Recipe of the Month: Summer Bean Salad

Need a healthy side to bring to your barbecue or summer party? Try out this Summer Bean Salad made with two different types of beans, red bell pepper, corn, cilantro, and a red wine vinaigrette. Packed with nutrients, this salad is colorful, flavorful, and easy to assemble.

The recipe starts with canned beans. Using the canned version makes the preparation time much shorter. Feel free to choose any bean variety that you prefer (here we use a mix of black and red kidney beans). Beans are a quality complex carbohydrate while also being a good source of protein (~7 grams of protein per serving). So, they can either fit into the Lean Protein (1/4) portion or the Complex Carbohydrate (1/4) portion of your Balanced Plate. This salad is especially helpful at a party where nutrient-dense foods are sometimes hard to come by. Beans are a fantastic source of fiber, particularly soluble fiber, containing 7 grams per serving. Increased soluble fiber intake has been shown to help reduce blood cholesterol levels.

Part of what makes this salad so flavorful is the use of herbs and spices. Cilantro, cumin, chili powder and garlic all complement each other to flavor the beans and vegetables. These ingredients provide a greater depth of flavor and reduce the need for adding a lot of salt or other high-sodium seasonings and dressings.

The base of the dressing is olive oil, which is a great source of healthy fats. Olive oil is high in monounsaturated fatty acids and makes this salad a more satiating side dish. Try out this versatile dressing recipe on other salads as well. Alternatively, double the dressing recipe and save half for other salads or marinades throughout the week.

This salad is full of nutrients, packed with flavor, and can be assembled in a matter of minutes. Ensure you have a healthy option at your next party or make it on Sunday to have for the week. Enjoy!

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Summer Bean Salad

Makes: 6 servings

Ingredients: 

3 (15 oz.) cans beans, rinsed and drained (your choice – we used black beans and red kidney beans)

1 cup frozen corn, thawed and drained

½ cup red onion, diced

1 red bell pepper, diced

1 Tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro

Dressing:

¼ cup chicken broth

2 Tablespoons olive oil

2 Tablespoons tomato paste

Juice of 2 limes

1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar (or a vinegar of your choice)

1 clove garlic, minced

½ teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon chili powder

Salt and pepper to taste

Red pepper flakes

Instructions:

  1. In a large bowl, combine the beans, corn, onion, red bell pepper and cilantro.
  2. In a smaller bowl, combine the broth, tomato paste, lime juice, vinegar, garlic, chili powder, and cumin.
  3. Pour the dressing over the beans and toss. Season to taste with salt, pepper and red pepper flakes.
  4. Let marinate in refrigerator until ready to serve.

Nutrition Breakdown:

Nutrient

Amount per serving (1/6 of recipe)

 

Energy

270 calories

Total Fat

5 grams

     (Saturated Fat)

1 gram

Total Carbohydrates

46 grams

     (Dietary Fiber)

11 grams

     (Sugar)

7 grams

Protein

14 grams