I recently received the cookbook The Naptime Chef by the awesome food blogger Kelsey Banfield. I have been a fan of Kelsey’s for some time and have been eager to get my hands on her beautiful book. I choose a simple and extremely adaptable recipe for green beans and added a few of my very own spins. I love taking the simple and dressing it up with all kinds of ribbons and bows. In the book Kelsey has a simple, classic side dish recipe: Green Beans with Toasted Almonds, Olive Oil and Sea Salt. Perfect as is.
I took this great concept and made it into a full vegetarian/meatless meal. Now you have a few ways to get more veggies into your day!
Thee green beans can be served long and lean. You can also chop them into fun, little bite sized pieces. If you do this, then with each bite you get beans, quinoa, nuts and blue cheese! Heavenly I tell ya.
Have you ever noticed how by simply changing up the way you slice something makes it so much more fun?! Try that from time to time with your veggies. Big impact for very little effort.
For this recipe I switched up the almonds to walnuts, the olive oil to walnut oil. The cheese and quinoa make it a full meal heftier side dish.
If blue cheese is not your thing, how about feta or shaved parmesan? Anything you desire…
I love olive oil, but I also keep many flavored oils in my fridge as well. Have you ever tried walnut, hazelnut or pecan oil? If not you must. They don’t handle high heat too well, but they are great finishing oils as they add lots of nutty flavor.
The recipes in The Naptime Chef cookbook are simple, diverse and the content is well laid out so you can cook up healthy meals for your family in hardly any time at all. On the book cover it says Fitting Great Food into Family Life. Over here at MarlaMeridith.com that makes a whole lot of sense. We always make time to prepare great food for every single meal of each day.
Thinking and planning ahead makes meal time a lot less chaotic. Kelsey has a “naptime stopwatch” for every recipe so you know what kind of timing you are up against. Neat huh!
No matter what is going on in our lives, great food is essential & planning out the time to prepare it is mandatory.
Be assured that the ingredient lists are kept to a minimum, but the recipes created by Kelsey are bursting with flavor and style. The photographs in the book are lovely too!
From breakfasts to soups and stews, desserts, drinks, breads, main dishes to a great list of pantry staples…Kelsey will set you in the right direction to making those wonderful meals.
What is your favorite recipe using vegetables?
- 1 cup dry Quinoa(prepare to package directions)
- 1 pound fresh Green Beans, washed and trim ends
- a few pinches of fine Sea Salt
- 1/4 cup toasted Walnuts (see notes)
- drizzle of Walnut Oil
- a few ounces crumbled Blue Cheese
- Have extra nuts handy for topping each serving.
- Pre heat oven to 350 degrees F with the rack in the middle. For such a small amount you can use a toaster oven, I always make a Big Batc though. Toast nuts for about 10 minutes or until slightly browned and fragrant.
- Prepare your quinoa and fluff with a fork.
- Fill a large pot 3/4 full with water. Add a few pinches of salt and bring to a rolling boil. Prepare an ice bath full of water to dunk beans in when they have finished cooking. This will set the color and keep them crisp.
- Add the beans to the water and make sure they are fully submerged, add some more warm water if needed. Boil beans over medium high heat for about 2 minutes. They should be bright green and tender enough to be speared with a fork.
- Drain beans in a colander and immediately put them into the ice bath. Swish them around in the bath until cool. Remove, and blot with a clean dish towel to remove dampness.
- Chop beans into little bite sized pieces. Toss with oil and nuts and some blue cheese. Serve over a bed of quinoa. Top with each serving with extra nuts and cheese.
- Serve at any temperature.
- I toast a pound of nuts at a time. Store them in an airtight bag in the fridge, this way they stay fresh and you can use them for anything at any time.
- I use [red quinoa| here. Use any color you have on hand. My favorites are the red and black. They stay a bit more firm and to me have a bit more of a nutty flavor.
- If you cannot find walnut oil, olive oil will be a great substitution. So would any other nut oil. Unrefined Coconut Oil would be tasty too.
This giveaway is now over. Congrats to Denise #91. Stay tuned for more giveaways soon…
I bet you would love this cookbook as much as I do. The folks at Running Press books are kind enough to share this great cookbook for one lucky friend of MarlaMeridith.com!
That means YOU! Yay!! Let’s get to it.
This giveaway will be open until Sunday, March 18th, 2012 midnight PST. The winner will be chosen at Random.org and will be notified via email, so please make sure your email address is correct. You will have 3 days to respond to me, or a new winner will be chosen. Open to residents of the USA and Canada.
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- Green Beans with Lemon, Leeks and Feta Cheese MarlaMeridith.com
- Green Beans with Mushrooms and Lemon Bumbles and Light
- Lemony Green Beans Kalyn’s Kitchen
- Long Green Beans with Anchovies and Sriracha The Endless Meal
MarlaMeridith.com disclosure: I was sent a review copy of this wonderful cookbook. All comments, thoughts, opinions and photographs (other than the book jacket) are my own.