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July 30, 2013

Lean Mean Green Beans

Tricks, Tips and a Recipe
Lean Mean Green Beans

By: Leanne Ely

It’s time once again for Tricks, Tips and a Recipe. Today you’ll learn a tip, a trick and you’ll get a great recipe to try it out with. Neat, huh?

Today’s Focus is on GREEN BEANS Green Beans, Great vegetable!, Lean Mean Green Beans!, Soup recipe with Green Beans

Some veggies seem to have it all; good looks, good taste, simple means of preparation and good nutrition. For instance, while an artichoke is quite interesting to look at, quite nutritious and yummy, you really can’t get into one of those things without some work.

Green beans on the other hand, well, they are an excellent go-to vegetable. And they’re pretty enough to make a common dinner plate look gourmet.

This crunchy, bright green veggie is in season during the summer, but it’s easy to find year-round.

Also known as snap beans or string beans, emerald-colored green beans are roughly four inches long with a pointed end. While deliciously crunchy eaten raw, it takes hardly any time at all to cook up a serving of green beans for dinner. They’re especially good with fish or poultry.

Green beans make a great portable snack for kids because the entire vegetable is edible, they’re easy to toss into a container or plastic bag, and they’re fun to eat. Add some interest to your next vegetable tray by adding in some gorgeous green beans!

And these darlings of the summer garden have much more going for them than looks alone! Green beans are an excellent source of antioxidants including beta-carotene, zeaxanthin and lutein. Green beans are high in vitamin A, vitamin C, folate, potassium, manganese and fiber.

Now that you’ve added green beans to your shopping list, let’s take a look at your Trick!

When shopping for green beans, to make sure they’re fresh, snap one in half. If it breaks when bent, the bean is fresh. If it bends along with you, it’s old!

And your Tip:

Don’t boil green beans for more than seven minutes or they will turn a brownish color on you. Four or five minutes in the boiling water should be enough to cook fresh young green beans.

And your Recipe:

Crock Beef and Vegetable Soup
Serves 10 (Freeze leftovers for a yummy quick fix on a busy night)
INGREDIENTS:
4 medium carrots, sliced
2 1/2 pounds lean beef stew meat
1 1/2 cups water
2 tablespoons olive oil Salt and pepper to taste
3/4 cup chopped green bell pepper, seeded and deribbed
1 teaspoon thyme
2 (14.5-oz.) cans beef broth
1 1/2 cups fresh green beans, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 (14.5-oz.) cans diced tomatoes with garlic, undrained
1 cup chopped onion
1 (8-oz.) can tomato sauce

COOKING INSTRUCTIONS:

In a skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat; brown the beef and salt and pepper to taste; transfer to a slow cooker.

Add the water the skillet and scrape up all of the browned bits from the bottom of the pan; add this liquid to the slow cooker.

Add remaining ingredients to slow cooker; cover and cook on low heat setting for 8 to 9 hours, or on high setting for 4 to 5 hours, until veggies are tender.

Per Serving: 290 Calories; 11g Fat; 34g Protein; 13g Carbohydrate; 3g Dietary Fiber; 72mg Cholesterol; 644mg Sodium. Exchanges: 0 Grain(Starch); 4 1/2 Lean Meat; 2 Vegetable; 1/2 Fat. Points: 7

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PS–Here’s a bonus tip for you: check out our new and improved Freezer Meal Club and all the great bonuses we are giving away to club members!  Freezer meals can save you a ton of time in the kitchen and can be every bit as impressive as a meal made from freshly purchased ingredients. All you need is a bit of a plan. The Freezer Meal Club will give you that plan!

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