Szechuan-Style Green Beans

This dish is amazing. Yes, you can serve it as an awesome side. But I am telling you this dish could stand up to being a meal in itself. Seriously, it is that good and flavorful. Even better, it’s easy and quick! Yay! The original version can be found in Gwyneth Paltrow’s new cookbook, It’s All Easy; which I am loving btw… It’s makes healthy eating fun! A couple of the ingredients might not sound familiar, so here’s a quick note: you could probably replace the tamari with soy sauce and the sambal oelek with a chili paste (such as Thai). Enjoy!


As organic as possible:


2 tsp minced fresh Ginger

2 tsp Sambal Oelek

1 Tbsp Tamari

1 tsp toasted Sesame oil

1 1/2 tsp Maple syrup

1/2 pound Green Beans

3 Tbsp Olive or Peanut oil

Toasted sesame seeds, for garnish (optional)


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil for the green beans.

In a small bowl, combine the ginger, sambal oelek, tamari, sesame oil, and maple syrup to make the sauce.

Add the green beans to the boiling water and cook just until the water comes back to a boil, about 3 minutes; drain well and dry on a kitchen towel.

Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan or wok over high heat. When the oil is very hot but not smoking, add the green beans and cook until sizzling and beginning to blister, about 3 minutes. Add the sauce, turn off the heat, and let sit for 2 minutes before serving. Garnish with sesame seeds if desired.

Marco Island Farmer’s Market

One of my favorite things to do anytime, anywhere, if it is a possibility, is visit the local farmer’s market. Not only can you get reasonable (and often excellent) prices on local fruits, vegetables, flowers, artisan breads, pastries etc., you get to see and sample a variety of things that grow in the area! I am sorry to say that my favorite cheese vendor had already left for the season (only 2 weeks to go). But not to worry, what I didn’t get to spend on stinky cheeses I more than made up for in savory sausages! The whole experience is really “mommy time” where I can slow down… and smell the roses.


I enjoy the whole adventure. Some things look familiar…



And some things look completely exotic!


I love to see how the vendors set up their stands.



And I’m a sucker for trying local roasters and honey…


Thank you Marco Island Farmer’s Market! …Until we meet again. 🙂

And a quick shout-out for my favorite olive oil by Moz!


Gram’s Curry Dip

This dip graced the table of almost every holiday growing up. It’s beautiful color adds life to any table setting and the curry gives a flavorful burst I find myself craving. Something this special shouldn’t be so easy to make.

1 cup Hellman’s mayonnaise**

1 tsp garlic salt

1 tsp horseradish

1 tsp dry onion (can substitute with fresh minced)

1 tsp vinegar

1 tsp curry powder

Put it all in a bowl and mix. Now you’re awesome because you just made something delicious which happens to be treasured by many (I have a big family). Let it sit in the fridge for a couple hours to let the flavors mingle. Serve as an accompaniment to your favorite dipping veggies.

**Gram used Hellman’s mayo and it is classic and delicious; but if you’d like to sub for organic I understand.