Good-for-You Green Bean Panzanella Salad

Green beans and tomatoes are at their best right now. Aside from the great cost savings you’ll reap from eating seasonally, both green beans and tomatoes taste their best when they’re home-grown and picked fresh. The ever-growing local farm-to-table markets throughout the country also make fresh, locally grown produce more available than ever before.MORE: Recipes: 5 Chefs, 1 TomatoFor tomatoes, there are many varieties of large heirlooms, as well as plum, grape and many colors of cherry tomatoes. They are rich in vitamins C and A, the antioxidant lycopene, fiber and potassium and have anti-inflammatory properties. Studies show that a diet rich in tomatoes reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease. In addition, tomatoes help protect you from sun damage.Green beans are one of the healthiest vegetables. These high-octane sources of antioxidants are also rich in vitamins C and K, as well as fiber. Combined with nutrient-packed tomatoes, they can improve our skin, bone and brain health.Green Bean Panzanella Salad RecipeGreen beans, basil and tomato are perfect companions in this healthy, crunchy Green Bean Panzanella Salad, which is loaded with nutrients. To retain the beautifying benefits, cook your green beans whole, and then cut in smaller lengths after cooking.MORE: Green Beans for Beautiful SkinMakes 10 servingsServing size: 1 cupIngredients:4 cups 100 percent whole grain bread, cut into 1-inch cubes3 tablespoons red wine vinegar1 tablespoon white grape juice1 teaspoon chia seed1 teaspoon fresh garlic, finely minced½ teaspoon Dijon or whole grain mustard3 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil½ teaspoon salt½ teaspoon black pepper, ground4 cups home- or farm-grown ripe tomatoes (about 3 large), cut into 1-inch cubes2 cups fresh green beans, ½ lengths, blanched1 cup cucumber, unpeeled, seeded, ½-inch slices½ cup red onion, thinly sliced3 cups arugula, firm packed1¼ cup basil leaves (about 25 leaves), chiffonadeDirections:Preheat oven to 350 F. On a large non-stick baking sheet, place cubed bread and bake until the croutons are crisp and lightly colored, about 10 minutes. While bread is in the oven, make the vinaigrette in a large mixing bowl by whisking together vinegar, grape juice, chia seed, garlic, mustard, olive oil, salt and pepper and set aside. Remove croutons from the oven and let cool. Add tomatoes, green beans, cucumber and red onion to the vinaigrette and mix well. Add arugula, basil and croutons, toss until well mixed and serve.MORE: Plant This Today for Better Health

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