Green Bean Pasta Al Fresco

You want to know something I find interesting and troubling all at the same time? Every time I hear someone talk about how they lost weight on one diet or another, it always boils down to one thing: eating fewer calories. It’s not as if they discovered that eating while standing on your head miraculously converts your metabolism to a calorie burning powerhouse. They don’t secretly disclose that pouring Sriracha on your left foot ratchets up the amount of calories you can consume. (Although that would make for some tasty toes.) Nope. The secret to most diets boils down to one thing: finding ways to eat less without being hungry. It’s that hunger part that loses me every time. So, you want to know what my favorite diet trick is? Find ways to eat whole, healthy, naturally-low-calorie foods that keeps you full. (Rocket science, I know.) My favorite go-to filling but delicious recipe is Green Bean Pasta Al Fresco.

Green Bean Pasta Al Fresco, a filling, low-calorie meal

Look. Unless we want to be like Michael Phelps and swim at a high intensity level for 8 hours a day, it seems we’re all doomed to a moderately low calorie life. The human body is just too damned efficient.

But here’s he deal. Low calorie doesn’t have to mean low taste.

I know what you’re thinking. That Marly is a genius!

It’s ok. You can roll your eyes at me now. I’m used to it.

Fresh, delicious, cherry tomatoes

Fresh Cherry Tomatoes for Green Bean Pasta Al Fresco

Cherry Tomatoes and Fresh Green Beans

Green Bean Pasta Al Fresco raw ingredients

I love recipes with fresh ingredients.

I love recipes with fresh ingredients that are easy to make.

I love recipes with fresh ingredients that are easy to make and taste so good.

I love recipes with fresh ingredients that are easy to make and taste so good and keep me satisfied for hours!

I love recipes with fresh ingredients that are easy to make and taste so good and keep me satisfied for hours…and one step closer to finally wearing that bikini again.

OK. The bikini is a stretch, but a girl’s gotta dream!

Green Bean Pasta Al Fresco

As promised on Instagram yesterday, things are getting real. Sure, it’s nothing fancy, but it is a tried and true recipe that’s been part of my spring arsenal for years. Every time I need to shed a little bit of my winter weight, this is one of the recipes that gets me back on track.

OK. Confession time. Sometimes I make the batch and eat the entire thing myself…at one sitting! Of course, with only 150 calories per serving, I can do that and not feel one bit guilty.

Low calorie, high tasting Green Bean Al Fresco

I like meals that I can eat until I’m full and never once regret it. In fact, this meal leaves me feeling full, but energized for hours.

And isn’t that what we all want? Full. Energized. Healthy!

Green Bean Pasta Al Fresco

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Yield: 1-2

Ingredients

  • 1 small red potato, rinsed and chopped
  • 1 lb fresh green beans, washed and with ends cut (I used Costco's bagged French Green Beans)
  • 5-6 fresh cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • ¼ cup sliced black olives
  • ¼ teaspoon olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 fresh basil leaf, chopped (or 1 teaspoon dried basil)
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Place the chopped potato in a bowl. I leave the skins on because that's where all the healthy stuff lives. Place the bowl in a microwave and heat for 1 minute. Place a lid on the bowl and set aside.
  • Steam the green beans until tender. My favorite way of doing this is to rinse the green beans and then place them in a microwave safe bowl, place a vented lid over the top, and microwave them for about 4 minutes. Allow it to sit for a few minutes to blow off the steam and you should have some perfectly steamed green beans.
  • Pat the steamed green beans dry and add the sliced cherry tomatoes. Next add the potatoes (that should be tender by this point) and black olives. Drizzle this with the olive oil and toss to combine.
  • Season with garlic powder, basil, and salt and pepper.
  • Serve warm!

Calorie and Nutritional Information for Green Bean Al Fresco

Enjoy!

Posted 5 months ago by Marly on Thursday, May 15th, 2014 · Permalink

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19 Responses to Green Bean Pasta Al Fresco

  1. I’m so tired of fad diets. Eat less and exercise regularly – it’s the only way to go! Love this salad!

    • You’re so right, Amy! No matter what – whether you eat only cabbage or you eliminate all the sugar – it all boils down to fewer calories. I figure why not make those few calories SING!!

  2. I love using fresh ingredients too. This looks fabulous!

  3. Oh, this looks so good. And yes, I totally agree with you — eating fewer calories and feeling full really is the key!

  4. This looks so fresh and delicious. I am growing green beans in my garden and usually have an abundance of them. I will definitely be setting some aside for this.

  5. Love this Marly! I start to crave these kind of meals as soon as it gets warm. And nothing photographs quite as nice as fresh garden produce. Lovely!

  6. This looks so delicious and healthy, I love it and I know my husband would too!

  7. I love this beautiful salad. The colors and the final plated dish are gorgeous!

  8. Mmmmm, so fresh and delicious! It’s pretty too :)

  9. Yeah, that whole calorie thing gets me every time. Dang, I wish the hot sauce on the foot thing worked. Your salad makes and excellent start in balancing out what goes in and what energy is expended out. :)

    • I would totally put hot sauce on my foot if it revved up the metabolism. Forgot hot blooded – we’d be hot footed!

  10. Love the looks of this recipe. Beautiful and healthy and I’m sure it tastes great too!

    • It is SO good. I grew up living on canned green beans and thought I loved them…until I converted to fresh. You will never go back to canned again. And paired with the other flavors in this recipe? It’s amazing!

  11. That is SO pretty and looks delicious. Hold on while I jump into a bucket of Sriracha and grab a string bikini, lol!!

  12. fresh and fabulous! love it!

  13. This dish looks so fresh and perfect for summer!

  14. Oops, I forgot the olives. I see than now just when I’ve come back to tell you this made a great dinner! I don’t like over spiced foods and this was perfect. It had good mouth feel and just a hint of garlic and basil. The tomatoes being stirred into the hot veggies got warmed but not cooked, another plus. Well, I guess I’ll have to add some olive slices to my leftovers which I plan to eat as a salad. This was a great recipe that I hope to get my granddaughter to try as she loves green beans, olives and olive oil.

    • So glad you liked it. I have some green beans in the fridge right now just waiting for my next Al Fresco meal. I usually do this when I need a little veggie recharge! I hope your granddaughter likes it too. If you make it again, send me a picture via Instagram or Twitter and use #NamelyMarly. I’d love to see it!

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