Despite the fact that I’m working every day this holiday weekend (Saturday, Sunday, and Monday), and despite the fact that I realized I can’t afford to go to the Inauguration tomorrow, things are still good here. The sun is shining and I can’t complain. I’m a
lot little stressed with so many obligations, but I have my health and many other blessings that I can’t take for granted. Another thing I can’t take for granted: having food on the table every night.
I’ve been doing a lot of thinking this week about my relationship with animal products. After learning some new nasty things about dairy and thinking about the things that motivated me to become a vegetarian back in high school, I’ve been feeling less comfortable eating as many animal products as I currently do. I’m not saying that I’m becoming a vegan, but I am saying that I’m going to try and work on more plant-based recipes. And that includes soul food!
Today I was craving some green beans, and thought about making some of my Southern Style Green Beans to go with the rest of our meal. Remember these?
As yummy as that recipe is, I wanted something vegetarian this time. I decided to find some other great flavors to replace the smoked meat that’s usually cooked into Southern vegetables. We were extremely surprised to find that these are JUST AS GOOD, if not better, than the meat-soaked version.
To get that smoky flavor that a ham hock or turkey wing would usually provide, I added some smoked paprika to the mix. Love that stuff! It’s an excellent option for giving a unique taste to vegetarian dishes, and it makes all the difference in these green beans.
You might be thinking to yourself “But you’ve cooked them for so long! How are there any nutrients left in those green beans??”. My answer is that YES, cooking them for a long time does cause them to release most of their nutrients. But I have a solution for that. Drink your potlikker! (Potlikker is southern vernacular for the liquid that vegetables are cooked in). It is vitamin rich and delicious, so don’t throw out that broth!
Southern Green Beans (VEGETARIAN)
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Keywords: side Southern
Ingredients (serves 4)
- 1 quart vegetable broth
- 5 c. fresh green beans, ends trimmed
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 t. smoked paprika
- 2 t. salt
- 1/2 t. black pepper
- 1 T. apple cider vinegar
Bring the vegetable broth to a boil over medium heat.
Add the remaining ingredients and simmer over low heat for about 2 hours.
Taste the broth and add additional salt and pepper if any extra is needed.
Serve the beans and the broth together.
The rest of our meal was not so plant-based, but it sure was good!
Now I’m all fueled up to go pull a night shift.
Thanks for reading!