Recipe Idea: Spicy Green Beans

Having the most frugal grocery budget in the world isn’t going to help you and if you can’t put together at least a few healthy, tasty, and cheap eats! Every month, The Outlier Model features a cheap recipe idea, along with the cost breakdown.

Sometimes, it’s not the meat that needs to stand out, but the side.  Think of many roast types of meat that you might make – roast chicken, pork chops or baked fish.  In these cases, you would often season the meat sparingly with salt and pepper so that the flavors of the meat would come out during cooking.  When I prepare a meat like this, I like to serve it with a strong side dish.  One of my favorite side dishes to prepare for the winter is spicy green beans.


spicy green beans

Photo credit: wonderyort via Flickr

Spicy Green Beans

1lb green beans ($2)
2 cloves garlic ($0.10)
1/3 cup water
2 tbsp soy sauce  (< $0.10)
1 tsp sugar (< $0.10)
1 tbsp chili sauce  (< $0.10)
splash of vinegar  (< $0.10)

Put on a medium sized pot of water to boil.  Meanwhile, clean and trim your green beans.  When the water is ready, toss in the beans for 2-3 minutes to blanch.  When it’s finished, strain the beans and rinse with ice water to stop the cooking process.

Prepare the sauce in a small bowl and mince the garlic.  Heat oil in a large pan or wok until HOT.  Then, toss in the garlic and fry for 2 minutes or until browned.  Then toss in the green beans and fry for 6-8 minutes, adding the sauce gradually.  Just before it’s done, add a splash of vinegar and toss the beans for another minute.  Serve as a side with your favorite dishes!  Goes great with white rice.

** You can adjust the amount of soy sauce and chili sauce to suit your taste.

Servings: 4

Cost per serving: $0.65

Frugal hack: If you can grow your own beans, then this recipe is practically free!  Or if that’s not an option, you can always substitute a different vegetable to use what is currently in season.

Feeling adventurous? You can add different ingredients to the stir-fry process and make it a meal on its own to serve with rice.  Mushrooms, slices of carrot and baby corn go great when stir-fried with green beans.  Add tofu, sliced chicken or pork for protein.

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