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Old 05-15-2006, 03:29 PM   #1  
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Lightbulb Veggie of the Week: Green Beans!

Each week I'll post a new veggie along with information on nutritional value, how to cook it, and at least one recipe using that veggie. Then we can all add on to the thread with our experiences with that veggie, recipes we like, and more! When the week is up, I'll transfer the thread to the FAQ and the recipes to the recipe forum. Remember, if you add a recipe, try to include at least the number of servings and the nutritional information, if you can.
This Week's Veggie is: Green Beans!

Most of us are familiar with green beans, but they are this week's veggie of the week because they are available fresh right now in your supermarket (or even at a local farm, depending on where you live...). In addition, we may be familiar with these green beauties without being aware of their great health and nutritional value! They are high in Vitamin K, Manganese, and Vitamin C while being very low in calories. Plus, if you aren't a big veggie eater, these are a great place to start. Green beans are very easily palatable...not bitter or sour or tough to chew. Personally, I recommend starting with a 3 (or 4) bean salad, made at home with frozen french-cut green beans. The french cut makes them even thinner than normal and having them as part of a salad makes it easier to get used to them. Then you can try cooking them alone and see what you think!

I think green beans are great with a little Smart Balance (or other cholesterol-reducing, trans-fat-free margarine), garlic, seasoning salt, and pepper. They also are excellent with roasted can even buy frozen packages of green beans that come with roasted almonds you can add after cooking.

One of my favorite ways to have green beans, however, is a frozen package by Birds Eye called Green Beans with Thyme. This is just plain green beans that come with an "herb pouch" that has just olive oil, salt, pepper, and thyme. That's it! Soooo healthy and ridiculously delicious. Check it out...our local grocery has these on sale quite often at 4 for $5. Cheap, healthy, and yummy! How can you beat that?

Green Beans are available fresh, frozen, and canned. Some fresh varieties are available the year around, but the supply peaks in summer. Choose fresh beans that are firm, with smooth pods, and do not show signs of browning and drying. To prepare for cooking, remove strings and brown tips. Green beans may be steamed, braised, sauteed, stir-fried, or pickled. Serve hot, with butter or oil, or cold as a salad. They may be added to soups or hot, mixed vegetable combinations. From Cooking A to Z by the California Culinary Academy
More information on Green Beans:

Green Beans made CDC's Veggie of the month! (great info on a variety of beans, including nutrional information and awesome recipes)

Produce Oasis' page on green beans(no recipe or "tips and tricks," but good info on seasonal availability and nutritional information.)

Check out why Green Beans are one of "the world's healthiest foods!" (lots of info on cancer fighting and how the nutrients in green beans help improve your health)

Nutrional Facts for Green Beans...check out the Vit. K levels! (scroll down--the top of the page looks sketchy, but the information below is helpful)

Other information on Veggies:

Better Homes and Gardens Slide Show on using spring vegetables, including recipes and info on veggies

FAQ for the 5-a-day program on Fruits and Veggies

Tips on Fruits and Veggies from the CDC

Vegetables: How to cook, serve, and store these healthy foods from Mayo Clinic

Balsalmic Green Beans is a recipe my mom invented. They're delicious!
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Old 05-15-2006, 04:04 PM   #2  
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One of my favorite ways to cook fresh green beans is this way: Garlic/Mustard green beans It is so easy and tasty!

I eat them quite often in a three bean salad too.
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Old 05-15-2006, 09:15 PM   #3  
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Right now at our Sams club, french green beans fresh. Which I love. I make them all at once, all 3lbs using the Barefoot Contessa plan. I bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and quick blanch them for 3 minutes and then plunge them into a bowl of ice water and drain. Keep them in a plastic bag with a paper towel or a container with paper towel in fridge. You can then reheat them in a little olive oil in a pan with anything you want added. Sometimes I use fresh parmesan over green beans after they are warmed. Another really good add to is bleu cheese melted and cashews. I also make a salad Nicoise, which is a cold composed salad, hard boiled eggs, green beans. romaine, tuna, capers. I do a modified SB so not sure if bleu cheese is on plan, you don't need much for the flavor.
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Old 05-15-2006, 09:43 PM   #4  
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Mmmmmmmmmm, I bought this chip dip (reduced fat cheese dip with only 4 carbs for two tbls!) and I put it on my green beans and I actually like it better than mac n cheese and it's delicoius!
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Old 05-16-2006, 01:23 AM   #5  
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Default beans are my favorite. Thanks for the new ideas. I usually do it the way beachgal does them with olive oil and garlic...yum!
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Old 05-16-2006, 06:57 PM   #6  
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Well this is gonna sound weird maybe... but even as a kid I loved green beans .. My Mom would make "our" favorites: my sister loved MyTFine Chocolate Almond pudding, and me: a simple greenbean, and onion salad in vinegar and oil.. I would put it in the freezer to get real cold and just love it!!!!

hmmm: still dont know Why my sis was a skinny minnie and I was the chubbette!!!
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Old 05-16-2006, 08:28 PM   #7  
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hmmm: still dont know Why my sis was a skinny minnie and I was the chubbette

It's genetics mom hasn't weighed over 125 a day in her life. Even through 5 pregnancies. What happened to me???
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Old 05-17-2006, 12:34 AM   #8  
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LOL about the skinny minnie, Schatzi! You certainly had much healthier habits, hon! Remember, you can be a skinny minnie and seriously unhealthy at the same time...sounds like you were much healthier no matter your chubbette status!

I LOVE haricot verts too, StarSpangled! We have them off and on at Sam's here...I get them when they're here. They are delicious!!! I had them in France and ate so many I couldn't eat dessert...and I was off plan! Can you imagine? It takes a lot to get me to give up French pastries! We got two kinds of green bean seeds this year for our is an organic fillet bean that looks just like a haricot vert. Mmmmmm....

Thanks for the wonderful recipe ideas, chicas!!! I can't wait to try them! Green beans are 99cents a pound here for most of the can't beat that with a stick! (well, you could, but that would be veggie abuse... )
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Old 05-19-2006, 06:24 AM   #9  
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This suggestion may be a little late but it's worth it! My favorite way to do green beans is very simply, but really tasty.

First, top and tail the beans and throw them in some salted boiling water for 3 minutes. While they're boiling, fry some sliced garlic (I use 2-3 cloves because I love garlic!) and sliced chilis (as much as you like, I use 1 jalapeno with seeds and spines) in a hot nonstick pan with a bit of spray or olive oil to brown it and make it a bit crispy.

Take the beans out of the boiling water and immediately put them in cold water to stop the cooking, then drain them. Then put them in the pan with the garlic and chilis and brown them a bit, then pour 2 tbsp of soy sauce over the pan and let it bubble happily away for another 1-2 minutes.

Serve immediately and enjoy! The beans should be nice and crispy and the spicy garlic and soy sauce is a great combo. Yum yum - I had these the other night and they hardly lasted 5 minutes in my house! FYI, you can also do this with asparagus, broccoli or any green veggie - or all of them together!
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Old 05-19-2006, 06:27 AM   #10  
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I'm starting to crave green beans, garlic and soy for breakfast! Maybe an egg fu yung?
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Old 05-19-2006, 10:13 AM   #11  
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There is a soy ginger asparagus recipe in the original SB cookbook that is really good. I have made it with fresh green beans instead of asparagus and it tastes wonderful. I love ginger, soy and garlic!
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