Oats, peas, beans and barley grow

19 Jul

Oats, peas, beans, and barley grow,IMG_2208
Oats, peas, beans, and barley grow,
Can you or I or anyone know
How oats, peas, beans, and barley grow?

…anyone else know this song? I feel like it may have been a Sharon, Lois and Bram classic. Anyways, that’s what was going through my head as I picked snow peas and beans from my garden today. I just need some oats and barley to complete my song! Or maybe I could rewrite the lyrics: “herbs, peas, beans and zucchini grow”? Any takers?


So you know me, almost as soon as I got those guys outta the ground, I had to get them into my stomach! Exhibit A: my delicious watermelon, ham and veggie salad for lunch yesterday (there are peas and beans under all that pink-ness, I promise!). My greens were spinach and garden-fresh arugula, the vegetation was red pepper, cucumber, yellow and green beans and snow peas from the garden, cucumber, red onion and tomato. I used up the last of the watermelon leftover from the fruit bouquet and 4 slices of lean deli ham (preservative-free, thank-you-very-much). For herbage, I added some fresh cilantro.

I topped this all off with salt and pepper and a delicious vinaigrette made from schmancy maple wine vinegar, fat-free Italian dressing, oil and Dijon mustard. Once again, another salad winner, folks! Peppery arugula, sweet and juicy melon (just that combo alone was FANTASTIC), crunchy veggies, and herb-y freshness from the cilantro: summer perfection! Another added benefit? The lovely pink hue. Nothing like a salad in your favourite colour to get your week off to a good start!


Exhibit B: The delicious bean side dish I made for supper last night. It was a riff on a Martha Stewart recipe I made last summer for my mom’s birthday called Neapolitan Green Beans. The original recipe calls for simmering the beans with fresh tomato, slice garlic, chili flakes, and basil. I have done my own variations on this dish several times, and they all turn out great. Here is a loose recipe guideline to help you re-create and/or re-invent this dish.

Neapolitan Green Beans

Adapted from Martha Stewart

  • Green and/or yellow beans to serve as many as you’d like
  • Tomato/some sort of tomato product (you can use any kind of fresh tomato – plum, cherry, regular, or canned tomatoes, or tomato sauce, or any combination of the above) This time, I used a bit of frozen spicy tomato sauce and part of a fresh tomato.
  • A pinch of chili flakes (omit if you don’t like things spicy or if you’re using spicy tomato sauce, as I did this time)
  • Fresh garlic, sliced (use as much or as little as you’d like)
  • A few sprigs fresh basil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Trim the beans and cut in half. Place the beans, chili flakes, garlic, tomatoes and salt and pepper in a pot. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer on medium-low for about 10 minutes. Add basil sprigs (leave whole), increase heat to medium and simmer, uncovered for 5 to 7 minutes until liquid is slightly reduced. Remove basil sprigs and serve.




When the beans have simmered for about 10 minutes and look like this, it’s time to….





….add the basil! Then simmer away some more.






This is what it looks like when it has simmered and is ready to go…just take the basil out first!




This is a seriously simple side that tastes amazing! It will be even better when made with the fresh tomatoes that will arrive in my garden in a few weeks. No taste better captures the essence of summer than fresh tomato and basil, if you ask me.


Now, what to pair these beans with for a garden-fresh summer meal? So glad you asked. How about a Sobey’s Compliments Chipotle BBQ chicken breast, quinoa with balsamic sage mushrooms, and corn on the cob? Yes, I think that would be nice.

All joking aside, this was one tasty, summer-licious meal. The only downside? A lot of pots to clean – between cooking the quinoa, the beans, the corn and sautéing the ‘shrooms – that was 4 pans!!! Good thing there was no clean up from grilling the chicken! Smile with tongue out

Do you have any favourite “unconventional” summer sides (besides the usual suspects – potato salad, corn-on-the-cob, etc)?

9 Responses to “Oats, peas, beans and barley grow”

  1. Donna @ Life of a Happy Blonde July 19, 2011 at 10:36 am #

    That quinoa sounds yummy except for the mushrooms, ewwww! 🙂
    Hmmm my fav summer sides are zucchini fries and tomatos roasted with cheese on top, yum!
    I hate having tons of pots to clean, but sometimes its oh so worth it!

    • hungryhealthyhilary July 19, 2011 at 11:19 am #

      I think me and Katie are going to have to peer pressure you into liking mushrooms, you’re really missing out!

  2. Er July 19, 2011 at 1:22 pm #

    I like just sliced tomato with mozzarella, zucchini with tomato, or a good pasta & veggie salad.

  3. realfoodkatiesway July 19, 2011 at 7:11 pm #

    I love love love love LOVE baked beans!! It’s absolutely crazy how much I love them….Summer, Winter, Fall, Spring….But being that it’s summer right now, BAKED BEANS are my fav!!

    PS I went to buy a watermelon yesterday and there wasn’t one to be found….I can’t begin to describe my devastation 😦

  4. helennaturally July 19, 2011 at 8:26 pm #

    I can’t really say that I have any unconventional summer dishes. I love the usual summer foods – berries, watermelon, fresh veggies, and watermelon – oh yes watermelon……..


  1. You say tomato… « hungryhealthyhilary - August 8, 2011

    […] other Roma/plum tomato usage I’m highlighting is in my Sicilian green beans that were an accompaniment to my pizza Friday night (if it looks like a light meal, that’s […]

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