August 9, 2017
I must admit, I’m not feeling very inspired when making meals these days. It’s a struggle to come up with new and creative ways to serve healthy food to my family, day after day, week after week. When cooking for a family there are always likes and dislikes to take into consideration when creating recipes for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. It becomes especially challenging with fussy eaters who don’t like vegetables, which both my husband and I happen to love. Although my kids are older I’m still limited in what I can offer them. They don’t like cooked vegetables but do well with raw ones so that seems to be my go-to when trying something new.
Because we know that eating seasonal, local, and organic produce is better for our health, I’ve decided to use a couple of in season vegetables from my local farmer’s market as the inspiration for my next recipe. Using Ontario green beans and broccoli, and a “home-made” vinaigrette, I’ve come up with a fresh and crunchy salad the whole family loves. It’s also great for leftovers and lunches because the longer the green beans and broccoli marinate, the better the salad tastes!
From a nutrition standpoint, green beans and (especially) broccoli are at the top of the list when it comes to health benefits. For every 100 grams (or ½ cup) serving of green beans, you get 1.8 grams of protein and 3.4 grams of fiber. And for only 31 calories! They are also plentiful in Vitamin C (27% DV), Vitamin K (18%), and Vitamin A (14% DV). They are a good source of folate, thiamin, and riboflavin. At less than 15, green beans are low on the Glycemic Index. This means they are helpful at managing your glucose levels. Green beans also assist with digestion.
Broccoli offers 4 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber for every cup. This 55-calorie cup is loaded with Vitamin K (276% DV), Vitamin C (168% DV), and Vitamin A (48% DV). It is also high in B6, manganese, and potassium. Like all cruciferous vegetables, broccoli is known for its cancer-fighting properties. It is also important for bone health, slowed aging, and to help lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, among others.
Green Bean and Broccoli Salad
- 1 lb of green beans, ends trimmed
- ½ head of broccoli, broken up into small florets
- ¼ cup of dried cranberries
- ¼ cup of pumpkin seeds
- ½ cup of red onion, finely diced
- 1 oz. apple cider vinegar
- 3 oz. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 T Dijon mustard
- 1 T honey
- 1 t garlic
- Salt and pepper to taste
Start by cooking the green beans in a medium pot of salted boiling water. Remove them from the pot after two minutes of cooking and plunge the green beans into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process. After a few minutes, remove from the ice water and cut the beans into bite-sized pieces. Add the beans to a medium bowl with the rest of the salad ingredients.
In a separate bowl, combine the ingredients for the vinaigrette using a hand mixer or a small blender. Pour over the salad ingredients, cover with plastic wrap, and let marinate for 1-2 hours.
Dr. Axe staff, DrAxe.com, 2017, Broccoli Nutrition: Battle Cancer, Osteoporosis & Weight Gain, https://draxe.com/broccoli-nutrition/, Accessed July 20, 2017, Dr. Josh Axe.
Holly McCord, Prevention.com, 2011, Your Guide to the Glycemic Index, http://www.prevention.com/food/food-remedies/glycemic-index-and-blood-sugar-levels, Accessed July 23, 2017, Rodale Inc.
Dr. Axe staff, DrAxe.com, 2017, Green Beans Nutrition Helps You Fight Cancer & Improve Digestion, https://draxe.com/green-beans-nutrition/, Accessed July 20, 2017, Dr. Josh Axe.