Category Archives: Green Beans

Dinner Under Pressure

I love steamed vegetables. But if I’m rushed, I pull out the pressure cooker. I cook all the vegetables in one pot, three minutes under pressure (four minutes if you prefer extra tender veggies). Cleanup is easy because the liquid that steams while it cooks prevents sticking or scorching. If your cooker includes a steamer basket and trivet to hold the basket out of the water, use it. 

Fresh vegetables prepped in steamer basket

Fresh vegetables prepped in steamer basket

Of course, stick with vegetables having similar cooking times. Don’t toss broccoli in with potatoes. 😉 Today I cooked peeled Idaho potatoes, which I later mashed, carrots, and fresh green beans. Yes, you cook them all together. Season with salt and pepper if you like, or season individually when you serve. Your choice. 

My 3 Liter pressure cooker

My 3 Liter pressure cooker

Use your pressure cooker (I have three, but one six-quart cooker is plenty). In the time it takes you to set the table, pour beverages, and re-heat or slice your meat (or protein of your choice), your pressure cooker cooks all your sides. Quick-release according to the manufacturer’s instructions then carefully open the cooker. I pick out my potatoes first because I mash them.


Veggies served with slow cooked chicken.

Don’t let meal preparation raise your blood pressure–just your cooker’s. Enjoy!

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Filed under cooking, Green Beans, Vegetables, Zucchini

The Quintessential Hasty Tasty Meal

The Quintessential Hasty Tasty Meal

Nothing beats fresh produce when it comes to healthy and quick meals. Boneless, skinless chicken breasts cook over low heat in a covered skillet while carrots and green beans steam in a covered sauce pan. A pat of butter, and a pinch of salt and pepper season the vegetables; fresh clipped herbs and a dash of BBQ sauce garnish the chicken. Corn on the cob cooked 4 minutes in its husks in the microwave comes out clean and ready to eat. No salt or butter necessary. Yum!

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March 4, 2013 · 4:23 pm

Cajun Catfish Dinner

I love catfish, almost as much as I love salmon. Can you tell? This is my second catfish recipe this year. Although fried in cornmeal and served with cheese grits is tasty, it’s not figure friendly.  So here’s how I cook and serve catfish fillets (shown here with roasted squash/onion/red bell pepper, steamed green beans, and brown rice):

Cajun Catfish, brown rice, steamed green beans, and roasted vegetables.

Cajun Catfish, brown rice, steamed green beans, and roasted mix vegetables.


Cajun Catfish for Two


2 fresh catfish fillets
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1 Tablespoon spices (Your choice: I like Redneck Pepper Cayenne)


Preheat a quality stainless steel covered skillet over medium heat.  Sprinkle spices on both sides of each fillet.  Drizzle olive oil in the skillet then place the catfish fillets into the pan. Do not touch.  Lower heat to its lowest setting and cover.  Cook for at least 15 minutes without lifting the lid.  Check for doneness (do not overcook).   If necessary, cover and cook another 5 minutes.  It’s not necessary to turn the fillets.  Check again for doneness.  Fish should be moist and flaky.  Serve immediately.

This low, slow method is still hasty, giving the cook just enough time to get the side dishes ready. Enjoy fish at least twice a week. It’s good for you!

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Filed under cooking, Fish, Green Beans, Healthful Eating, Recipes, Roasted Vegetables

Cooking Ahead


Cooking ahead is one of the mainstays of Hasty Tasty Meals. This weekend, I caught a buy-one-get-one-free sale at my local supermarket on London broil-cut roasts and boneless, skinless chicken breasts. I stuck both roasts in my gourmet slo-cooker and let them roast while I “fried” the chicken breasts in my electric skillet (It took two batches for the quantity of chicken breasts) for 25 minutes. In addition, I cooked up a bag of brown rice, which can be reheated and used in a number of meals .

I sliced half of the roast and froze in meal-size portions using my Food Saver (those are handy, but you can also use Ziploc® Freezer bags). I also packaged and froze meal-portions of the chicken breasts. Then I shredded some of the beef for burritos, cubed some for a beef pot pie, and ate sliced roast for dinner warmed with my broth-cornstarch fat-free gravy.

Some of the chicken will be used for chicken salad, some shredded for burritos (we love burritos), and some will be warmed in gravy and served for dinner as with the beef. I’m finished cooking for the week, I’m serving us healthful meals, and I’ve saved money!


A Vita-Mix is expensive, but I can’t imagine giving mine up. Here’s a yummy way to have a serving of dairy and a serving of fruit:

To the Vita-mix, add:

1 cup skim milk
2 oranges, peeled
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract

¼ cup Splenda® granular
¼ cup powdered milk
2 cups ice cubes

Blend on high for one minute until smooth and frothy. Makes two 16-oz shakes. It rivals the fast food orange cream shakes in taste, and is a lot more healthful.


With summer coming up, we’re faced with the cookout season. Don’t let get-togethers derail your healthful eating. If there’s an opportunity to contribute to the meal, offer to bring a dish or two. Then you’ll control the ingredients! Are you a sucker for the ever-popular green bean casserole? (I’m not, and only God knows why that dish’s popularity endures, 😕 but that’s just my opinion) If so, here’s my lightened version.


Serves 8


½ small onion, thinly sliced

1 Tablespoon butter

2 regular size cans of reduced sodium green beans, drained

1 can Campbell’s Healthy Recipe Cream of Mushroom Condensed Soup

½ cup skim milk (add more if needed)

1 8-oz can mushrooms stems and pieces, drained

½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese

½ cup crushed corn flakes


Melt the butter in a medium skillet then add onion slices. Cook until onions caramelize. (This is when the sugars in the onions turn them a nice brown color) Remove from heat and set aside. Meanwhile, in a large measuring pitcher, combine the soup and milk then blend. Stir in the mushrooms.

In a three-quart baking dish, combine the soup mixture with the green beans. Spread the cooked onion slices on top, then sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and crushed corn flakes.

Bake, uncovered, for thirty minutes. It’s not the French-fried-onion-rings-on-top version, but it’ll still have crunch and taste good, too. Eliminating the onion rings saves a ton of empty calories, but keep that to yourself.

Happy Summer! 🙂

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Filed under cooking, Green Beans, Healthful Eating, Recipes, Smoothies