Easy French Fry Alternative: Grilled Pole Beans
There is a song in the Nick Jr. show Ni Hao, Kai Lan that encourages children to give unfamiliar things a shot. I absolutely love that song, and the show, because it’s encouraged my son to be very openminded:
When you are scared of something new and you don’t know what to do, just try it! Try it! Try it! Because you might like it! – Ni Hao, Kai Lan
Is that not the best message ever or what??
In that spirit, when I heard a farmer talking about these pole beans at a recent farmers market, I was intrigued. Pole beans are longer and thicker than green beans, so they hold up well to cooking directly on the grill. Be sure to marinate them in a good vinaigrette first — something with a lot of tang and flavor.
Could these be an alternative to oven baked fries and sweet potato fries (which my family loves, but honestly can take a bit of effort to make)? Yes. When I make these we all pick them up with our fingers and eat them like fries. No need for dipping sauce here though — the marinated beans cooked up packed with flavor. And yes, the kids love them.
A healthy vegetable as a finger food? Excellent.
Grilled Pole Beans
1 lb pole beans, washed
3/4 cup marinade (I used an herb and garlic marinade, but Italian dressing would be a good fit too)
Pour the dressing over the beans and let marinate, tossing periodically, for 2-3 hours.
Heat the grill to medium and toss the beans on in a heap, discarding any excess marinade. Cook for 20 minutes or so, until crisp tender and lightly browned.