I have a new favorite healthy side dish. Not surprisingly, it involves bacon.Sweet chili greens beans, topped with sesame seeds, caramelized onion, and bacon crumbles. Mm-mm good!
Peggy over at My Fiance Likes It So It Must Be Good
(isn’t that a fun blog name?) came up with this gluten-free decadent veggie side dish
featuring bacon and onion with an Asian flavor twist. Crisp-tender cooked green beans get their mild heat and sweet flavor from a couple of fresh poblano peppers, minced ginger, and a dash of Thai chili sauce. It’s an addictive fusion of flavors that will have you coming back for more!
The recipe requires a few steps, but it came together quickly after I got the bacon cooking in my new cast iron skillet. I did have to cook everything for a bit longer than the recipe notes stated since the bacon burned when I tried cooking it over medium-high heat. I substituted ginger powder for fresh ginger, and red poblano peppers for the Thai chilis Peggy used. Instead of “sweet chili sauce,” I used a hot chili sauce I found in the Asian section of the grocery store that has 0 grams of carbohydrates according to the label. Any chili sauce that contains garlic and rice vinegar in the ingredients will do the job. I added erythritol and a pinch of stevia to the hot chili sauce to create my own sweet chili sauce in a pinch. You can use any sugar-free sweetener you like here. Finally, I’d recommend you stick to the amount of bacon grease she uses here (1 tablespoon) instead of leaving extra in the pan, thinking that more fat equals more flavor. As delicious as bacon grease is, the taste of the green beans can become too oily rather quickly, especially if you top the dish with a drizzle of sesame oil. Strain and save that extra bacon grease in a cup for frying eggs!
Sweet Chili Green Beans
1 lb. green beans, trimmed
4 strips of bacon, chopped
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and minced OR 1 ¼ teaspoons ginger powder
3 thai chiles, minced, OR 2 poblano peppers, seeds removed and minced
2 tablespoons sweet chili sauce OR 4 teaspoons hot chili sauce + 2 teaspoons sugar-free sweetener
1 teaspoon fish sauce
1/4 c. water
sesame oil, optional
toasted sesame seeds, optional
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add green beans and cook for 4-5 minutes, or until beans are a bright green. Drain and set aside.
In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the bacon until crisp, about 6 to 8 minutes. Drain on paper towel-lined plate and set aside. Remove all but 1 tablespoon of the bacon grease from the pan. Add onion, and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
Stir in the ginger, minced pepper, chili sauce, fish sauce, and water. Add green beans and toss to coat. Saute for 8-10 minutes, until water evaporates, the sauce thickens, and the beans become tender.
Stir in bacon and garnish plated green beans with sesame oil and a sprinkle of sesame seeds, if desired.