Sunday, August 10, 2008

Beans, Beans,The Magical Fruit...

My children eat and enjoy quite a wide array of food. It has always been one of my goals to raise kids who aren't picky. I've always wondered how people make it all the way into adulthood without eating vegetables. Now, I don't mean iceberg lettuce, potatoes, and corn. I mean vegetables like cabbage, yams, brussel sprouts, eggplant...and so on. I understand that it can be hard to get our children (or significant other) to try new things, but don't give up. It is a rule in my household to try everything. Now, on the other hand, I don't make the goal unattainable by piling food on the plate. It is important to remember, we as Americans, generally eat way too much. Our portion control is out of control. I figure if I am going to make a meal, that those who eat it should show me enough respect to try it. I don't expect everyone to love it, I surely don't enjoy all things, but unless they can prove it's gonna kill them...they're going to eat it.

So, with that said, I love things that just make eating good..easy. One of my family's favorite snacks is edamame. I get satisfaction when I can make a bowl full of edamame and my kids finish it off in seconds. But tonight I found an edamame loophole. Tonight we had fresh wax and green beans from the garden...yummy! But I had some difficulty getting my youngest (3) to eat the whole bean. She was disappointed that the "beans" as she calls them, were so small. She was literally leaving sucked out beans on the plate. It took me some time to convince her that, unlike the pod of the edamame that is inedible, she was to eat the whole bean. Do you have a hard time getting someone to eat vegetables?

Well, here is a fun and easy recipe for a bean salad...I hope you enjoy it.


1 pound green beans, cut diagonally into 2-inch pieces
1 cup jicima
1 bunch radishes, trimmed, sliced

1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar or 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 garlic cloves, pressed
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Blanch beans in salted water for 3-5 minutes then chill well.

**Blanching is a cooking term that describes a process of food preparation wherein the food, usually a vegetable or fruit, is plunged into boiling water, removed after a brief, timed interval and finally plunged into iced water or placed under cold running water (shocked) to halt the cooking process.
Combine beans, jicima and radishes in large bowl. Whisk remaining ingredients to blend in small bowl. Add enough dressing to salad to taste. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

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