I love green beans. That’s saying a lot because I used to hate them, but that was coming from overcooked, sickly looking limp beans in school dinners. If you are still harbouring these feelings towards green beans, let this salad kindle a new love affair!
First, a little background before the main event. Green beans are a low calorie source of complex carbohydrates that contain fibre, Iron, Manganese, Magnesium, Folate, and Vitamins A, C, and K. They offer antioxidants including Quercetin (which has anti-inflammatory properties) and Beta-carotene and there is even a little bit of protein in there (1). One cup of raw green beans has 30% of your daily recommended Vitamin C and 15% of your daily recommended fibre (2). Falling in love yet?
The salad wasn’t named after the Green Edge cycling team, contrary to what you may be thinking, but takes its name from the main ingredient of green beans that are given an “edge” with sharp, mature cheddar. I am completely bias in saying that mature Canadian cheddar is the way to go (but it is the best). If you can’t find Canadian cheddar, find the oldest, sharpest cheddar you can get your hands on!
GREEN EDGE SALAD
Serves 2 as a side or 1 main for a hungry athlete (see note)
What you need:
- 2 handfuls of green (string/French) beans
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- 1/4 water
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- salt and pepper
- 2/3 cup frozen peas
- 2 cups raw spinach (preferably baby spinach)
- 2 tbsp flaxseeds
- 2 tbsp sunflower seeds
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp rosemary
- 4 tbsp plain yogurt
- 6 cherry or baby roma tomatoes
- 4 small thin slices crumbled sharp mature cheddar (about 4 tbsp)
Notes: Add chickpeas, cooked chicken or crispy bacon (adjust salt) for protein, especially if preparing as a main. Serve with a side of crostini or grilled pita if serving as a main.
What to do:
- Wash the green beans and trim off the ends. Cut green beans in half so they are bite size. Set aside.
- Put a non-stick pan on the stove on a medium heat (add some olive oil if not non-stick). Finely chop garlic and add to pan. Add beans.
- Add water and lemon juice to pan. Season with a good grind of salt and pepper. Mix to combine.
- In a motor and pestle combine flax seeds, sunflower sees, oregano, and rosemary and grind.
- When the water has cooked off, add frozen peas to pan and mix them through the beans.
- Slice tomatoes into quarter. Thinly slice 4 pieces of cheddar (about 4 tbsp).
- When the peas are thawed and cooked through, turn down the heat to low and add the raw spinach. Shred the leaves if they are big and remove any long stems as you add to the pan. Stir to mix through the beans and peas. After about 1 minute turn off the heat (we are just warming the spinach, not cooking it through).
- Divide the bean mix into 2 bowls. Top each bowl with 2 tbsp of yogurt and half the seed/spice mix. Sprinkle half the tomatoes on each bowl. Crumble half the cheddar over each bowl. Serve immediately and fall in love with green beans!
1. “Green Beans.” Fresh Vegetable Growers of Ontario. http://www.freshvegetablesontario.com/index.php?action=display&cat=3&v=12
2. “Harvest of the Month: Green Beans” http://www.sde.idaho.gov/site/cnp/ffvp/fruit_veg/Green%20Bean.pdf
Green bean photo courtesy: http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpa/5aday/month/fresh_beans.htm