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Fasoolya – Green Bean Stew with Lamb and Tomato Broth (In a Crockpot!)

September 24, 2014

Forget falling leaves, autumn is the most frenetic time of year for me. Perhaps mothers reading this can relate. Okay inhale: now dive into days packed with working, writing, bill paying, prepping school lunches, cleaning, grocery shopping, laundry, soccer practice, Zumba teaching, ballet rehearsals, swimming lessons, piano lessons, school volunteering, fundraising for charities, and cooking…now exhale. Regardless of all of these tugs on my time, cooking takes a back seat and my pots and pans seem to give me attitude like they’re saying “Wanna piece of me?” How do I squeeze in easy, healthy dinners without relying on processed food or take out? The crock pot, one of the best inventions ever (sorry pots and pans.) I have to admit when I first used a crock pot I went to work with this paranoia that the pot was going to explode while I was gone. (I even asked a fireman once if crockpots ever caused a home fire and he looked at me like I was a crackpot myself). I like to think of my crock pot as my little personal assistant, making sure my ingredients are playing nicely with each other while I am gone. Now fasoolya is one of the most traditional weeknight meals in the Middle East, popular in the Levantine region, which includes Lebanon, Palestine, Syria, and Jordan. This one pot meal features an aromatic tomato broth with the addition of either lamb or chicken, and green beans, usually served over rice.

fasoolya

The traditional method uses a regular pot, but the crockpot is my twist adapted for today’s busy lifestyle. Crockpot cooking allows the lamb to cook slowly, so once done it’s fork tender and falls of the bone. For the green beans, you can use fresh in the summer, or frozen in the winter. My favorite type of green bean are the skinny haricot vert, because they have few if any “strings” on the beans. You can use any leftover garden tomatoes for the tomato puree, or you can use canned tomato sauce in the winter. The reason why I take the extra step to sear the meat and saute the onions is to give the dish a richer flavor and appearance. Placing any kind of meat in a crockpot without searing it first will result in gray looking meat, not very appetizing in my book. I also use very simple spices–basically salt, pepper, and allspice. However, Jordanians add a dash of cumin, and Palestinians add coriander to this dish, so you can experiment with flavors that you prefer. Serve this over rice, quinoa, couscous, or with no starch at all if you are watching your carbs. Regardless of how you serve it, fasoolya is a satisfying meal for the whole family. So here’s the video of how to make this hearty and satisfying dish. Leave me a comment–I would love to know what you think!

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. shirley davis permalink
    November 4, 2014 7:26 pm

    Hello Blanche, thank you for this recipe…they serve this at the local Middle East fair every time. It’s so delicious. I consider this a balanced meal!! Thank you for making it seem easy, step by step… Plan to make it this weekend. Have you ever made this with regular “cow” beef? Do you always use lamb? I love lamb, but was just wondering. I sure do like to use crockpots (even make my brisket in it – I wrap large pieces of brisket in aluminum (with brisket sauce…cooks overnight 12 or 13 hours). Thank you for your kindness in providing these wonderful recipies. Shirley

    • November 14, 2014 5:11 pm

      My pleasure Shirley, glad you got the chance to try it at the fair! I have never tried this recipe with beef, but I have tried it with chicken and everyone loved it. If you do try a cut of beef make sure that it has the bone in, to flavor the broth. I haven’t had brisket in ages, I love your idea! Best, B

  2. Judy permalink
    May 26, 2017 2:01 pm

    Love your website.. Is there a way to print out your recipes?

    • June 10, 2017 9:05 pm

      Thank you Judy! I need to do a complete overhaul of my website, in the meantime I am working on an affordable e-book that will have step by step instructions for every single recipe (and much more that I haven’t made videos on)

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