Even though I recently did a posting on my recipe for hummus, this week I continue with my bean obsession. Beans are so wonderfully versatile and taste fantastic! Even your everyday hardcore carnivore can find satisfaction in a well made bean dish. While normally I prefer to make most things from scratch, this recipe is wonderful when you are super short on time and want a happy compromise on effort and healthy nutrients!
Beans are a super food, bursting with goodness including phytoestrogens (great for balancing female hormones), contain a host of vitamins including thiamin, vitamin B6, folate and vitamins E, K, A and C. They also provide a host of minerals including calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, zinc, copper, manganese and potassium. And last but not least you also get fiber to keep you nice and regular!
Did you know you can now get organic canned bean mixes and some brands also sell their beans in glass jars which prevents any possible chemicals seeping into your food.
As a purely vegetarian meal, this salad is light and refreshing and can be eat on garlic butter-brushed and toasted ciabatta for a healthy bean-style bruschetta. For my carnivores it's the perfect accompaniment with roasted meats at a BBQ or your Sunday roast. It also travels well which is great for outdoor functions and picnics.
You can also use this salad as base to other dishes. For example I like to warm the bean salad, in a little ghee, butter or heart healthy oil (like Rice Bran), add a little cooked rice, some chopped meat or bacon and a little Parmesan and viola - a deliciously healthy and comforting meal! Sometimes for the extra crush I add some chopped cashews in too.
You can use any combination of bean mixes in this salad if you wish.
Try different herbs like basil for a different flavor.
You can heat this salad in a pan and make it more hearty by chopping in mushrooms, chopped bits of meat or bacon, nuts and rice
YOU WILL NEED
1 x 420g | 14 ounce tin of four bean mix
1 x 420g | 14 ounce tin of chickpeas
2 large tomatoes seeds removed and chopped
1 small-medium sized red onion finely chopped (you can use regular onion but make sure it's not too strong)
1 large handful of coriander/cilantro finely chopped
2 large pieces of capsicum/peppers marinated in vinegar and finely chopped
5 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar OR balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
Place beans into a strainer and thoroughly rinse under the tap. Set aside to drain.
In a medium salad bowl add the chopped tomato, chopped onion, finely chopped coriander/cilantro, finely chopped marinated capsicum, your drained beans, extra virgin olive oil, apple cider OR balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper.
Mix to ensure the ingredients are well combined.
Taste to ensure the balance of flavor is right and serve.
SERVES 5-6 AS A SIDE DISH