Monday, May 16, 2011

Heart Smart and Hearty: Potato and Stringbean Salad Just in Time for Summer

Last week, my husband had a heart incident. Luckily everything turned out for the best but it was an awakening for him and all of us to take better care in what we eat. So now with real reason many of the recipes I post will be 'heart smart' marked with a heart icon.

Since I took the week off to regroup, I spent a good deal of time looking for healthy but tasty things to prepare. Today I chose a potato and green bean salad, heavy on the green beans. This has very little fat content and I'm using (as I usually do) extra virgin olive oil. This is so easy to make and will probably become a summer staple. Plan about 30 minutes to prepare and more time for refrigeration if you want to enjoy this cold.

Nutritional values for red potatoes and green beans:
Red potatoes

  • Very low in saturated fat
  • No cholesterol
  • Very low in sodium
  • High in potassium
  • High in vitamin B6
  • Very high in vitamin C
Green beans
  • Direct cardiovascular benefits. 
  • Improvement in levels of blood fats and better protection of these fats from oxygen damage. 
  • Source of omega-3 fats
  • Low in calories
  • Important amounts carotenoids with the presence of lutein, beta-carotene, violaxanthin, and neoxanthin.
  • Contain the mineral silicon which is very important for bone health and for healthy formation of connective tissue.

Red Potatoes and Green Bean Salad
2 pounds tiny new potatoes, scrubbed but not peeled
1 pound green beans washed and trimmed
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


  • Boil potatoes until they are tender but firm; drain, and cut in quarters or halves.
  • Steam the green beans until tender then rinse in an ice bath to stop the cooking.
  • In a large bowl, mix the oil, vinegar, lemon juice and mustard; stir in celery and onion.
  • Add potatoes when cooked and stir.
  • Refrigerate and add the green beans just before serving and mix
  • Season with salt and pepper.

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