Chinese Takeout…Revamped

One of my favorite comfort foods is Chinese takeout and I think it’s safe to say I’m not alone in the struggle to find nourishing options. In my attempt to make a healthier choice while ordering in, I recently came across a delicious dish of Chinese broccoli with garlic sauce. Let me tell you, Old Peking does not skimp on the garlic! The aroma and flavor packed into this dish was pleasantly surprising but I was also disappointed finding it drenched in oil (and likely not a healthy oil at that).

This inspired me to create a Szechuan inspired veggie recipe to fulfill my craving for Chinese takeout. These green beans are in no way lacking flavor. It’s important to remember we can recreate our favorite foods at home in a healthier and often even tastier way. Have faith in your abilities to revamp those take-out favorites for the better. Try out these Szechuan Green Beans as proof. Proceed with caution, they have some kick!

Szechuan Green Beans


  • 1 pound fresh green beans
  • 4 scallions
  • 6 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 inch fresh ginger, minced
  • 1/4 to 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes (adjust for desired heat)
  • 1 teaspoon whole peppercorns, divided
  • 3 tablespoons olive or avocado oil, divided
  • Sea salt to taste


  1. Trim stems off green beans and place in a large bowl.
  2. Thinly slice scallions, using the both the white and green parts. Set aside in a small bowl.
  3. Mince garlic. Add to scallions.
  4. Remove peel from ginger using a paring knife. Grate fresh ginger using a fine cheese grater or mince finely. Add to scallions and garlic.
  5. Add red pepper flakes to scallion mixture.
  6. Grind peppercorns.
  7. In a medium skillet, heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium-low heat. Add half of the peppercorns and stir frequently, until aromatic, about 1 minute.
  8. Add the scallion mixture and cook about 1 minute longer. Remove from heat and set aside.
  9. Adjust oven rack to the highest shelf. Preheat the broiler to high.
  10. Toss green beans in 1 tablespoon oil and season with salt and pepper.
  11. Spread green beans out in a single layer on a foil-lined baking sheet. Broil until very lightly charred, about 3-5 minutes. Return to bowl.
  12. Toss green beans in half of peppercorn mixture. Plate green beans and top with remaining peppercorn mixture and serve.

Variations: Serve over brown rice and top with stir-fried shrimp to make this a complete meal.

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