This post is a two-fer. If you are looking for a side dish for your Thanksgiving feast, then these fresh green beans will do the trick. Bacon, mushrooms, shallots and fresh herbs are tossed with lightly blanched green beans. Did I mention the bacon? Apparently, I have a thing for bacon this week. I give myself permission to indulge in a little bacon when it comes in something as fantastic as Mashed Potatoes with Bacon & Caramelized Onions.
The other focus of this post is more important than bacon. Yes, that’s what I said – more important than bacon. Focus, people.
Today is World Diabetes Day, and Carolyn of All Day I Dream About Food is leading the charge for diabetes awareness with today’s post, World Diabetes Day: Raising Awareness (also, be sure to check out her KitchenAid mixer giveaway). Carolyn was first diagnosed with gestational diabetes during her third pregnancy, and has been living with diabetes ever since then. She dedicates her blog to low-carb and diabetes-friendly recipes and information, and it a fantastic resource for anyone on the quest for a healthy lifestyle, diabetes or no diabetes.
I’m going to throw a few astounding statistics at you. At least they shocked the heck out of me!
- 25.8 million children and adults in the United States—8.3% of the population—have diabetes.
- 79 million people in the United States are prediabetic – that’s a shocking number!
- Potential complications related to diabetes include blindness, heart disease and stroke, high blood pressure, kidney disease, nervous system disease and amputation.
- Healthy diet, regular physical activity, maintaining a normal body weight and avoiding tobacco use can prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes.
This post is not meant to be didactic. However, I hope that we can all take pause in our day to consider how we can make changes in our own families, particularly in the arena of Type 2 diabetes which, according to the WHO, is largely the result of excess body weight and physical inactivity (though that’s not the case for everyone who has Type 2).
What if we cut back our soda intake a little bit each day? Maybe we could limit desserts to just a couple of days per week. What if we set aside 30 minutes just a few days each week to go for a brisk walk? All of these changes may seem small, but they can all start us on the path to healthy eating and healthy living (see My Health and Weight Loss Journey to read about the changes I made in my own life.)
It’s something to think about.
And now, let’s go back to our regularly scheduled recipe.
Set a large saucepan of salted water over high heat, and bring the water to a boil. Add the beans and cook until tender-crisp, about 2 minutes. Drain and immediately transfer the beans to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking.
Drain the beans again and set aside.
Place the strips of bacon in a large skillet set over medium heat. Cook until the bacon is crisp. Transfer to a paper towel, then crumble the bacon and set aside.
Discard all but 1 teaspoon of the bacon fat. Add the olive oil to the bacon fat in the skillet, and turn to medium-high heat. Add the shallots and mushrooms, and cook until tender, 2 to 3 minutes.
Add the green beans and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
Add the parsley, thyme, sage, salt and pepper, and stir to combine. Cook for an additional minute, then add the crumbled bacon.
Serve hot or at room temperature.
Other Thanksgiving side dishes:
Cookin’ Canuck’s Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes with Chipotle Pecan Streusel
Cookin’ Canuck’s Creamy & Low-Fat Mashed Potatoes
Cookin’ Canuck’s Savory Bread Stuffing with Herbs & Sausage
Foodiecrush’s Pancetta & Hazelnut Green Beans
A Spicy Perspective’s Green Bean Mushroom Tart with Blue Cheese
Three Many Cooks’ Olive Oil-Mashed Potatoes with Garlic & Basil
- 1 lb. thin green beans, trimmed
- 3 strips bacon
- 1 large shallot, minced
- 12 oz. mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 3 tbsp parsley, minced
- 1 tbsp minced fresh thyme leaves
- 1 tbsp minced fresh sage
- ¼ tsp kosher salt
- ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the beans and cook until tender-crisp, about 2 minutes. Drain and immediately transfer the beans to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking.
- Drain the beans again and set aside.
- Place the strips of bacon in a large skillet set over medium heat. Cook until the bacon is crisp. Transfer to a paper towel, then crumble the bacon and set aside.
- Discard all but 1 teaspoon of the bacon fat. Add the olive oil to the bacon fat in the skillet, and turn to medium-high heat. Add the shallots and mushrooms, and cook until tender, 2 to 3 minutes.
- Add the green beans and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Add the parsley, thyme, sage, salt and pepper, and stir to combine. Cook for an additional minute, then add the bacon.
- Serve hot or at room temperature.