Fresh & Bright Green Bean Salad: Delicious Diet Food

New Year's is over and it's time to get serious about those resolutions.  So many of my friends vowed to eat better, exercise more, and live healthier.  Eating better doesn't mean being doomed to a life of Styrofoam-like rice cakes and faux meats.  A little ingenuity will create some healthy meals that are heavy on flavor.

Fresh & Bright Green Bean Salad

-  16 oz raw Green Beans, washed and edges trimmed
-  1 large Shallot, halved and sliced
-  1/4 cup Queso Fresco, crumbled
-  1/3 cup roughly chopped Walnuts or Pecans

Lemon Vinaigrette

-  Juice of 1/2 a Lemon (about 2 tablespoons)
-  3 tablespoons Olive Oil
-  small pinches of salt and pepper

Make sure you wash and trim your green beans to ensure there are no woody/inedible ends.  Bring a large stock pot to a boil and add the trimmed green beans.  Do NOT add salt, this isn't pasta.  Boil the green beans for 3 minutes.  Prepare a large bowl with cold water and ice.  Strain green beans from the boiling water and transfer them to the ice water bowl ASAP!  This will stop the cooking process, keep them crisp, and preserve their bright green color.  Once cooled, pat the green beans dry with paper towels or a tea towel and set aside.

Add vinaigrette ingredients in a mason jar, close, and shake until well combined.  Add vinaigrette, shallots, crumbles queso fresco and walnuts to cooled and dry green beans, and gently toss to coat and distribute.

Enjoy this salad as a flavorful side, a healthy lunch, or the talk of your next pot luck!  Stick to your resolution and you'll be beach body ready in no time!

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