Holidays are typically times of indulgence, but with some smart changes you can have favorite dishes without sacrificing the taste. Michelle Ray with Novant Health Heart & Vascular Institute said it’s important to incorporate some fresh vegetables into your holiday feast.

Green Bean Salad

Makes 5 servings

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/3 cup minced shallots

3 tbsp. plus 2 tsp. Sherry wine vinegar

2 tbsp. fresh mint, chopped

3/4 tsp. salt

1 tsp. sugar

½ tsp. black pepper

1/3 cup dried tart cherries

1 ½ pounds trimmed slender green beans (such as haricots verts)

½ cup walnuts, toasted and chopped

Whisk the first 6 ingredients and ½ tsp of pepper in a small bowl. Mix in dried cherries; set aside. Fill a large bowl with water and ice; set aside. Cook (blanch) the green beans in a large pot of boiling water until tender (3-4 minutes). Drain. Transfer to bowl with ice water; cool and drain again. Toss the green beans, walnuts and dressing in a large bowl and serve.