If you’re tired of plain old lettuce salads but still want to reap the health benefits of good ol’ veggies, give bean salads a try. They’re quick and easy to throw together (even more so if you’re using canned beans) and provide a variety of flavours and textures to keep things interesting.
I could go on and on about the health benefits of eating beans, but for your sake here’s the executive summary: beans are very good source of protein, active plant compounds, vitamins and minerals – ideal for those following a vegetarian or vegan diet, or simply looking to eat less meat.
Some of my favourite legumes include black beans, chickpeas, lentils, red and white kidney beans and Romano beans. I prefer to buy them canned rather than dried (always rinsed and drained before using), but that’s just for the convenience factor.
Making a good bean salad is ridiculously easy. You just need to do a bit of chopping and then throw everything into a bowl, top with dressing and serve. Easy peasy! Try this recipe or experiment with your own flavour combinations.
- 2 19-oz (540-mL) cans mixed beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- 2 Persian cucumbers, chopped
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf (Italian) parsley
- 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp cider vinegar
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- In a medium-sized bowl add the beans, pepper, celery, cucumber and parsley. Add the oil and vinegar and season with salt and pepper; toss to combine.
- You can use any kind of canned legume for this recipe, though I like to use canned mixed beans for variety. The brand I buy includes chickpeas, red and white kidney beans, black-eyed peas, baby lima beans and Romano beans.