Tomato and Green Bean Salad

This simple salad is a delicious summer treat, when tomatoes and green beans are fresh and aplenty. Also, when it comes to salads, many of us are stuck on lettuce, which, despite all of its wonderful qualities, can get boring after awhile.

It’s also light and travels well, which is good for in between rehearsals and classes.

In this recipe, quickly blanched green beans take the place of lettuce, and are paired with sweet red tomatoes (cherry, grape, beefsteak or heirloom all work).


  • To blanch the beans, drop them into a pot with two inches of boiling water. Leave them until they just turn bright green. Remove from water and drain. Beans should be cooked but still snappy and bright.
  • Chop tomatoes. Use a variety that you like.
  • Toss green beans with finely chopped shallot, fresh basil, olive oil, and lemon juice to taste. (Note: lemon juice will discolor the green beans when stored, so only use as much as you are going to eat. Or, substitute vinegar for the lemon juice.)
  • Grind black pepper over the top and salt to taste.

This salad is even better the second day when it’s had a chance to marinate.


Once you’ve got this recipe down, you can try some variations on the produce just to make it more interesting. Farmers have been cultivating older varieties of both tomatoes and string beans of late, so you can now find them in interesting colors that can really enliven the look of your meal. Give them a try!

  • Cherry, yellow, orange, or heirloom tomatoes
  • Yellow or purple string beans
  • Shaved parmigiano cheese, small mozzarella balls, or crumbled feta cheese

And of course, it’s good for you! Tomatoes (a fruit) and green beans (a vegetable) are whole foods- unaltered and natural- full of vitamins and minerals your body needs.

Devour with joy!

Just how much sugar is in that drink?

There’s a lot of talk about sugar these days. It’s in the news and in films. We’re learning how sugar, not fat, is to blame for so many health issues. We’re hearing about how much we should and shouldn’t eat every day and when we’re supposed to cut ourselves off completely.

I found this PDF on sweet drinks from the Harvard School of Public Health.  It’s an easy way to see how much sugar is in one serving of each drink.

The red, yellow and green color-coding system is a simple way to learn what you should avoid and what is good for you.


You might be surprised by some of the reds, like 100% fruit juice and Vitamin water, clocking in at 10 and 5 teaspoons of sugar per serving. Yikes! Even sports drinks are coded with a red spoon. That means you should drink them sparingly; think of them more as dessert instead of a harmless beverage.


What are the recommended drinks?

  • Water is number 1!

Plain, natural, and unflavored water. If you tend to like flavored drinks, it can take a while to reorient yourself towards water, but it’s a process that is well worth the trouble. This is what your body craves and needs more than any other liquid.

  • Next up is seltzer water with a splash of flavor.*

You can buy this ready made, like Poland Spring with vanilla, or you can make this at home. Making your own gives you more control over what goes into your flavored seltzer. Cut up berries or lemons to have on hand for your water.

*Beware of “zero calorie” flavored seltzers: a lot of them have chemical sugars in place of natural juice.

  • And finally, homemade herbal and regular teas.

Remember that loading up homemade teas with sugar can land you in the place you’re trying to avoid, so use sparingly.

This graphic is a great resource, but only if you look at it regularly! If you’re someone who gravitates towards sweetened beverages, try printing it out and hanging it on your fridge as a reminder.

How Sweet Is It? Grams & Teaspoons of Sugar in 12 oz. Drinks