Summer Salads – Green Beans and Feta Recipe

After couple of weeks indulging on Christmas treats and relaxing with family, the holidays are finally over and it’s back to your normal routine. If you stopped your exercise routine and want to step into high gear, you may find yourself feeling a little sluggish and less than energized. Could it be the turkey or the Christmas pudding weighing you down or is it post-holiday fatigue?

To kick back into a “feel good” and healthy routine start by booking your Pilates sessions and next time you’re looking for an easy meal, skip the drive-thru, the chocolate bar or the biscuits and raid your fridge instead to prepare a nourishing and refreshing salad!

Summer salads are a nutritious “fast food” that can be made ahead with ingredients you probably already have. For a simple lunch or dinner, add some protein and you’ll have a ready to eat one dish meal. Summer salads are a golden opportunity to replace those unhealthy holiday meals. Choose simple, nutrient dense ingredients (have a look below) and simply follow your taste to combine your favorite foods. The whole family will enjoy it!

Vegetables: lettuce, baby spinach, red, green, yellow peppers, radishes, green onions, tomatoes, cucumbers, beets, celery, celeriac, carrots, parsnips, zucchini make excellent additions to salads.Mushrooms, cauliflower, broccoli, corn kernels, raw or cooked, asparagus, sprouts.

Fruits: avocado, mangos, papayas, citrus fruits, berries, apples, melons, peaches, plums, pears, and cherries.

Proteins: cheese (feta, parmesan, cheddar, mozzarella etc.); seafood (shrimp, crab meat, scallops, lobster, or any cooked fish you enjoy); meats (try marinated and sauteed chicken strips, beef and cubes of roast meats); eggs (shredded or chopped hard boiled eggs).

Seeds (try sesame, sunflower, pumpkin)

Nuts – raw, toasted, or roasted nuts without added salts and sweeteners.

Grains – cooked, drained and cooled whole grains such as quinoa, barley, wild rice.

Legumes – cooked, drained and cooled whole beans such as kidney, lima, pinto, navy, etc.

Ingredients:

  • 250g green beans, steamed
  • 1 big Avocado cubed
  • 1 red onion, medium, chopped
  • 3 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 200g cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 120g feta cheese, crumbled
  • 2 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
  • Himalayan salt & freshly ground pepper
  • Your choice of seeds or nuts
  • Zest of one big orange (can also add lemon)

Preparation:

Mix everything in a large bowl, salt and pepper. Add seeds or nuts to the top. Dress the salad with the orange dressing and serve immediately. You can add feta cheese or tofu or even your preferred meat (e.g. chopped chicken breast )

Dressing Ingredients (Ideas)

Choose omega 3 oils like mustard-seed oil, flax-seed oil, hemp oil, cold pressed olive oil, grape-seed oil, and toasted sesame oil for best nutritional content. Hemp oil must be stored in the fridge, and never heated.

Blend avocados, fresh garlic cloves, and cucumbers with herbs and flavorings for a no-oil dressing.

Add yogurt to any plain oil dressing for a creamy alternative. Also add your preferred herbs: fresh parsley, basil oregano, thyme, dill – experiment to see which combination you prefer.

Enjoy!

Health Benefits

  • Green beans can help reduce the risk of heart disease due to their high levels of flavonoids.
  • The high fiber content of green beans can positively impact your digestive system. Many types of fiber can ease the digestive process and promote bowel movements, which decreases the stress on the intestinal tract.
  • There are a number of nutrients, such as calcium, found in green beans that are integral in preventing bone deterioration and osteoporosis.
  • Avocado is exceptionally high in soluble fiber, which has the ability to bind to fat and excess cholesterol.
  • Avocado contains folate, a nutrient important for heart health and for healthy pregnancy.
  • Avocado contains oleic acid, which may help lower cholesterol.
  • Avocado contains measurable amounts of carotenoids and significant quantities of vitamin E.
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