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Italian-style Green Beans over Couscous

Truth be told, we were at Costco a few days ago and purchased a three hundred pound bag of green beans. The package states it contains two pounds of green beans - teeny haricot vert fresh beans - but we have been eating them for days and the bag doesn't seem to get any smaller.

The temperatures outside are still registering well below zero and I wanted something stewy. Something warm. Something savory. But, I had eaten meat three days in a row and needed a break.

Thus, I created a wonderful vegetable stew... that I will call...

Italian-Style Green Beans over Couscous

Extra Virgin Olive Oil 1 small yellow onion, slivered 1 green pepper, slivered 1 or 2 cloves garlic, minced (I used two) 2 cups fresh green beans, cut into bite-sized pieces One 14 oz. can diced tomatoes (do not drain) 6 leaves fresh basil, coarse chopped or chiffonade ½ cup vegetable stock, chicken stock or water Kosher salt & Pepper, to taste Freshly grated parmesan cheese, as a garnish (optional)

Heat a small Dutch oven on the stove and coat the bottom with olive oil. Add the onion and sauté for three or four minutes over medium-high heat, until soft. Add the slivered green pepper and sauté for a few additional minutes. Stir in the garlic and green beans. Pour the can of diced tomatoes and the stock (or water) over all. Add the chopped basil, salt & pepper to taste. Stir well to combine. Bring the stew to a boil, reduce the heat, cover and let simmer for approximately thirty minutes.

Serve over couscous (or rice, quinoa, barley, farro or pasta, or whatever) and garnish with freshly grated parmesan, if desired.

Serves 4 as a main course.

NOTES: Surprisingly yummy, healthy and low-fat. Use a veggie stock and omit the cheese garnish to make this dish vegan. I used a whole wheat couscous (from Trader Joe's) and served the stew with a tossed salad.

Italian-style Green Beans dusted with freshly grated parmesan

Until my next update, I remain, your veggie-loving correspondent.