Green beans w/whole grain mustard & honey vinaigrette

green bean salad recipe

Alas, we’re finally getting in the groove of taking pictures of food again. For as much as we cook, eat and entertain, we sure don’t share enough of it on the blog.  We inhale our food so fast,  and when it’s all through, we’re wishing we had pictures to share it.”Did you take a picture?”, “No, I thought  you did”, “I didn’t cause I thought you did !”.

Honestly, it just takes way too much work to: 1. STOP cooking/eating  2. GRAB CAMERA  3. SET UP photo 4. SNAP the pic 5. LOAD the pic and finally, 6. WRITE the post.

Is it just us? Blogging is GREAT fun and a hobby , but sometimes we just don’t feel like  taking blog pictures in the bustling kitchen. Besides, it not safe to have the lens up close and personal to an oil splattering wok or trying to take hold the camera in  one hand while yielding a knife in the other.

green bean salad recipe

“But, there’s both of you to work together. It should be easy”: you’re a fool (you know who you are) to think that we have the time to take pictures of each others dishes. We’re usually on both ends of the kitchen focused on prepping different things, neither of us want to stop. Yes folks, we do work independently too and don’t think that you single folks have it “hard” in the kitchen.

We just don’t how some bloggers are able to post almost everyday, that’s ambitious. Keeping up with all of your great work is ambitious for us too this busy holiday, which we haven’t been doing much of lately. We miss all of you.

But we have a system that motivates us to be able to take pictures of the recipes and the final dish. We’ve found our photo mojo and will be posting more for all to see.  We’ll share it all in a video later on for our upcoming : Food photography in the Kitchen series!

This dish was so quick to photograph, it was almost scary. We’re never had our crap together enough to take a final picture with in a few minutes. This was great because that means not having to interrupt dinner for too long .

Whole grain mustard is made of whole or partially ground mustard seeds and the texture is great for dressings. The tang of the  whole grain mustard with the hint of honey sweetness makes a great vinaigrette for almost any vegetable or salad dish. Some haricot verts (baby green beans) were hiding in our vegetable bin and  were then quickly blanched  to a tender, crispy sweet.

This whole grain mustard vinaigrette has all the elements that keep us craving more: texture and contrasts in flavor. It takes about 10 minutes to throw together but when tossed with some beautiful greens or vegetables of your choice, looks like a million bucks. It’s been a nice transition lately with so much meat and rich foods that we’ve eaten in the last few days, life as carnivores has been good. Now it’s time to be herbivores for a few days.

Green Bean & Whole grain Mustard/Honey Vinaigrette Recipe

Yield: Serves 2-4

Total Time: 20 Minutes


  • about 1 pound green beans, haricot verts
  • 1/4 cup Olive oil or Grape seed oil
  • 1 Tablespoon whole grain Mustard
  • 1 teaspoon Honey
  • 1 Tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh Lemon Juice


  1. Wash & trim stems of green beans.
  2. Prepare ice bath. In large bowl, fill with cold water and add about 8-10 ice cubes.
  3. In large pot, bring water to boil. Add green beans and cook for just about 2-3 minutes, or until beans become tender.
  4. Drain green beans in colander, rinse quickly with cold water from faucet, then immediately add green beans to ice bath. When green beans have cooled, remove from ice bath and allow to drain.
  5. In bowl or mason jar, add oil, whole grain mustard, honey, balsamic vinegar and fresh lemon juice. Mix well.
  6. Toss green beans and vinaigrette. Add extra squeeze of fresh lemon juice or lemon zest right before serving.
Recipe Source:

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Recipe Note for Salt: All recipes containing salt are based on kosher or sea salt amounts, not table salt. If using table salt, reduce the amount used to taste.


{ 37 comments… read them below or add one }
  1. Chrissy

    Help, where is the recipe for the green beans?

  2. Food Woolf

    I totally agree! What a great post. I have a whole back log of food photos that I keep telling myself I’ll “keep for later posts”. Maybe I’ll work the pictures in. Maybe I won’t…What’s great about writing about food is that there will always be another dish to get excited about (and photograph)!

  3. Chocolate Shavings

    What a great side dish , I love grainy mustard!

  4. CourtJ

    I do a bean dish just like this but with finely chopped shallots and garlic mixed in (I got it from Jamie Oliver). Delish! It makes green beans or asparagus into a pretty potent side dish.

