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Bean Salad

The thing to keep in mind is:  There are no rules for bean salads!  Once you have chosen your bean or legume, get crazy with creativity.


Italian White Bean salad:

The 4 basic ingredients are: 

1.  a can of drained cannellini beans (I get them at TJ's)

2.  chopped red or maui onion (I put as much onion as beans if using maui but about 1/2 cup if using red.  Dice finely)

3.  chopped tomatoes - as many or much as you like - any variety: cherry/halved, plum, or whatever looks best. Toss them in a bowl with copped garlic and at least 1Tbsp red wine vinegar and 1/2 - 1 tsp sea salt. (let them macerate while you put the rest together)

4.  2-3 Tbsp capers – add halved green or black olives if you like. 

Toss with 2- 3 Tbsp olive oil and juice from a whole lemon - at least 3Tbsp, sea salt to taste. Top with chopped fresh basil.

If you want it to be a main dish or complete meal, toss in a can of drained, packed in olive oil tuna.  (avoid albacore and white tuna – it has the most mercury.  Go for “light” which is sort of tan, not white.)  This is my very favorite lunch!


French Lentil salad:

You can cook the lentils yourself OR buy a box in the fridge section of vacuum packed lentils.  They hold their shape and stay firm much better than the ones you cook unless you can find green french lentils at a specialty store.

You'll see the ingredients are basically the same as above bean salad:

1.  1 box TJ cooked lentils

2.  Lots of tomatoes, chopped, adding 2 cloves minced garlic and 1/2 tsp sea salt - put into separate bowl while zucchini drain.

3.  Lots of onion, either red or maui, vidalia, etc.  chop finely.  (from 1-2 cups, as the box of lentils is a lot of lentils)

4.  2-3 zucchini, diced

5.  arrugula or romaine, chopped fine – at least 3 cups finely chopped.

6.  3-4 tbsp chives

7.  pine nuts


Place the diced zucchini in a collander and sprinkle liberally with sea salt and let drain for 30 min. Rinse & pat dry.

While zucchini are softening, mix all other ingredients together except the pine nuts.  Toss with 2-3 Tbsp olive oil and an equal amount or more of lemon juice, incorporating the salted tomatoes at this time.

After adding the drained zucchini, toss together, add fresh ground pepper and more salt if necessary. Taste.  At this point, I often decide to add more lemon juice b/c if some lemon juice is good, more is better, in my book.  Place slightly toasted pine nuts on top.

Note:  The only salt I use is the "gold mine Celtic grey sea minerals" found at Mother's market.  This natural French sea salt has 72 minerals in it and it is found to help lower blood pressure, if you can believe it. (It’s the 72 minerals)  It's totally different than the Morton type of talcum powdered sodium chloride which is actually a poison to the human body.  The 1 lb pkg of sea salt lasts a long time and is worth the expense.  Buy “salt-free” products and add your own Celtic sea minerals.

Most of the time, my only salad dressing is a nice dash of this sea salt plus the juice of a whole lemon - just for my portion!