There comes a time in everyone’s life when they realize they need to make some changes to their eating habits. For us, that time is now. It’s not because of any health problems we’re having, but rather because sometime in the past year, we’ve apparently become something approaching endurance athletes. I’m contemplating my first triathlon, with a half-Ironman not out of the question, and sometime next year, we’re hoping to participate in a multi-day running event on Orcas Island or Bermuda (three races in three days, ending with either a full or half marathon). Between November 2011 and November 2012, we’re planning on running four marathons. We’re training at least ten hours a week and that number will only increase over the next year.
This level of training doesn’t work very well if your diet isn’t up to par, and so we’re making a concerted effort to be even healthier than we were before. We’re having more beans as protein sources, less cheese, and are trying for at least two vegetables every dinner. We’re eating less in the evenings, and have replaced most of our white flour with whole wheat flour. Are we perfect? Absolutely not. We still have a couple tablespoons of ice cream most nights for dessert, we drink, and we share a chocolate truffle nearly every night. But overall, I think we’re fueling at a higher quality than ever before. Now, if we could only find another couple of hours in the day to add some more long runs in, we’d be set.
But this post is about a side dish, not our lofty and potentially insane fitness goals. Let’s talk about vegetables.
This is the time of the year for sweet corn. We’ve been getting some in our CSA box every week. It’s also the time for haricots verts (a long, thin type of green bean). If you can’t find haricots verts, just get some green, yellow, or purple beans. If you use these thicker beans, you’ll need to cook them a few extra minutes. We found our haricots verts at Billy’s at the University District Farmers Market last weekend.
- 3 cups corn kernels (about 4 ears of corn)
- 8 oz haricots verts or green beans
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 Tbsp white wine vinegar
- 2 Tbsp chopped basil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Cook the fresh corn by either steaming or boiling for 3-5 minutes, or until crisp-tender.
- Remove the cobs and with a corn zipper or knife, remove the kernels and set in a bowl.
- In the same simmering water, add the trimmed haricots verts or green beans and cook for 3 minutes.
- Drain the beans and combine with the corn.
- Cut the cherry tomatoes in halves and mix with the corn and beans.
- In a separate bowl, mix the olive oil, white wine vinegar, and chopped basil. Whisk to incorporate.
- Pour the dressing over the salad, toss well, and season with salt and pepper.
Notes: I admit, I didn’t expect to love this salad. I like all of the ingredients, but I figured, it’s a vegetable salad with just a little olive oil and vinegar. How good can it possibly be? Well, the answer is: pretty damn good. I had a huge serving for dinner and then had an even bigger serving for lunch the next day. My only complaint is that it’s a little hard to eat between the long haricots verts and the small corn kernels. I’m sure you could chop the beans in half and that would probably help.
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