The Vegetable Diaries: Roasted Green Beans with Onions and Almonds

I bet many professional chefs can cook entire meals with one hand.

But what about the rest of us?

I considered this question after a careless kitchen accident left my left hand temporarily injured.

I thought, "This is such a great chance for me to forget about eating healthfully and just indulge."

My logic lay somewhere around, "If I can't cook well then what I'm eating doesn't count."

These thoughts are the cousins of "I'm on vacation or at a party/It's raining so it doesnt count."

After two days of many take-out containers, I realized that healthy eating does count. It always does, injured or not, in an airport, a car or even an over-the-top restaurant. When I started cheating on healthy eating, I knew I'd get caught.

I began to look for simple dishes I could literally piece together single-handedly and arrived on a fall favorite: roasted green beans with onions and chopped almonds.

I had heard that roasting green beans gives them a crunchy, French fry-like texture that is just as good as the real thing. Well, not so much.

Still, green beans can be salty and satisfying. Adding quartered onions to the roasting pan provided a bit of sweetness and the almonds served as a strong source of protein in this completely vegan dish.

Green beans are an excellent source of vitamin A, fiber and vitamin K, which supports bone health and hand healing. Look for the crunchiest, brightest versions (French or snap beans) of the bunch when shopping.

Alternatively, frozen organic green beans are convenient and offer the same amount of nutrients.

This was not the greatest meal I've prepared, but it was a good one, especially for single-handed cooking!

I have no doubt that the dish would serve as an easy, healthy addition to any meal -- no matter how many hands it took to make.

Roasted Green Beans With Onions and Almonds

Serves 4 as a side

2 pounds of green beans, stemmed
2 medium yellow onions, quartered
1/2 cup of almonds
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 lemon cut into wedges
Salt and pepper to taste

1.  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Lay the almonds out on a baking sheet and roast until just fragrant, about eight minutes. Remove from oven, let cool and then chop (or crush with the back of a pan). Reserve in a small bowl.

2. Turn the oven to 400 degrees. Wash green beans, pat dry and add to a large mixing bowl. Quarter onions and add to bowl. Toss beans and onions with olive oil, salt and pepper. Lay out on a parchment-lined baking sheet (to make clean-up easier) and roast in oven until green beans are slightly browned and onions are soft and sweet, about 30 minutes.

3. Remove from oven, plate and top with chopped almonds and serve with lemon wedges.

Mallory Stuchin, a native Manhattanite, is the food editor for She is also a natural foods chef and has worked for Mario Batali. Her writing has previously been featured in The New York Observer, Glamour and Maxim, as well as other publications in New York and Los Angeles. Mallory has also studied Ashtanga yoga in Mysore, India and has taught classes at PURE Yoga and New York University. You can follow her on Twitter @malstuch.

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