Tag Archives: nutrients

Fresh from the garden.

16 Jul

I just harvested my first batch of green beans and yellow wax beans, fresh from my backyard garden! I love green beans and there’s nothing better than eating them less than an hour after picking them.

You may think these guys are just some lowly side dish, often relegated to wedding buffets (straight from a can and swimming in butter) or in the traditional green bean casserole (straight from a can and swimming in condensed cream of mushroom soup), but they’re actually nutritional powerhouses. They’re very low in calories (about 40 calories per cup) and have enough nutrients to earn a high-five from the Jolly Green Giant.

Green beans and wax beans, often called string beans or snap beans, are an excellent source of vitamin K and vitamin C and a good source of vitamin A, potassium, calcium, magnesium and more. Believe it or not, they also contain omega 3 fatty acids. For those of us fighting high blood pressure, beans are a smart choice. Potassium and magnesium work together to help lower high blood pressure and the combination of nutrients offers much-needed cardiovascular protection.

Since I picked the beans right before dinner, I went the easy route and steamed them until just done. I tossed them in some vegan butter and seasoned with salt and pepper and a little sprinkle of fresh chopped basil. If your only experiences with green beans are canned ones, you have no idea what you’re missing. These are sweet, tender with a slight bite, and oh-so-yummy. They are nothing like the salty, mushy ones that come from a can.

But here’s the best part — you can use the leftover steamed beans to make a completely different side dish for the next night. After dinner, I gave the leftover beans a quick rinse to remove any remaining butter. Then I turned them into an easy, delicious bean salad. Popped it in the fridge overnight and served it for dinner the next night. Give them a try!

Mixed Bean Salad
serves 6

1 pound steamed green and/or yellow beans, cooled
15 grape tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise (about 1/2 pint)
1 small onion, diced
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed well
1/2 of a sweet red bell pepper, diced or julienned
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

In a large bowl, combine beans, tomatoes, onion, chickpeas and red pepper.

In a small bowl, whisk together oil, vinegars, oregano, garlic powder, thyme, salt and pepper. Pour over bean mixture and toss well to coat. Sprinkle with basil and parsley and toss lightly. Refrigerate overnight. Enjoy!