3598 updated post view 2009

A New Gig, A New Diet & A Great Green Bean Recipe

garlicky green beans

Can you hardly believe it’s MAY already? As I sit here and write (while mami yaps in vintage form—on speakersphone, saying ‘bye’ to her domino playing friends and asking me 3 times to hold on), I ponder all the great things that have already come to fruition in just 4 months. I am chasing my dreams and seeing them realize.

I loudly claimed 2010 was going to be ‘ON LIKE DONKEY KONG,’ and my goodness has it ever been!

* A self-produced (with the help of my awesome lawyer and friend) I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter commercial using a nifty HD Flip camera made it on American Idol‘s premiere night and then won best video,  two different weeks during their on-line sweepstakes (now making me a SAG card holder! woot woot!)

* 3 other bloggers and myself hosted STIR IT 28, a smashing nationwide cocktail party to benefit Haiti in their relief efforts and raised close to $5,000 for Share Our Strength and Yéle Haiti, in just a matter of 3 weeks.

* Dean & DeLuca chose my morel mushroom recipe as part of their Spring Produce Recipe Contest, in which I was featured on their blog and won some goodies.

* My blog post on a guy friend hiring me to cook for him and his lady, was featured in the Atlanta Journal Constitution, to much acclaim! (Thanks Wise Diva!)

* I’ve been asked by the local GA office of Share our Strength to be their Latin volunteer chef for the Operation Frontline program. I particularly love this 6-week endeavor because for the first time in a long while, I feel useful in giving back to my own community. For 2.5 hours every Friday, I have the opportunity to set an example and teach a quasi-underpriveleged and low-income Latin community (mostly women) how to assess their current eating habits and  how to better improve their health, diets and overall lifestyles.

Through healthy cooking demos, teaching them how to purchase food, how to economize on a budget and offering alternatives to preparing their native food, I’m honored to be able to empower this group to take ownership of their health and ultimatley enhance their lives.

*And, a new client has been so supportive of my business, he quietly gifted me with a new Nikon D5000 kit! Lord knows I’d been in serious need of a flicker that would entice you to continue coming back. I yield to the notion that the success of a food blog is largely  driven by the quality of its pictures. So, thank you client and friend, D! You’ve been a gift, too!

Wow! All these things are such wonderful blessings and I’m so thankful for the energy to focus, grind, give back, be creative and still manage the other elements of my business that have nothing to do with food. I’ve not really shared those things here because I’m trying to use this other blog (albeit a lax-y daze-y one) as my vessel to disseminate those things.

While all those exciting developments have individually been exceptional in their own right and opened other doors, I’m so thrilled to share my newest GIG!

But, I’ll get that to that in a minute!

As a Latina, one that is very in touch with my roots, is very proud and is thankful for being tri-lingual (thanks to my parents), there is nothing like knowing there are unique  and dedicated media outlets that highlight US as a strong, beautiful and powerful community. There are TV shows that dispel the stereotypes of the immigrant family. There is the Congressman, la madre, el padre, activist, CEO, news anchor or even Supreme Court Jstice that defies the odds of failing after crossing the border. And of course, there is the Hollywood type that demonstrates all dreams can come true. Seeing Latinos on the big screen is growing more and more and I’m just so excited to see my counterparts being recognized.

The Latin Billboard Awards just took place 3 days ago in LA, with a slew of our favored Latinos strutting the red carpet and being honored for their art through music.

And, LATINAMagazine was there to cover the nights’ celebration, the fashion, the hot couples, the tastemakers. The sexy swag bags.

They are one of those unique media outlets. LATINA is the go-to magazine for the Latin American woman that works, has a career, has a family or is single, love, understands and celebrates her roots, explores others’ traditions and cultura. The magazine is for me, a Latin woman who is orgullosa, can relate and is intrigued by my peers that are successful against all odds and celebrates all our facets!  Established in the 1996, LATINA is now the US’s largest print magazine for Latin women. 100 percent Latina.

Now that I bigged them up a bit, on to the the news.

As of yesterday, I am the new Weekly Food Columnist at LATINA!