  5. Maya

    It can be a exhausting process when you are not up to it. Esp crazy after putting in a long day at the office. Love the pics!!

  6. RecipeGirl

    At least there are two of you working together… and you understand why there’s a dinner delay! I have my family staring at me and asking me if we can just eat now! Often I have to re-warm 🙂

    Whole grain mustard is clearly a great invention. Love the stuff in everything, especially salad dressing. Looks like it’s great with green beans too!

  7. Jesse

    Hmm, this is why a lot of my food is cold by the time it reaches the table. =( Share with us your secretz pleazeeeee! By the way, that mustard looks so… whole-grainy… I just want to take a big mouthful of it. @_@

  8. Jescel

    i understand about how you feel. i wish i can blog /take pics more….. sometimes it’s too much much. but it’s not about’s about the quality of your blog.. and yours always come out very the photos, and the food, of course. keep it up! :o)

  9. chefectomy

    Love this recipe and pics. Its part of the food bloggers life to contend with photos. I’ve reduced myself to asking my wife to eat without me so I can photograph the end product. It looks good but a lot of cold food!

  10. Jude

    That mustard probably won’t work for pretzels 🙂 Looks perfect on green beans, though.

  11. courtney

    Sometimes you just want to eat. I hear you on the picture taking.

  12. Passionate Eater

    Even though that dish was easy to photograph–it looks fantastic and like it was difficult to photograph. And don’t be too intimidated by the perpetual posters, we all aspire to be one post/day bloggers, are at least like the White on Rice Couple!

  13. Nate

    We’re a team blog – Annie does all of the cooking, I do the photography and editing, we both write, I post. It’s all about division of labor. It’s also because I’m not as good a cook as Annie and she’s not a computer whiz like me.

    The hard part is that I’m not always home to document the cooking of dinner. So we cook a lot on weekends.

  14. grace

    that mustard looks absolutely outstanding. green beans never had it so good. 🙂

  15. ovenhaven

    I totally understand what you’re talking about! It’s especially hard coz I’m still living with my parents; let’s just say I come from a run-away-from-the-camera background. So I end up taking photos of the completed bake in my room, but I always wished I could take preparation/kitchen shots! I’m looking forward to your Food Photography in the Kitchen tips!

  16. zenchef

    Oh so i’m not the only one with a camera in one hand and the knife in the other. Good to know! hehe. Food-blogging is a dangerous hobby, i’m telling ya.
    I wish i had more time to do it all but someone needs to pay me full-time for that. Hello, anyone?… [silence] 🙂

    This is a nice little salad, green beans, whole grain mustard and honey.. what’s not to love? The pictures are terrific as usual.

  17. veron

    I know what you mean. It is hard to take a picture of food that is tempting you to just eat it. Hubby and I always get mad at each other because picture taking takes too long and we are both hungry. ;).
    Your picture though are perfect and looks delicious!

  18. Pepy

    I was about to ask the same question as Marc @ No Recipes. This morning was really terrible weather -42C. Anyway, your green beans looks so pretty.

  19. Marc @ NoRecipes

    Those green beans are gorgeous. Where did find such nice ones in the middle of winter? As for the photo taking I know exactly what you mean I’ve resolved to just take quick snaps of some of the stuff I cook and post sans recipe as part of a weekly roundup. Still takes some work, but much less than documenting while cooking:-)

  20. Julie

    A lot of what you write and what the other commenters have written is very familiar to me. There are times I cook something blog worthy but I’m either too busy trying to get dinner on the table to take a picture of it, or I do take pictures but I don’t manage to get a shot I’m happy with. Sometimes I cook something that I think will be blog-worthy but it turns out I don’t care for it. And sometimes I’m cooking things I’ve already blogged about or perhaps it’s something plain enough that it doesn’t seem blog-worthy. I have no idea how the post every day people do it.

    But this… what a beautiful shot this is! And I’m looking forward to anything you two decide to post about photography because you manage consistently gorgeous pictures. Anxiously awaiting any wisdom you impart! 🙂

  21. Rita

    I love your photos and posts, so I don’t think you have much to worry about. I enjoy taking pics of the food, but the thing about posting daily is that I don’t always cook “blog worthy” food… What do you post when you just want to have Wasa toasts with tea for dinner???

