Fast or Feast, String Beans in a Mushroom Sauce are Sure to Please

Another fast is coming, and this time we honor the Virgin Mary, the Mother of God. For the first two weeks of August, the 1st through the 14th, faithful Orthodox Christians fast (from meat, dairy and eggs, and fish) and offer prayers through the Paraklesis Service.

During this time (on August 6th), we also celebrate a Major Feast of our Lord, Transfiguration, His revelation to the apostles on Mt. Tabor. Although fish is allowed on Transfiguration, to celebrate the feast day during a fasting period, this is a solid two-week fast.

Here is a recipe you can enjoy without bacon during the fast or with bacon after the fast. Either way, it’s a great treat for string-bean lovers.

String Beans in a Tomato Mushroom Sauce

Trim and then wash 1 lb fresh string beans. Set aside in a large stock pot.

(Before and after)

In a large pan, cook 1/4 lb. cut bacon. Drain bacon on paper towel, wipe out pan to remove bacon pieces and sauté 1 chopped onion and 2 crushed garlic cloves in olive oil.

string beans

string beans

(Another picture for bacon lovers…)

In another large pan, sauté ½ lb sliced mushrooms in olive oil to save time. It is important to sauté mushrooms with plenty of room in the pan because they don’t like to be crowded. If you don’t have two large pans, then when the onions are done, set them aside and add then sauté the mushrooms.

string beans

When the onions are translucent and the mushrooms are cooked, combine cooked mushrooms, onions, and bacon in pan.

string beans

Add 1 large can crushed tomatoes, 1T oregano, ½ bunch chopped fresh parsley, ½ bunch chopped fresh mint (plus 1t dry mint if you like mint), 1t salt, dash of pepper, and simmer for 15 minutes.

string beans

Pour sauce over string beans…

string beans

Add 1 c water, cover and cook on med-low heat in a large stock pot for 1 hour or until tender.

string beans

Makes 6-8 servings.

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Posted by the Orthodox Christian Network.  You can find the Orthodox Christian Network on Google+.

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Presvytera Vassi Makris Haros is a graduate of the University…
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