green beans

This Sunday, save room for a healthy alternative to the typical fattening and unhealthy appetizers served at parties. Instead of chips and salsa, ribs, and buffalo-style chicken wings, opt for an extra serving of fruits or vegetables. Your heart will thank you.

Need ideas or inspiration? Start with this healthy appetizer from the American Heart Assocation.

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Green Bean Salad Vinaigrette

Number of Servings

12 servings at ½ cup each


  • 1 quart water for fresh green beans or ¼ cup for frozen
  • 1 pound fresh or frozen green beans
  • 1 ½ tablespoons raspberry vinegar or red or white wine vinegar
  • ¾ to 1 teaspoon yellow mustard
  • ½ teaspoon finely snipped fresh thyme or 1 ½ teaspoons dried, crumbled
  • ½ teaspoon finely snipped fresh parsley or 1 ½ teaspoons dried, crumbled
  • ½ teaspoon honey
  • ½ medium garlic clove, minced
  • ¼ cup canola or corn oil
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper, or to taste
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, cut lengthwise into thin strips
  • ½ to 1 small red onion, cut lengthwise into thin strips
  • ¼ teaspoon grated lemon zest

Cooking Instructions

  1. In a large saucepan, bring the water to a boil over high heat. Add the beans. Boil for 5 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, fill a large bowl with cold water. When the beans are ready, drain them in a colander, then plunge them into the cold water to stop the cooking process and cool quickly. Once the beans are cold, drain well and pat dry with paper towels.
  3. While the beans are cooling, in a separate large bowl, whisk together the vinegar, mustard, thyme, parsley, honey, and garlic. Slowly whisk in the oil, continuing to whisk until thoroughly combined. Whisk in the salt and pepper.
  4. Add the green beans, bell pepper, and onion to the vinegar mixture. Toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Just before serving, sprinkle with the lemon zest.

Nutrition Facts per Serving

Calories per serving: 29
Total Fat: 1.0 g
     Saturated Fat: 0 g
     Trans Fat: 0 g
     Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.5 g
     Monounsaturated Fat: 0.5 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 52 mg
Carbohydrate: 4g
Fiber: 2 g
Sugar: 1 g
Protein: 1 g

Dietary Exchanges: 1 vegetable

About Heart and Vascular Institute

The UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute ranks among the best in the United States for complete cardiovascular care. U.S. News & World Report lists UPMC Presbyterian Shadyside as one of the top hospitals nationally for cardiology and heart surgery. We treat all manners of heart and vein conditions, from the common to the most complex. We are creating new medical devices and cutting-edge treatments that may not be available at other hospitals. We also offer screenings, free clinics, and education events in the community.