Farmer's Market season is well under way, and, here in Ontario, July and August offer the widest variety of fresh local produce for you to plunder. Don't believe me? Check out the availability of produce on Foodland Ontario's website. One of my favourite market buys is green beans. Whether you eat them raw or steamed, green beans are tasty, low-cal morsels of goodness. A cup of green beans offers 30% of your RDA of vitamin C, 15% of the RDA of vitamin A, and 4g of fiber, among many other vitamins and minerals.
It may surprise you to know that green beans belong to the same species as black beans, navy beans, pinto beans and kidney beans (to name a few). Phaseolus vulgaris was domesticated in Central America as early as 7000 B.C.  . If you're thinking to yourself "Wait, green beans look nothing like kidney beans!" , that's because green beans are "immature" pods. Just like pea pods, inside the green bean pod grows the round bean that would one day mature and harden into the "dry bean", which is the seed of the bean plant. Unfortunately for the hard-working bean plant, and fortunately for us, we harvest green beans long before they mature, while they're still crisp and tender.
July and August is also prime BBQ and picnic season. Potato salad, often in the form of a mayo-laden mush, is ubiquitous at such events. But this is neither vegan nor is it healthy (or remotely tasty, in my opinion). For your next summer potluck event, why not bring a big bowl of Green Bean & Potato Salad? With local green beans and new baby potatoes available at the markets (or maybe even in your own garden, you lucky duck), it's a fresh and tasty departure from the old standby mayo-mush.