Total Nutrition Technology
Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Stacey's Fresh Green Bean Salad

Photo Credit: Stacey Gretka

We've all see the cooking shows that make even the most traditional foods look elegant and sophisticated, so today I'm bringing you my versatile version of a green bean salad, inspired by Bobby Flay's Haricots Verts. 

It all starts with the freshest green beans. I nabbed mine from Black's Produce. Give them a good wash, and snap your ends. You can leave the ends intact if you prefer. 

While you're doing that, bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. 

Once you've got your water boiling and your green beans are ready, set the timer for 3 minutes. Add your green beans. While they're rolling around, fill a large bowl with ice water. Once your timer goes off, scoop the green beans out with a nice, big slotted spoon (actually called a skimmer) like this one and straight into that ice water! This technique preserves the gorgeous color. What you've done here is beyond simply making beautiful beans; you've enhanced the nutrients that are available to you. By breaking the beans' cell walls, you've unleashed a whole herd of antioxidants. They were coming right out the surface, and then you shocked them into attention with that ice bath! Had you continued to let them cook, either in the water, or out, you'd notice that the water or paper towel would become green and the beans would become dull. That would be those free radical fighting antioxidants escaping the bean itself. No, we want to keep those yummy, colorful, cancer-preventing goodies inside so we can enjoy their benefits. 

By now, you have freezing cold, but bright green, green beans. Scoop them out and pat them dry. 

While they're drying, you'll want to throw together this brilliantly simple and delicious vinaigrette:

In a small mixing bowl, whisk together two tablespoons of lemon juice, two tablespoons of white wine vinegar, and one tablespoon of honey. Add a small dash (about 1/4 teaspoon) of low sodium lemon pepper seasoning. Once this is all mixed, slowly whisk in 1/4 cup of olive oil. Slowly is the key word here, allowing this mixture to emulsify (stay combined). This will make more dressing than you need, so save the extra in a small jar like this in the refrigerator. 

Put your beautiful, now dry, green beans in a bowl, add 1/4 cup sliced almonds (you can toast if you'd like), 1 ounce shredded Parmesan cheese, and a drizzle of the above vinaigrette. This simple side dish is ready to accompany the most elegant of main courses, or serve as wing man to any of your laid back favorites. Takes a total of 15 minutes to throw this Fresh Green Bean Salad together! One 1/2 cup serving counts as 1 Vegetable and 1 Fat. 

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