Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Bren's Green Bean Noodles

In my humble opinion, people don't change, but they do evolve. 

Their priorities shift. Mine certainly have! 

There was a time when I jokingly threatened my husband, that if he ever bought me something as practical as a toaster for a present, it would be a case for instant divorce. Of course I wasn't serious about the divorce, but I wouldn't have been happy if he decided to tuck something like a blender under the tree for me on Christmas morning.

I feel a bit differently now. 

I have enough perfume and trinkets. I am beginning to prefer things to have some sort of practical application. 

Hey, one Christmas soon I might even ask for the gift of a fancy mixer to replace the handheld model that I currently use.

There was a time in our marriage when my husband did most of the cooking. It was a simple matter of scheduling. In those days, he was home from work well before I was.

Now things have changed. I am the one doing most of the cooking. For me, cooking has become more than a matter of simply preparing meals. Rather late in life, I am trying to learn to cook the kind of food I like best to eat: fresh, light and healthy.

I read cookbooks. 

I watch cooking shows and take mental notes. 

I have even begun to acquire some fancy tools.

So when I saw Gardeningbren in Nova Scotia's post that featured, among other things, a fancy little bean slicer I got all excited. 

I had barely finished reading Brenda's post when wasn't I off searching online looking for a local Paderno, so I could get a bean slicer of my own. 

Bren's simple recipe for green beans sounded positively delicious!

I was dismayed to find that the only store in the area had closed and the company's website was next to impossible to navigate when looking for a specific tool.

I left my comment on Bren's post expressing my admiration for her Green Bean Noodles and my disappointment on not being able to find a place to purchase a bean slicer. 

Sweetheart that she is, didn't she email me to say that she had an errand in the city, and would be passing by the local Paderno store, would I like her to pick me up a bean slicer?

I was so touched by her thoughtfulness! Garden bloggers are the best!

The bean slicer arrived a couple of days later in the mail. Thanks so very much Brenda!

As you can see, I immediately put the little gadget to good use.

To make Bren's Green Bean Noodles, she advises that drop your sliced green beans into a pot of salted boiling water for 2 minutes.

Then she says to drain them, add a few drops of toasted sesame seed oil, and a slash of tamari. Top the beans with a sprinkling of toasted sesame seeds (I also added some fresh ground pepper).

Brenda suggests that the beans can be served hot or cold.

More Information and Links:

The Bean Slicer and Stringer can be found at a Paderno store near you.

Canadians can see more of Brenda's beautiful garden on Nova Scotia's south shore in the Fall 2012 issue of GardenMaking Magazine.


  1. Oh that was so sweet of you Jennifer...so kind! I am touched and thank you so much for your link to my blog and to Garden Making. And even more, am thrilled you now have a cooking component to your blog! Wonderful...perhaps my blog needs to evolve too..mmmmm

    Sincerely, Brenda

    1. I am glad that you stopped by. I think I am a little crazy for adding a cooking segment. I can barely keep up with the gardening blog! But I want to learn to shoot food and so I will post when I can. I think you should add a cooking segment. You seem to always have such nice ideas for your fresh homegrown produce.

    2. I am such a basic blogger...but yes, I think it is a great idea.. Thanks Jennifer for your inspiration. You photos are so spectacular..can't imagine them being any more improved, honestly.

  2. I am not a bean person but I have a daughter who does love her beans and she would find this interesting

  3. I glad you drop by my blog and I discover your cooking blog. Incidentally I've just launched mine several days ago. The way you cook your beans is similiar to how the Orientals do theirs and handled with chopsticks too.

  4. What a delicious post, Jennifer. And, welcome the evolution. Cheers.

  5. Hi Jennifer... first, thank you so much for visiting my blog, a real treat when you know someone has visited!

    Too true, we evolve as we age... and we consider what we eat more! Love this little gadget and the recipe... I must try it soon. Cheers.

  6. Jennifer - nothing like a new toy. Remember when the old peelers used to come with a square bean slicer at the end. In our house when the beans were 'Frenched' it meant that we'd come to the end of the harvest and the beans were a tad fibrous - not at all like those in your gorgeous photo.

  7. This looks like a nice and simple recipe, I am certainly going to give it a try.

  8. Very funny. I also remember a time when a kitchen gadget as a present would have been a bone of contention. Now? The best present I gave was an apple peeler/corer/slicer - it makes applesauce preparation a breeze and the Mrs loved it.

  9. I think that I am going to need one of these...I just planted green bean seeds in the vegetable garden today and this preparation sounds divine.

    Re: sewing/pillow making. I think you should make the needlepoint pillow it should be reatively easy, if you are using fringe or other trim sew it onto one side first...then sew away. Good luck, I hope you post the results.

  10. What a cool tool! I will also have to get me one of those. It'll be great for all the garden beans this year.

  11. I can relate. I told my husband the same thing a long time ago, now I want quality cooking and baking items because I am so interested in cooking and baking skills--now that I have the time and interest to do it! I have my eye on one more Le Creuset! Jeannine

  12. How funny - I did exactly the opposite. The first time my hubby gave me a gorgeous bouquet of red roses I told him they were way too expensive and never to do that again! After that I got lots of lovely kitchen gadgets and clothes I didn't like. Thankfully, beginning with our 25th anniversary he started ignoring me and I've since received fabulous bouquets and my favorite perfume (phew). I guess we should be careful what we wish for - LOL.

  13. The beans look delicious, full of summer-fresh flavour!

  14. I'm learning to cook all over again myself. Healthy, fresh food prepared from scratch. Should have done this years ago!!!

    I've never heard of that magazine. I'll have to look for it.

    Happy Friday!

  15. What a great little tool, love the look of the green beans.

  16. A bean slicer! Oh, what a nifty tool.

  17. de bonnes couleurs dans ton premier cliché

  18. My grandma was the shredded bean Queen of Ontario - back in the day when all peelers had a shredding tool at the end for beans. It was a way to make old beans a little more interesting. Of course, we're spoiled with great fresh beans all year long - it makes me smile to think of how we've kept the tool, but changed the purpose & improved the recipe. Merry Christmas to you too. So sorry to hear about the trees. Very sad. I'll be going to Landscape Ontario conference in early January - do you have plans to go?

  19. Kitchen tools are a must! I must say this tool is new to me. Thanks for sharing such a nifty gadget.

  20. These beans look delicious and the tool beats slicing beans with a knife!

  21. Love all your photos! The bean slicer is something I should get. Thanks for sharing.

  22. Such great pictures....the beans look so delicious.I have to check into that tool.Thanks for sharing.
    Have a great week.