  22. Heather

    i hear ya on the taking pictures. sometimes i am just hungry, don’t want the food to cool, etc., and never get the pic… or i just take a terrible pic. oh well! this looks delicious! i love whole grain mustard… looks like a delicious side dish 🙂

  23. Abby

    I always make french vinaigrette with djion, but recently I have been enjoying it with whole grain mustard, I like the texture. I always forget to put it on a vegetable, serving it warm.

  24. maggie (p&c)

    Yum. Yes, I just hate to photograph a hot dish and serve it when it’s cold. But your photos are LOVELY…keep posting!

  25. We Are Never Full

    i’m TOTALLY with you on this. it is even harder to take pics when you are HUNGRY. when i’m hungry the fury takes over and i need to eat now. and that’s when thinking of a food blog becomes difficult. those who are able to post every day, well, i totally give them credit. a blog post takes a long time fro us to write and i can’t imagine having the time to post every day. but glad you’ve got your mojo back!

  26. Susan at Sticky,Gooey,Creamy,Chewy

    I completely understand what you mean, and I can relate. That’s why the majority of my posts are about desserts. I usually make them in the morning or late at night, so there are no hungry people around waiting to devour them. Photographing our dinners is a real pain in the a$$! It is usually late, and we’re tired and hungry. Add in the time for editing and writing a decent post and……it can just be too much! Then, trying to find the time to visit all of the other great blogs can be overwhelming. I truly don’t know how some people do it all!

  27. Gertrude

    You are so right! I cook everyday but I don’t take pictures of everything I cook especially dinner. Hubby will be too hungry after he got home from work and he just want to dig in rather than waiting for me to take pix 🙂

  28. matt wright

    YUM – awesome stuff guys. LOVE whole-grain mustard.

    I have no idea how some people post as frequently as they do. I reckon you guys have a great balance here – you post frequently enough to keep checking your site for more, but not too frequently whereas the quality suffers.

    Great food, great photos, great writing.

  29. Hélène

    I’m glad someone is feeling the same as me. I could not post every single day of the year. Post when you can and I will always enjoy reading it and looking at your gorgeous photos.

  30. Christie @ fig&cherry

    At least when you do post they’re always perfect! 😉

    I much prefer your quality over quantity. x

  31. Manggy

    I *like* green beans (mostly because of the health aspect) but I effin’ LOVE honey and mustard together! I am drooling at a vegetable dish! That’s not typical!!! Lol.

    Hah, I can understand that it’s scary to take a picture so quickly, but usually I fall ass-backwards into an okay shot. And shots that I think will be great sometimes turn out to be duds. But I don’t think I can ever post every day, though, crappy pics or not! Looking forward to your pics and videos!! 😉

  32. Lydia (The Perfect Pantry)

    I think it depends on what you want your life to be — if cooking becomes all about taking photos, you begin to lose sight of why you enjoy being in the kitchen in the first place. It’s always a balancing act.

  33. nikkipolani

    I suppose it depends on what you want your photos to be — gorgeous well-lit magazine shots or just something to journal online about. The quality of your images show that you guys very often aim for the former. In any case, glad you’ve got your mojo back 🙂

  34. Chez Us

    Diane & Todd … we feel your pain literally! What is this crazy world of food blogging have we gotten ourselves into!

    I needed a green bean dish for the holidays and this will be a very nice addition to our table!! Thanks for taking the time to share with us!

  35. Julia

    Oh do I know what you’re talking about! Except you include a step that I have yet to include in my process, “Set up the photo.” Taking all the pictures is easy (and sometimes I pawn that off on my friends in exchange for food), it’s making them look good that’s hard. You certainly succeed in that arena!

  36. Haley W.

    Ugh! You are exactly right! I cook often, but taking pictures is hard. Sometimes I just can’t get them to come out (and most of mine are not great, just passable), and sometimes I forget take them at all. Action shots are impossible for me– I don’t see how any person working along gets them– and I’m afraid of getting my camera too close to “risky” dishes on the stove.

    It’s comforting to know that bloggers, writers, and photographers of your quality feel the same pressures and difficulties as us novices… 🙂

    Love this dish, btw.

  37. ilingc

    I know what you mean. Wouldn’t it be great if you could do all the cooking and take the photos at the same time… of course that’s never going to happen. LOL. Though my problem isn’t taking the photos, more like posting and blogging it heheh…

    Love the sound of your beans salad. I usually whip up a balsamic vinegar dressing for mine, will have to try yours for a change 🙂

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