Friday, July 10, 2009

Garden Fresh Green Beans with Garlic, Lemon and Dill

Bush beans are prolific and do not require a trellis.

Fresh dill is easy to grow.

I planted bush beans this year instead of pole beans and I'm really surprised just how many beautiful, large beans come from each little plant. So many, in fact, that I really need to come up with some clever ways to prepare them. I've never really liked to can beans since canning makes them lose their snap and frozen beans just don't compare to fresh. So I guess we'll have to eat them all!

Here's my favorite way to prepare green beans. It's quick and easy and a perfect dish for entertaining since it can be served at room temperature. This dish can be made an hour or so before a meal and you don't have to worry about warming it. I'm lucky to have almost all of these ingredients from my garden - beans, dill, garlic and lemons.

Green beans are great in any weight loss program. They are low in calories, high in fiber and are a very good source of vitamin A (through its content of beta-carotene), C, K, folate, iron, potassium and manganese. Green beans are also a good source of protein, the B vitamins Thiamine (B1), Riboflavin (B2) and Niacin (B3) as well as important minerals like calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and copper. With its vitamin and mineral content, especially that of calcium and iron, it's an important vegetable for vegans and vegetarians. It is even a good vegetarian source of omega 3 fatty acids.

As a vegan or vegetarian main dish, serve over brown rice. These green beans also make a great ingredient when building a vegetarian antipasto (see my June 22, 2009 post). They make a great side dish, especially when paired with omega 3 rich grilled salmon.


Fresh Green Beans with Garlic, Lemon and Dill [serves 6]
4 cups whole green beans
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon Himalayan or sea salt (more or less to taste)
1/8 teaspoon dried or 1/4 teaspoon fresh dill (more or less to taste)
1/2 to 1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons lemon zest
Freshly ground black pepper

Steam green beans until fork tender (do not over cook). Mix together olive oil, salt, dill, garlic, lemon juice and lemon zest. Pour over cooked green beans and gently toss. Top with freshly ground black pepper to taste.

Per serving: 43.5 calories, 2.3 g fat, .3 g saturated fat, 0 g cholesterol, 1.3 g protein, 5.7 g carbohydrates, 2.7 g fiber, 44 mg omega 3 and 236 g of omega 6 fatty acids.

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