Anyone else picture the Green Giant whenever they think of green beans? What marketing genius thought of that guy? I mean really – a big green dude with leaves for hair, a one-shoulder leaf ‘dress’, and elf shoes. Sometimes it weirds me out to eat green beans because I feel like I’m consuming the offspring of Mr. Green Giant. And one magical day, when Green Giant met a pretty little orange, they created these mandarin orange green beans.
Green beans are a spring and summer staple in our home, because they are easy to make and CHEAP. But when my traditional olive oil and garlic grilling method gets a little boring, or roasting ’em with a little salt and lemon juice just feels stale, I make a citrus and tangy stovetop version that is easy and perfectly different!
Oranges and green beans?! Yes. They go to together like peas and carrots. Esssssssspecially when you add just a splash balsamic vinegar to all that fresh juice and zest. It’s like a citrus POW that tastes oh so delightful and plays off that earthy green bean flavor too. So basically what I’m trying to say in my own poetic version is this mandarin orange green bean dish tastes fresh and light.
Oh did I mention it take around 10 minutes to whip these babies up? AND they are paleo, vegan, and Whole30 compliant?! So next time you see those raw green beans in the grocery store, don’t be afraid. WWGGD (what would Green Giant do). He’d grab some mandarine oranges and a few of his own ‘lil green beans and go to town. Would that be considered vegetabalism? I don’t want to know…
If you can’t find mandarin oranges, don’t sweat it. Any orange blend will do the trick. Tomato/Tomaaato, right? They key is that sweet citrus. And don’t forget to garnish with more zest, it’s just so dang pretty.
Time Saver Tip
Wash and cut the green beans beforehand and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Juice the orange(s), zest until you have at least one teaspoon (more for garnish), then store separately in airtight containers in the refrigerator. When ready to cook, all the components will be ready to add to the pan in a flash!
- 1 pound fresh green beans
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 tablespoons mandarin orange juice
- 1 teaspoon mandarin orange zest + more to garnish
- ⅛ teaspoon cardamon
- ½ teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- Wash and pat try the green beans. Trim the ends off and cut into halves or thirds
- Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium high heat
- Place the cut green beans into the pan, coat evenly with the olive oil, and let heat around 5 minutes
- Add the orange juice, zest, cardamon, and balsamic vinegar
- Turn the heat down to medium and sauté another 5 minutes until beans are slightly soft
- Serve immediately and garnish with more orange zest to taste