If you're pressed for time, you can purchase two 12-ounce bags of precut, washed fresh green beans. You'll find them in the produce section of your supermarket.
Once cultivated only in Japan and Korea, shiitake mushrooms are now cultivated in the United States. The meaty flesh has a full-bodied, some even say steaklike, flavor. The stems are tough but add a wonderful flavor to stocks and sauces. (Discard the stems after they've been used for flavoring.)