YESSS!! You may wonder why I’m so excited, considering I’m a writer and am published in other magazines, both print and on-line; so nothing new, right! Well, LATINA is about me, for me, by me–the perfect platform to discuss the one thing that defines the crux of our culture: FOOD. I’d been talking with LATINA since October last year, right after my culinary trip to Cabo, San Lucas and finally penned this dulce deal. Working out deetz can be tricky and creativity can’t ever be rushed, you know.

I’m looking forward to sharing with YOU and the women (both Latin and other, that subscribe to the magazine for all things news, product review, events, beauty, fashion, lifestyle, travel, celebrities and food, of course) my personal culinary musings, recipes, traditions in Latin kitchens and undoubtedly excite them to get back in the cocina—-even in their baddest stiletto!

I’m particularly looking forward to emphasizing how important food is to our soul and reintroduce the art of  cooking and sitting at the dinner table, something I’m sure has been instilled in all of us, yet somehow missing in today’s instant gratification culture.

Appropriately, this Tuesday will be my first post, in acknowledgement of Cinco de Mayo. You’ll be able to read my Column every Tuesday (which will start here and lead you into their site), titled Flanboyant Eats With Bren”

(I just love this commemorative T-shirt celebrating SotoMayor’s appointment–Would love one !*wink* *wink* editors! Latina.com, $22)

I hope you’ll mosey on over there! And with enough push, I’ll be on the cover, soon enough!


That being said, and to celebrate new gigs and new purposes, I’m vowing to eating healthier, working out with more passion, adding more greens (cuz I have a terribly hard time doing this) and really being a practitioner of what I preach to my clients and students.

I made this super healthy, extremely fast string bean salad, served as a side for dinner the other day. It’s simple enough to have it every day and can serve as that green vegetable to get you started in incorporating into your diet. I didn’t do anything to really Latin-fy it, however, if you’re gutsy, a 1/2 pack of latin seasoning will give a nice little kick.

 Oops. almost forgot this!


Eat well, love unapologetically, pray with true intention, and take care of yourself.

Follow the sexy & delicious fun on


follow Bren Herrera on Pinterest

Don't forget to check out my debut cookbook!




  • 1  lb. fresh string beans
  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil or “butter spread”
  • s/p to taste


Wash and cut both tips of string beans. Bring salted water to a boil in medium pot. Add beans and cook, uncovered until fully cooked, but not too tender.* Drain and pat dry. Set aside in bowl. Heat large sized non-skick skillet and add fat (olive oil or butter spread). Reduce heat. Lightly sauté onions and garlic until translucent or for about 2-3 minutes on low-medium heat. Add string beans to skillet and gently toss using tongs. Add black pepper and a bit more salt if desired. Plate on serving dish.

Serves 4.

*I prefer to pressure cook mine, in which case they’ll be done in 5 minutes. Email me if you’d like instructions on how to pressure cook vegetables. Alternatively, you may also steam the string beans.

68 thoughts on “A New Gig, A New Diet & A Great Green Bean Recipe

  1. So proud of you! Great things have and are happening…and I can’t wait to see everything dream some true for you. Your work ethic is inspiring, and how you keep your positivity during rough patches is admirable. I appreciate you in my life, my friend. 😉 *Hugs*

  2. Thanks everyone! Movin’ and shakin’! That’s the only way to do it!! Hope you’ll go by over there and check me out! Thanks for the luv!

  3. Just checked out Latina Magazine’s website. I spent about an hour reading some of the articles. Really enjoyed it. I also learned a couple of things. You would be a great addition over there. Latina Magazine just got a new reader. Congrats again!

  4. go girl!!!!keep those wheels rolling.

    But now I feel bad, I’ve been making green beans that way for yrs.Some times toss in mushrooms and a hunk of cream cheese(dairy right?)

    Love ya Bren

  5. You know what they (actually it was Thomas Alva Edison) say: “Genius (or rather, success) is one percent inspiration and 99 percent (!!!) perspiration.” And you have sweat it out big time. It’s time now to start reaping some well-deserved success. Congratulations! Things are beginning to fall into place; Your only way is up 🙂

  6. Congratulations Bren. It is great to see that all of your hard work is paying off and allowing you to become successful, because we all know if anyone deserves to be successful, it should be you. Just keep doing what you’re doing and allow GOD to direct your path and your opportunities will be endless.

