Beans are truly a gift in the garden – one of the three sister plants traditionally grown along corn and squash in many native american tribes. Beans help build healthy soil helping other plants / animals thrive, and they bring great nourishment to our bodies as well. The Midwest Food Connection team grew string beans with spring classes. Although we have some time to wait for the plants to mature, we’re already excited to enjoy them in meals, as sides and snacks! You can eat these kind of beans fresh or you can also transform them into tasty dishes.

This plant and food offers multiple harvests. . so if you have some beans you are tending to, it’s a good idea to have green bean recipes around! The first recipe takes a little bit of food crafting and is influenced by Chinese cooking practices. We will learn how to toast sesame seeds and stirfry the beans. The second recipe is a little simpler yet just as tasty. 

Green Beans with garlic and sesame seeds


  • 1lb fresh green beans
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 tablespoon of sesame seeds
  • 1 TBSP olive oil
  • 2 TBSP soy sauce
  • salt to taste


  • trim the ends of beans, wash and pat dry
  • finely chop (mince) the garlic

Toasting Sesame Seeds

  • Using a pan, toast the sesame seeds (without oil) over medium-low heat until seeds are golden-brown (30 seconds to 1 minute).
  • Stir or toss the seeds often as to avoid burning them. Set your golden sesame seeds aside.

Cooking Up the Beans and Garlic 

  • Place beans in a single layer in a large skillet / sauce pan (without oil) and lightly char. Turn stove to medium high and turn beans every couple minutes until they begin to blister and char (about 6 to 7 minutes total).  If the skin is turning wrinkly, this is a good sign! 
  • Add the olive oil and stir fry the beans for two minutes with salt ( to taste –  two pinches or so)
  • Add garlic and sesame oil (or an additional 1/2 TSP of olive oil). Stir on stove for 1 to 2 minutes (we are sauteing!)
  • Add the soy sauce and saute for another minute.
  • Turn off heat and mix in the toasted sesame seeds
  • Let cool and enjoy 


Simple Oven Roasted Green Beans 


  • 1 lb fresh green beans
  • 3 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 to 2 TBSP lemon juice or juice from 1/2 lemon, lemon zest is welcome too
  • 2 pinches of salt
  • any additional spices – pepper, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, sumac, – 1/2 TSP or to taste


  • trim the ends of beans, wash and pat dry
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit
  • line baking sheet with parchment paper  

Cooking Instructions, In this method we will be roasting beans in the oven

  • In a large bowl combine olive oil, lemon juice (zest optional) , salt and any additional seasoning
  • Add your beans to the oil mixture and coat the beans generously. Use your hands to massage the oil onto the beans evenly.
  • Scatter the coated beans onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper
  • Roast the green beans for 10 to 15 minutes, check and shake pan halfway through

You could easily add minced garlic to this recipe! Here are a couple ideas to continue exploring green bean recipes: parmesan green beans or a green bean casserole. If you search on the internet, I am sure you can find some friendly and healthy foodwise guides.