Vegan Green Beans and Bacon

Vegan Green Beans and Bacon

I wasn’t planning on bringing home a giant bag of freshly-picked-in-peak-season green beans from the farmer’s market. But after being offered a sample (raw no less), I just had to get a bag. I had no choice really, if they’re this good raw, they must be extra good cooked.

Whenever I buy green beans, I take the time to pick out the most tender, bright green and skinniest ones. Occasionally, I get the odd look for being so picky, usually from other customers who just shove handfuls into a bag without any regard to what they’re grabbing.

Having been taught by my mom at a young age how to pick out produce, I wouldn’t dare bring home and serve any old, tough, or blemished green beans. Even today, if I grocery shop for my parents, I would not hear the end of it if I brought over subpar produce. Fortunately, at this particular vendor, every bean was a near perfect specimen (you could just tell they were proud of them, it’s probably why they were offering green bean samples).

So what should I make with my bountiful loot? With super fresh ingredients, I like to go with something simple so the taste shines through. But not so simple that it’s boring. Having finally procured Upton’s Naturals Bacon Seitan the other day, I was itching to try it out in a dish. Hence, vegan green beans with bacon.

Upton’s is definitely the best veggie bacon available today. Its ingredients list simple and non-scary: vital wheat gluten, soy sauce, whole wheat flour, natural hickory smoke concentrate, paprika, sea salt and onion. Of course it doesn’t really taste like bacon nor is it crispy like bacon. But it added a wonderful smokiness and saltiness to the subtlety sweet, crisp green beans. If you’re not into bacon seitan, you can always use sun-dried tomatoes instead.

Vegan Green Beans and Bacon
Serves 2 as a side dish

1/2 pound fresh green beans, ends trimmed
2-3 strips of vegan bacon (such as Upton’s Naturals Bacon Seitan)
1 small shallot, thinly sliced
Salt and pepper to taste
Oil for cooking

Bring a pot of water to boil and add the green beans. Cook until just crisp-tender about 1 to 2 minutes or so depending on the size of the beans. If they’re slender like French green beans, they’ll take less time than thicker beans. Drain and set aside.

Heat a skillet over medium high heat, add a little oil and pan-fry the vegan bacon to crispy. Transfer the bacon slices to a paper towel to soak up any excess oil. If necessary, add a little more oil to the skillet to cook the shallots until golden.

Toss in the green beans and season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir-fry until the beans are hot. Transfer to a serving dish. Cut the bacon strips into small pieces and sprinkle on top of the green beans. Serve immediately.

9 Comments so far

  1. luminousvegans on August 1st, 2013

    So simple, yet the perfect combination of ingredients!

  2. Andrea on August 1st, 2013

    Now you’ve got me craving green beans! I just love it when produce is so fresh and tasty that all you need is a simple prep to bring out the fabulous flavor. Yay summer!

  3. LittleMonsterx14 on August 1st, 2013

    ooh i love this, especially that you added vegan bacon, yum!

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  5. Hannah on August 2nd, 2013

    I can’t say green beans have ever ranked very highly on my preferential vegetable list, but perhaps that’s only because I’ve never eaten them with seitan bacon before. If only I had access to Uptons! I may just have to attempt a coconut bacon swap, since the preparation looks perfectly simple and fresh, best for highlighting such prime produce.

  6. Joey on August 2nd, 2013

    Green beans in the UK last for about two weeks, so during those two weeks I just go crazy and eat a few pounds! I don’t mind the odd bit of vegan bacon, but there’s no mad-successful one over here – we need some Uptons over the pond!

  7. rika@veganmiam.com on August 2nd, 2013

    It is certainly a lovely looking and simple recipe! I have never tried Upton’s bacon yet, only their seitan and meal platters/sandwiched in Chicago! And also shallots give a lovely flavor! Miam! x

  8. Camille on August 6th, 2013

    Oh yum! I love green beans! :)

  9. Lauren on August 8th, 2013

    All I have to say is: yum!!

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