These days one can find green beans year round, if not fresh & imported from Mexico, then certainly in abundance in the freezer section of the grocery store. It is the moment that a piece of fruit or a vegetable is picked that it has the highest amount of nutrition that it will ever have. That value declines as the time that it has been away from its plant/tree/ground increases. Thus the fresher the produce, the healthier. August is pretty much high season for produce in our neck of the woods, so there’s a fantastic abundance of fresh local fruit & veggies to enjoy. Check out the PG farmers market on Saturdays from 8:30-3:00 for lots of fresh produce (but go early for the best selection!) including beans!
These fuzzy little gems are one of my favorite summertime veggies. I’ll happily munch on fresh raw green beans just about any day of the week, but sometimes they can use a little dressing up as well. Just recently I picked nearly a pound of beans out of my garden, cleaned & trimmed them and tossed with olive oil, red wine vinegar, a few cracks of fresh ground pepper and a pinch of sea salt. It made a great alternative to the salad I would have normally had with my meal!
Like all beans, green beans are loaded with fiber which is not only a great thing for your digestive track but also keeps you fuller longer. Your body doesn’t actually absorb fiber like it would vitamin c or calcium, but it still serves an important role. Consuming a lot of fiber bulks up the chyme (the mass of partially digested food travelling the lengths of your intestines) as it makes its way through your digestive system. Having a larger quantity of chyme (from eating a higher volume of lower calorie foods) rather than a smaller amount (from eating richer, higher calorie foods) of it is what will help keep you regular (as will staying hydrated!). Now lets be honest, no one enjoys being constipated. Load up with some fiber-liscious green beans tonight with this simple, easy and tasty stew from theKitchn!
serves 2 with leftovers
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 pound lamb stew meat (you can also use beef stew cuts like chuck)
- 2 cups chopped green beans
- 3 small tomatoes, chopped (about 2 cups)
- 2 cups cooked brown rice
- 1 cup Greek yogurt
Heat oil in a heavy bottom pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onions and cook until soft but not browned, about 5 to 7 minutes. Cut lamb into slightly larger than bite size pieces and trim excess fat. Add lamb to onions, season with salt and pepper, and brown on all sides, stirring and turning pieces as necessary.
Cover pot, reduce heat to medium low and cook for 15 minutes. Add green beans and cook for an additional hour. Add tomatoes and cook 20 minutes more. Lamb should be tender, not tough, when pierced with a fork.
Serve hot over rice with a spoonful (or several, if you’re Turkish) of yogurt on top.
Note: I’ve made this with bison & beef before, so you can definitely make this without lamb. Also, the yogurt takes this meal to a whole ‘nother level!