December 29, 2011

Dijon Green Beans Almondine

Since I can remember, every holiday season my mom's side of the family and my dad's side of the family have gotten together in the days immediately leading up to Christmas day for separate holiday parties.  This Christmas my mom's side of the family gathered on December 23rd (Christmas Adam, as I call it!), and my dad's side of the family met on December 24th (Christmas Eve, get it?!).  My dad's side of the family decided to make things easy by meeting for a late lunch at P.F. Changs (memories of the movie A Christmas Story come to mind), but my mom's family decided to do a potluck.  With twenty-one people in attendance, and many of them bringing the tried and true holiday casseroles (i.e. squash, corn, sweet potato, dressing, etc.), I decided to make something light, yet equally delicious.

Unfortunately I forgot to take ANY pictures of my dish.  Oh well.  I assure you that the entire pan-full was consumed by the first go 'round!  As people went back to the food line to fill their plates for a second time I heard: "Where are the green beans?" "Are the green beans all gone?"  "Who made the green beans?"  "Can I get the green bean recipe?" read that correctly! 

The green beans were one of the hits of the potluck!  That just goes to show you that good food can be simultaneously healthy and yummy.

This isn't a picture of my dish.  I forgot my camera that evening. :(

Dijon Green Beans Almondine
Serves 10-12

2 lbs. of fresh, trimmed and snapped green beans
2 T Smart Balance (or butter)
2-3 T Dijon mustard (I used 3T)
1 T lemon juice
1-2 cloves of garlic (I used 2)
1/2 tsp salt
2 T fresh thyme (or 1 1/2 tsp dry)
1/3 C slivered almonds


  1. Melt butter over medium heat in a large pan (or Dutch oven).
  2. Add garlic and saute until lightly golden (2-3 minutes).
  3. Add green beans, Dijon mustard, and lemon juice. 
  4. Toss to coat.
  5. Cook until beginning to tenderize (5-8 minutes).
  6. Sprinkle salt and thyme over the green beans.
  7. Garnish with slivered almonds.
  8. Serve immediately.

The almonds give these green beans a wonderful texture.  I love the mild heat that the Dijon lends to the recipe, and the lemon juice brightens the flavors so that the garlic and mustard are not overwhelming.  Overall, a huge hit and a wonderful way to do something a little different with the tried and true green beans.

The family had a great time at our annual Christmas party.  In fact, some of us even took time away from the festivities for a photo-op.

Mom and Mike (i.e. M&M)

Mom and Forrest, my biological brother.

As for my dad's side of the family, after we finished our late lunch at P.F. Chang's on Christmas Eve we headed over to my Mee Maw and Pee Paw's house for a visit.  We spent the evening watching the Cowboys football game (Bo's a die-hard fan!), sharing old family stories, and opening presents. 

People who know my Mee Maw and I say that we look a lot alike.  My Mee Maw was a true knock-out when she was younger!  Even now, in her seventies, she hardly has any wrinkles (I hope I get that lucky!).  What do you think?  Can you see the resemblance?!

Bo and I received more presents that we could have hoped for this Christmas.  Some were on our lists, and others were pleasant surprises.  Regardless, we are thankful for each and every one of them, from our iPod docking station to our backpacks and new perfume, and everything in between.  I even received a little something sparkly: Vera Wang flats that can be worn throughout every season of the year (and I plan on doing just that)!

Until next year, try and keep some of that warm holiday spirit in your heart!  Holidays are just days, but the spirit of giving, loving, and sharing our homes and our hearts with all of our loved ones can be with us every day of the year.

Question of the Day:

Are there any special foods or recipes that you wait to whip up until the holiday season rolls around?!  I would love to hear about them!

Ally and Bo


  1. You look just like your mee-maw, and I have a feeling you'll age just as well (since you are so healthy!)

    So glad you're back...!

    And I pretty much eat everything all year round, but I love some apple cider when the weather gets chilly.

  2. Thanks Paige! I am so thankful to still have my Mee Maw in my life. She is beautiful inside and out.

    I hear you on the apple cider! Although, I tried some sugar free mix this year and it was AWFUL. Note to self, go ahead and drink the real stuff. It is exponentially better!