SOURCE: Fresh From Florida

October 03, 2013 05:00 ET

Snappy Beans

MISSION, KS--(Marketwired - Oct 3, 2013) - (Family Features) Green beans are no longer a plain side dish for dinner. Here are some fun, kid-friendly recipes to try at home to help encourage your kids to eat a healthy serving of green beans.

"Florida green beans are great with a dip. Try them with hummus, ranch or any of your favorite dressings," suggested Justin Timineri, Executive Chef and Culinary Ambassador, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

You can find more delicious recipes for Florida green beans at http://bit.ly/flsnapbeans.

The Power of Green
Green beans are a flavorful way to eat healthy all year around.

--They are a good source of dietary fiber.
--Green beans contain vitamin C and folic acid.
--They are also an important source of potassium and many micronutrients.
--One cup of cooked, fresh green beans has only 30 calories and no fat, sodium or cholesterol.

When choosing beans, look for plump, crisp beans that are reasonably well shaped. The beans should have even color with fresh blossom ends and snap readily when broken. Many people prefer smaller beans, which are usually more tender.

Green Bean Stir-Fry   
Yield: 4 servings   
  1   tablespoon olive oil
  3   cups fresh green beans, ends trimmed
  2   cups sweet bell peppers, sliced
  2   cups zucchini, sliced thin
  1   cup carrot, sliced thin
  2   tablespoons honey
  1/4   cup low sodium soy sauce
  1   tablespoon black and white sesame seeds

Preheat large sauté pan or wok over medium high heat. Add olive oil to preheated pan. Carefully add all vegetables to preheated pan. Cook vegetables for 4 to 7 minutes or until desired doneness. Add honey and soy sauce to pan and stir to combine. Serve stir-fry with rice and garnish with sesame seeds.

Chef's Tip: Add favorite vegetables in place of the ones listed in recipe.

Kids Can: Snap green beans and help measure honey and soy.

Green Bean Poufs      
Yield: 4 servings      
  1/2   pound green beans, trimmed
  1   can prepared crescent roll dough

Fill large sized stock pot 3/4 of the way full and lightly salt water. Bring lightly salted water to rolling boil over medium-high heat. Fill medium-sized mixing bowl halfway with ice and water. Add trimmed and cut green beans to boiling water and let cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Using hand strainer, remove green beans from boiling water and place them into ice water to stop cooking. The green beans should be crisp-tender and vibrant green. After green beans have cooled down, remove from ice water and set aside.

Dry blanched green beans with paper towel. Open tube of prepared crescent roll dough. Cut each dough roll into strips. Wrap bunches of 3 green beans in spiral manner and place on cookie sheet. Continue process until all dough and green beans are used. Bake wrapped green beans until the dough is cooked and golden brown. Let cool and serve.

Kids Can: Wrap dough around the green beans.

Mini Green Bean Casserole      
Yield: 4 servings      
  1   pound green beans, ends trimmed
  2   cups cheddar cheese, grated
  1/2   cup panko bread crumbs
  1   tablespoon olive oil

Fill large sized stock pot 3/4 of the way full and lightly salt water. Bring lightly salted water to rolling boil over medium-high heat. Fill medium-sized mixing bowl halfway with ice and water. Add trimmed and cut green beans to boiling water and let cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Using hand strainer, remove green beans from boiling water and place them into ice water to stop cooking. The green beans should be crisp-tender and vibrant green. After green beans have cooled down, remove from ice water and set aside.

Preheat oven to 370°F. Divide blanched green beans evenly into four mini casserole dishes. Add an even amount of cheese on top of green beans. In small bowl, combine panko bread crumbs and olive oil. Mix ingredients to combine. Sprinkle bread crumb mixture on top of green beans and cheese. Place mini green bean casseroles in oven and bake until bubbly and golden brown. Let cool before serving.

Kids Can: Add shredded cheese to the top of green beans.

Green Bean and Potato Salad with Yogurt Dressing     
Yield: 8 to 10 servings    
    1/2   pound fresh green beans, washed, ends trimmed and cut into thirds
    2   pounds potatoes, washed, peeled and diced large
    1/2   cup low-fat yogurt
    2   lemons, juiced
    1   cup fresh parsley, chopped fine
    1/4   cup olive oil
    Sea salt to taste  
    Fresh ground pepper to taste  

Fill large sized stock pot 3/4 of the way full and lightly salt water. Bring lightly salted water to rolling boil over medium-high heat. Fill medium-sized mixing bowl halfway with ice and water. Add trimmed and cut green beans to boiling water and let cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Using hand strainer, remove green beans from boiling water and place them into ice water to stop cooking. The green beans should be crisp-tender and vibrant green. After green beans have cooled down, remove from ice water and set aside.

Carefully add cut potatoes to same boiling water greens beans were cooked in. Cook potatoes in boiling water for around 15 minutes depending on size. The potatoes should be slightly firm, yet tender to the bite. Using colander placed in the sink, drain potatoes and run cold water over them to cool off and stop cooking.

In large mixing bowl, combine yogurt, lemon juice, parsley and olive oil. Stir yogurt mixture to combine. Taste potato salad and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Keep potato salad cold in refrigerator and stir before serving.

Kids Can: Help combine ingredients for dressing.

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