  7. Dullah: wow, you spent that much time on there! Great! Thanks for always supporting mi blog, even though you are far from my typical reader! Love and appreciate your diversity, brotha! 🙂

    Rosa: Thanks chica! You’re so sweet! Dullah above, was asking where you were!!??! He’s noticed that you’re usually the 1st to leave a comment–I told him I published it while you were probably sleeping! 🙂

    Chef Julia: Thanks mujer; you push me, you know! 🙂 This way of making green beans is nothing ordinary, but so good and easy and perfect that person trying to add more greens to their diet… I can eat it every day.. truffle oil would be great, too! Hugs backatcha!

    David: you got that right! If you only knew how much sweat goes on in this shop, you’d get the feds up in here! I’m tickled and hope you’ll check out Latina, regularly!

    Derek: awwww. thanks Derek. Preciate the man love! Always nice to see guys on here!

  8. well, first of all, congrats on the new gig. if it’s “on like donkey kong” and it’s only May then we all got find Bruce Lee’s manuscript so we cam kick it like “Kung fu.”
    I would say I don’t know you but i know you 🙂 as i’m sure many of your friends would say whom like me have never met you. It is always good to meet folks that in some way shape or form inspire you to do other things. ur inspiring me to to be reconnected in a whole new way..i guess evidence will be seen when i too start writing 🙂
    being proud of who u are is always a phenomenal thing as it embodies all aspects of what culture really means to self.
    So i say ride the train, caboose, speed trains until the wheels or bearings fall off 🙂
    Your garlicky green beans can be latin-fied real easy, just toss those with a puerto rican sofrito mix..whallah. head over to mexico and hit that with some chipotle or toasted chiles witha hint of chocolate then ur talking shiggidy!!
    Thanks for allowing us to interact with you..likle more dawta, Irie Vibes an ting..laters..
    Chef Irie

  9. I’m very excited for all the great things today and tomorrow for you. We have to get the Wise Latina t shirts and sport them out maybe I’ll wear it with my skinny jeans and my new black LAMB shoes (Chef Bren style or should I say B SO Chic) lol You are an inspiration chica. Keep dreaming BIG!!!! Love you girl!!

  10. Oooh, I’ve never thought to add onion slices. That would be a great addition… BTW, the episode of Julia & Jacques where she cooks green beans shows another method for quick cooking: plunge a hot iron into the water with the beans. Returns the water to boiling immediately. I’ve never tried it. I tend to like mine nearly raw, so I often just saute them for maybe 5 minutes without boiling first.

    Will be checking out your guest D&D blog after tackling tomorrow’s deadlines.

  11. All love to my teacher and friend. I love the power of a woman who does what she says and says what she means! You are and inspiration and it’s your time! Love it!

  12. 5 Star Foodie: Thanks chica!! I’m going to email you this week!

    Chef Irie: I love the energy you give me! I’m glad to inspire you and hope that you put some fire into that blog of yours; cuz I know your food has it!! Hec, I could learn a thing or two from you, so let’s break virtual bread!! Oh, and you know what I said on Twitter–I had no time or real time to get all sassy with the beans. This was so simple and really good. The garlic and olive oil really do it for me.

    Simone: Gracias, chuchee…imma see what I can do about getting that t-shirt. Skinny jeans, Fabienne LAMBS and a BIG bag, and we’re good to go! Love you girl. Just don’t stay away so long!

    Jason: Really!?!? no onions, ever? wow. well, there you go. Now you’ll have to try it. I’v never tried that other method either, but it does sound interesting. I don’t like mine mushy, so I have to be careful of how I cook them in the pressure cooker…. putting them back in the saute pan with the veg mixture gives them a bit of brownness!

    Lorraine: Thanks girl; it’s been a minute since we said hello, so I wanted to drop by! And yes, no luck here. ALLLLL hard work.

    Tiffany: wow, thanks Tiff… get it movin’!!

    Chef Chip: BAM!

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