String beans and mushrooms and garlic and vegetable broth. Yum!

Before the revolution, I used to be wild about string bean casserole with cream of mushroom soup and fried onions. Now, I find the idea a little revolting. However, I can still get behind the flavor combination of mushrooms and string beans. It has been awhile since I picked up any string beans, and I decided I wanted to work them into my weekly menu plan. I buy mushrooms just about every week, and put them on everything from pizza to veggie burgers, so I’m always looking to use them.

When looking at string bean recipes, many of them called for soy sauce. Now, I like soy sauce, but it has so much sodium! I’m sorry, but I don’t think that 50% of your recommended daily value of sodium should come from a tablespoon of anything, not even salt. Susan over at Fat Free Vegan (my second favorite vegan food blog) is the one who really turned me on to the idea of cooking with vegetable broth. I use the reduced sodium, concentrated packets from Trader Joes so that I always have some on hand. You just add a cup of water, and you’re ready to rock and roll.

This recipe is really simple, I wonder if it should even be called a recipe. I guess that if you really wanted to, you could transfer it from the skillet into a baking pan and then top it with bread crumbs. That would make it a casserole. However, it would also unnecessarily dirty an additional pan.

Skillet String Beans and Mushrooms
1 lb. string beans
2 c. white mushrooms
2 cloves of garlic
1 c. of vegetable broth
1 TBSP. olive oil
1 1/2 tsp. cornstarch

1. Clean your vegetables. This means scrubbing the mushrooms and quartering them. It also means snipping the gross little ends off of your string beans. Mince your garlic into delicious little pieces.
2. Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat
3. Add garlic and mushrooms and saute for about 3 minutes, just until the mushrooms start to shrink.
4. Add string beans and 1 cup of vegetable broth, stir well
5. Cook for 7-10 minutes over medium heat, or until vegetable broth starts to reduce. My beans were pretty well cooked, but the sauce was still a little thin, so I added 1 1/2 tsp of cornstarch. The trick with cornstarch is that you have to mix it really well in a little water before adding it to the pan, or you’ll get lumps.
Serves: 2 at 161 calories each

This recipe is a great side dish. I’m going to serve it as an accompaniment to chicken-less nuggets, because sometimes I like to eat like I’m 5 years old.