1. Asparagus: plain rock salt is just as tasty.
2. Green beans: I usually use canned garlic paste (I have a huge jar of it that will last me through the millenium probably), instead of mincing a fresh clove. And I always use lemon juice concentrate (another large bottle). I don't think I've even once bought a real lemon. If gourmet chefs ever read this, they'd probably have me executed. So let's just keep it on the DL.