow-cooked ribs and it was DELICIOUS.  This bacon theory apples across the board-  have a vegetable you’re not crazy about it? Try adding bacon and see if it’s better.  I bet it will be improved!

Green Beans Introduced to Bacon - Foodies Gone Real

*I choose nitrite-free bacon as a preference for UNnatural nitrites.  Nitrites occur within nature, and we can harness these items (celery is a common one) to help with preserving … what I don’t buy into are those fabricated in a lab as I’m going for as real as God intended.  Consequently, when shopping, I usually look for “nitrite-free” bacon, even though it likely still contains natural variants of this (like the previously mentioned celery).

(Small disclaimer: I have seen variations of this recipe – and other bacon/green bean combinations many other places.  This is my original work, and it’s overlapping with any other recipe is unintentional.)

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