Monday, July 7, 2014

Fresh Green Beans with Balsamic Vinegar Dressing

How Martha Saved Her Parents from Green Beans is a hilarious book written by Minnesota children's author and illustrator, David La Rochelle. The book is geared for the 5-7 age group. If you have any picky eaters in your family reading this book might just get them on board to love their veggies.  
The storyline is cute. Every child can identify with Martha not wanting to eat those dreaded veggies on her plate. Martha hates green beans. When some mean, green bandits stroll into town, anyone who ever said "Eat your green beans" is in big trouble. But when the beans kidnap Martha's parents, Martha is forced to take action. She can think of only one way to stop the villainous veggies from taking over her town, and it’s not pretty...or tasty. 
The illustrations are quite funny with the green beans all dressed up  as various characters. 
Great summer read. 
Fresh Green Bean Salad with Balsamic Dressing
Cook's notes: It is the green bean season with gardens bursting with these veggies. They are also readily available at local grocery stores and farmer's markets. Green beans are brought to a whole new level when tossed with the tangy flavors of a balsamic dressing and cooked al dente or crisp. This is an eye-catching salad.  
  • 2 lbs. green beans
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 TB lemon juice
  • 3 TB. balsamic vinegar (good quality)
  • 1/4 tsp. each salt, garlic powder and ground mustard
  • 1/8 tsp. pepper
  • 1/2 red onion cut in strips
  • 4 cups of cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup feta cheese
  • 6-8 slices of bacon cooked crisp and diced
  • 6-8 torn basil leaves
  • optional 1/2 cup glazed walnuts
  • Place green beans in a Dutch oven pan and cover with water. Add in 1/2 tsp. salt and bring to a boil. Cook till crisp about 6-8 minutes. 
  • Make dressing while beans are cooking
  • Whisk oil, lemon juice, salt, garlic, mustard and pepper, set aside.  
  • Pour cooked green beans into ice filled water, drain and pat dry. 
  • Toss beans with onion,bacon and dressing.
  • Refrigerate salad one hour or more, add in halved tomatoes, torn basil leaves and feta cheese right before serving. Sprinkle with glazed walnuts.
Green Beans are low in Sodium, Saturated Fat and Cholesterol. They are also a good source of Protein, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium and Copper, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Folate and Manganese.

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