Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Green Bean, Wax Bean and Red Potato Salad with Chia Seed Dressing

I bought two kinds of beans at the farmers’ market because I like the color contrast. I knew I would use them together; only I had no idea how I was going to use the beans. Typically I make a salad with green beans and potatoes that is dressed with a basil pesto. However, that salad has made too many appearances at my house so I needed to make something different.

When you are trying to reduce the fat in your food the first thing you notice is that the flavors don’t seem to be as intense. This is the reason I usually try to add lemon juice, sherry vinegar or pickled peppers (hot crushed peppers) for flavor. The acid in these items add a lot of flavor to recipes. In this salad I used lemon juice and zest in enhance the flavor. Adding lemon juice to hot vegetables and potatoes is one of my favorite tricks for increasing flavor. If you haven’t tried it yet please do it makes a big difference in terms of flavor.

This salad is hearty and filling without adding many calories. It makes a nice low calorie dinner with fruit salad, or a piece of crusty bread.

Green Bean, Wax Bean and Red Potato Salad with Chia Seed Dressing
Serves 4


1 pint of green beans, tipped
1 quart of wax beans, tipped
1 pound of red potatoes, scrubbed
1 lemon, juice and zest
6 cups of mesclun greens, cleaned and spun dry
4 tablespoons of the lemon, cashew and chia seed dressing


Bring water to boil in a pan that has a steamer insert to steam the beans.

Pierce the potatoes with a paring knife so steam can escape. Microwave the potatoes until just tender. Allow to cool until you can handle them then cut into bite size pieces. Move the potatoes to a large bowl and toss with the lemon juice and zest.

Cook the beans for 3 – 5 minutes depending on how crisp you like you beans. Remember that lightly cooked vegetables contain more nutrition. Move the cooked beans to the bowl with the potatoes and toss so that they to can absorb some of the lemon flavor.

Refrigerate the beans and potatoes until ready to serve.

Toss the greens with a tablespoon or two of the dressing. Place the dressed greens on the bottom of the plate and top with the beans and potatoes. Drizzle the remaining dressing over the salad and serve.

Nutritional Information:

Amount Per Serving
Calories - 155.18
Calories From Fat (8%) - 13.01

Total Fat - 1.56g
Saturated Fat - 0.27g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 56.51mg
Potassium - 919.04mg
Total Carbohydrates - 33g
Fiber - 7.32g
Sugar - 1.31g
Protein - 5.81g


This is another example of the whole being better than the sum of the parts. Both my husband and I enjoyed this salad. The lemon juice adds a lot of flavor to this salad. I like the crunch of the beans contrasted against the softness of the potatoes. If you are looking for a salad that doesn’t contain mayonnaise, this one has a lot of flavor for a few calories.

If you aren’t trying to keep your fat level as low as we are I would suggest adding a few toasted slivered almonds to this salad. That would add another texture that would be very nice. A little crumbled almond feta would also be nice on this salad. A few capers sprinkled on top would also be good, and I would have added those had I thought of them yesterday.

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