Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Garden's Bounty - Summer Bean Salad

So, I've been trying to come up with ways to eat dry beans in summer.  Everyone knows that beans and rice are a super great meal (unless you're carb restricted).  They are:
  • low fat
  • low GI
  • extremely filling
  • a complete protein without meat
  • very inexpensive
  • easy to prepare
But in the summer, it's just not fun to sit down to a steaming bowl of soup beans.  It's way different than, for instance, hot grilled chicken, or hot spaghetti - something about eating all that hot liquid just makes you sweat.  That's why we eat beans in the winter time!

So, I've had "black bean and corn salad" and this is really just a thrown together version of that.  I used a bag of 15 bean soup (without the packet of gross seasoning) and lots of produce from my garden.  I really enjoyed the different flavors and textures of all those beans.  And I had way more ideas for ingredients that I would love to add if I had them!  I'll list them at the bottom of the recipe. 

Enjoy a filling, low fat, fresh and cool bean salad for dinner, as a side dish, leftovers for lunch - anytime!

Summer Bean Salad
1lb bag of beans (I used 15 bean mix, but black beans are a natural here)
1 ripe tomato, chopped (or 2 if you're a big fan)
1 cucumber, quartered and chopped
2 cobs corn, cut off the cob (or about 1C frozen, thawed)
1 bell pepper, chopped
1 large can black olives, chopped or sliced
salt & pepper to taste
about 1/2C balsamic vinegrette

  1. Cook your beans - rince and sort out any bad beans, then cover with about 2 inches water.  Add some salt - stirring it in later will help, but it's not quite the same.  Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer until beans are done.  It will be a shorter time than for bean soup, and you want the beans to hold their shape, not go mushy.  Mine needed about 1.5 hours or so.  Set a timer to start checking them early.   
  2. Drain in a colander, spread the beans up the sides and set the colander on a plate and put it in the fridge until cold.  Mine got about 2 hours and were cold enough.
  3. Chop all your veggies
  4. Pour the beans, veggies, seasonings and dressing in a large bowl and toss gently - try not to crush the beans.
  5. If your beans were nice and cold, you can eat it now.  Or, refrigerate for an hour up to a few days! 
  6. Serve with bread and butter or crackers to complete the protein (other foods will also work!!)
I would have loved to add any of the following to my salad:
  • diced ham
  • shredded chicken
  • feta, goat cheese, Parmesan
  • chopped avocado
  • onion of some type (maybe green onions or chives?)
  • leftover cold rice (complete that protein! Add extra dressing to soak in)

No comments: