simple bean salads

I’m really into bean salads right now. Once I realized how truly simple – yet satisfying – they could be…let’s just say I’m sorry it took me so long.

I like to keep it really basic: no fancy home-made dressings, no crazy chopping of vegetables, just beans + herbs + olive oil + spices and maybe some cheese if it works. I love the complex bean salads, with more flavor, lots of tiny vegetables and delicious dressings, but simple bean salads deserve their place in the world too! This salad has been a lunch staple lately and in my effort to keep lunch-cooking/prep to a minimum, it’s been perfect.

Other Simple Bean Salad ideas:

  • garbanzos + parsley + feta
  • black beans + cilantro + queso fresco
  • garbanzos + mint + feta
  • white beans + chopped arugula + parmesan
  • lentils + red pepper + goat cheese
  • garbanzos + sun-dried tomatoes + parmesan
  • black beans + avocado + cilantro (a splash of oj would be great in this one!)

Am I missing any bean salad staples? Share your favorites below! 

daily eats: 4.29.13

I’m currently a little obsessed with Gwyneth Paltrow’s new book It’s All Good. I’ve paged through it about 4-5 times so far. The recipes are great, the pictures are beautiful and she’s not bad to look at either. :)

I’m also coming off of a weekend in Vegas, a few days of being sick and eating out an insane amount of times. So I could use a LOT of “good” this week. Lots of good vegetables, protein, workouts and water. She is my inspiration this week!

am workout: 20 minutes of physique 57 (strength)

coffee: (duh) + 1/2 & 1/2 while I made my daily “to do” list. I never cross off as much as I would like to…

breakfast: One of Gwyneth’s (and co-author Julia Turshen’s) favorite breakfasts is avocado toast and even though it’s nothing new, I thought the addition of mayo (she uses vegenaise) was interesting. Verdict? Yes, I love it! I don’t know what it is that makes it so delicious but I’m hooked. I had a touch of vegenaise + a small avocado on 2 slices of sprouted bread.

lunch: salad (also from the cookbook) with a delicious vegan, creamy parsley dressing and all sorts of toppings: cucumbers + garbanzo beans + beets + 2  hard-boiled eggs.

snack: baby carrots + greek yogurt ranch dip

workout: 30 minutes on the elliptical + 40 minute walk (to/from gym)

dinner: While making dinner I snacked on a few olives + chips and salsa. Burgers weren’t on the original menu but they kept getting pushed back so had to be eaten tonight. I also had them last night at a family cookout and have a lunch date at The Counter tomorrow. Life could be worse and you won’t ever catch me complaining about eating burgers. :) Broccolini + onion & jalapeno on the side!

dessert: small handful of dark chocolate almonds

approximate nutrition stats: 1955 calories, 121 grams fat (53%), 145 grams carbohydrates (28%), 40 grams fiber, 33 grams sugar, 96 grams protein (20%). My Dad (who works in Cardiac Rehab) might fall over if he sees that 50% of my calories came from fat…

I know Gwyneth can be polarizing – love or hate?  

fattoush salad

I’ve had a recent obsession with Mediterranean/Lebanese/Israeli/Levantine cuisines lately. I cannot be stopped. My favorite restaurant? Zankou Chicken. (Trying Ta’eem next!)  My favorite cookbook? Modern Flavors of Arabia. My favorite lunch? This fattoush salad.

Fattoush salad (for those of you who aren’t familiar) is a bread salad made with greens and vegetables and fried pita bread. This version is so flavorful – and colorful – from sweet tomatoes, persian cucumbers, fresh lemon juice and bright herbs. I took a shortcut by buying pre-fried pita chips, but you could also use baked ones from the store. Just don’t skip the pita chips – they truly make this salad!

Serve the salad alongside some chicken shawarma or a slab of feta and fresh olives for a true feast.

 

 

 

Fattoush Salad

by Emily Dingmann

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Keywords: entree salad

 

Ingredients (4 servings)

For the Dressing

  • 2 cloves garlic
  • juice from 2 lemons
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp za’atar
  • salt & pepper

For the Salad

  • 1 head romaine lettuce
  • 3 cups arugula
  • 1 lb. persian cucumbers, halved and sliced
  • 1 lb. grape tomatoes, halved and sliced
  • 3/4 oz fresh mint, roughly chopped
  • 3/4 oz fresh parsley, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup crushed fried pita chips

Instructions

For the Dressing

Mince garlic or leave whole and smash to remove later.

Whisk together all ingredients.

For the Salad

Mix all ingredients but pita chips.

Toss with dressing.

Top with pita chips.

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roasted pepper relish

I had always been a bit apprehensive of roasting my own peppers so I continued to pay a ton for them at the store.

Then I had three peppers that needed to be used and I decided to just try roasting my own. Its easy to do right in the broiler! Heat the broiler on high, place peppers on a pan and essentially let them burn, turning to burn all sides. (Everyone can burn food, right?) Once you let the peppers cool you can easily the remove peel and seeds.

That’s it!

This relish can be used for just about anything. Try it with grilled steak or fish. Put it on pizza. Eat it with slices of bread and some melted cheese. Try it with eggs or just plain on its own.

Whatever you do with it, it’s sure to make any food look good and add delicious roasted pepper flavor to every bite.

 

Roasted Pepper Relish

by Emily Dingmann

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Keywords: appetizer entree gluten-free low-carb vegan vegetarian

 

Ingredients (2-3 cups relish)

  • 3 peppers (I used yellow, orange and red)
  • 2 Tbsp chopped kalamata olives
  • 2 Tbsp chiffonade fresh parsley
  • olive oil
  • salt & pepper

Instructions

Preheat broiler to high.

Place peppers on a baking sheet on top rack, closest to the broiler.

Cook for about 15 minutes, rotating the peppers every few minutes when the skin gets dark.

Let peppers cool.

Remove seeds and skin. The skin should peel off pretty easily.

Thinly slice the peppers and blot with a paper towel.

Toss with olives and parsley, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt & pepper to taste.

Will keep in the refrigerator for 5 days.

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