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Simply Nutritious, Quick and Delicious

Jenna Smith, Extension Educator brings you helpful tips to make meals easy, healthy and tasty!
Holiday Green Beans

Keep Food Safe This Thanksgiving

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and that means millions of Americans will be either be hosting or attending the big holiday dinner. Every person certainly has their turkey day favorites, whether it is the cranberry relish, the mashed potatoes and gravy or the famous pumpkin pie, but it's guaranteed that no one wants foodborne illness!  Here are some tips to keep your holiday weekend a safe and healthy one.

  • Keep cold foods cold: If traveling with cold foods tightly cover the already cold dish and pack in an insulated cooler filled with ice or frozen gel packs. Cold foods should be kept below 40°F. Foods served buffet style can be kept cold by placing food dishes under ice. For those party trays purchased at the supermarket, remove the lid, fill the lid with ice and put the tray on top.
  • Keep hot foods hot: If traveling with hot foods, tightly cover the hot dish and pack in an insulated container with towels wrapped around it. Hot foods should be kept above 140°F. If your travel distances are too far for foods to keep above 140°F, consider bringing a different dish. Foods served buffet style can be kept hot with chafing dishes, slow cookers, and warming trays.
  • Follow the 2 hour rule: Never allow hot and cold foods to sit out at room temperature for longer than 2 hours. This includes that pumpkin pie! Homemade pumpkin pie is a custard and must be kept in the refrigerator.
  • Eat leftovers within 3-4 days: Reheat all leftovers to 165°F as measured by a food thermometer.

For more information on food safety and fixing the star of the show, the turkey, visit University of Illinois Extension's website: Turkey for the Holidays. Have a happy and safe holiday weekend!!

Holiday Green Beans (Printable PDF)

1 ½ lbs. fresh green beans, trimmed

? cup diced sweet red orange pepper

1 Tablespoon olive or canola oil

1 Tablespoon water

1 ½ teaspoons white wine vinegar or cider vinegar

1 ½ teaspoons spicy brown mustard

? teaspoon black pepper

¼ teaspoon garlic powder

Place beans and red pepper in a basket over 1 inch boiling water in a saucepan. Cover and steam for 7-8 minutes or until crisp-tender. Meanwhile, in a bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients. Transfer beans to a serving bowl; add vinaigrette mixture and stir to coat.

Yield: 9 servings

Nutrient analysis per ½ cup serving: 45 calories, 1.5 grams fat, 10 milligrams sodium, 6 grams carbohydrate, 3 grams fiber, 2 grams protein

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Hello Jenna, those are some great tip's I just love this time of year! I'm trying not to overeat and get fat! ha.ha. this ideas would carry over to Christmas time as well. your recipe on the green beans looks yummy will have to try it..thanks
by Gary McCord on Wednesday 11/30/2011

Thanks, Gary, for your comment. And you are right that food safety doesn't just end at Thanksgiving, but is also important during Christmas and every day of the year! Hope you enjoy those green beans!
by Jenna Smith on Thursday 12/1/2011