Cannellini Bean Salad

 Continuing on my quest for great summer salads, this winner comes from the magazine, “Eating Well”.  I love all kinds of beans and always keep a good variety of canned ones in my pantry just for throwing together a last minute salad.  They’re good for you and make a great, quick “go-to” lunch.  Fresh herbs make all the difference in this light summery salad, and I love the crunch of the celery against the creamy beans. Everything about it screams healthy!  Eat it on it’s own as a salad or use as a base to top with fish, grilled shrimp, scallops or chicken!  Bon Appétit!
Cannellini Bean Salad

Cannellini Bean Salad

Cannellini Bean Salad

adapted from “Eating Well” Magazine

Ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • ⅓ cup lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh oregano, minced
  • 1-2 tablespoons fresh sage, minced
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh chives
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 2 15-oz cans cannellini beans, rinsed well
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
  • 1 cup finely diced celery

Preparation:

In a large bowl, combine lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, oregano, sage, chives, salt & pepper. Add rinsed beans, celery and tomatoes.  Toss well.  

 

Liz’s Tidbits:

  • Great for picnics or outings! Can be made and stored in the refrigerator a day ahead.

If you like this recipe, feel free to Tweet it, Facebook it, or just email it by clicking the “share” button below. 🙂

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Quick and Healthy Salad Tips

Happy New Year everyone! I hope it’s off to a great start for you! 🙂

As each year rolls around, I find there’s one thing most of us have in common…we vow to exercise more and eat healthier. As we age, it’s imperative that we do BOTH!

I recently watched a movie that really resonated with me, and I would recommend everyone watch it!  “In Defense of Food” does a great job of showing us how we can reverse the ill effects of what our American/Western diet is doing to us…It’s making us SICK!  It seems we’re always being given contradicting advice…eat this, don’t eat that. Fat is good for you, fat is bad for you.  No wonder everyone’s confused! What we DO know is that sugar and processed foods are literally making us a sick society…the more you eat of them, the higher your risk of obesity, heart disease and diabetes.  We know this…we’re being told over and over, but are we really listening? My take away from this movie is to cut down on meat and eat more plants! I love salads and veggies, so this wont’ be hard for me to do.

Many of you have asked for some tips on how to eat healthy while keeping it simple at the same time. Here are my tips for creating a quick and healthy salad at home.  Try changing things up a bit if you find salads boring.  If you plan ahead and have a few items handy in both your fridge and pantry, you can always have a healthy salad on the table in no time!   Fill it with enough protein, and it can be the main course!

  1. I keep a variety of fresh organic greens in my fridge.  I like mixing several together like kale, baby arugula and spinach. Remember, the darker the green, the more nutrients it will have. I also ALWAYS wash my greens even if they say they’ve been prewashed. See “Marler Blog” for more information on food safety tips, especially buying precut and prewashed veggies.  Bill Marler is a personal injury attorney who litigates foodborne illnesses.  He’s handled all the big cases including the current Costco and Chipotle Restaurant cases.  I subscribe to his blog so that I’m always up to date on the latest recalls.
  2. I also buy canned beans for a protein alternative.  I like garbanzo beans, black beans and kidney beans.  I’ll open a few cans, rinse them well & drain, then pop them into the fridge in a ziploc bag for quick access.  Edamame beans are great in salads, too! I keep a bag in my freezer.
  3. Tomatoes, cucumbers, all colors of bell peppers, red onion, celery, carrots are just a few veggies you can add. They’re all good for you…try them all!
  4. Keep nuts and seeds in your fridge to add crunch to your salads.   Think pumpkin seeds, sunflowers seeds, pistachios, walnuts and pecans.
  5. And lastly, stay clear of bottled dressings.  Why fix a healthy salad only to defeat the purpose with a fat and calorie-laden dressing??  I keep fresh lemons or balsamic vinegar and mix with a bit of olive oil.

Quick, clean and healthy doesn’t have to be complicated! Take baby steps if you’re just starting out. Your body will thank you!

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A quick protein packed salad ready in less than 5 minutes!

Ingredients:

  • Kale
  • Baby arugula
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Garbanzo beans
  • Red kidney beans
  • Pepita (pumpkin) seeds
  • Cherry tomatoes (halved)
  • Bell pepper (diced)
  • lemon and olive oil

 

Blueberry & Kale Grain Salad

It’s a hot summer here in Texas, and what better way to beat the heat than with a cool salad?  I’m always on the lookout for delicious and healthy summer salads.  Not only is this one delicious, but it has healthy written all over it!  Sweet juicy blueberries are the star, and combined with feta, snap peas and pecans, you’re rewarded with that crunchy, sweet & salty combo.  Kale and wheat berries round out the dose of healthy!

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Blueberry & Kale Grain Salad

Blueberry & Kale Grain Salad

Blueberry & Kale Grain Salad

Southern Living Magazine

Serves 8

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup wheat berries (farro, quinoa, or wild rice can be substituted)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 (8 oz.) pkg fresh sugar snap peas
  • 4 cups coarsely chopped kale
  • ½ cup Red Wine Vinaigrette (see recipe below)
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries
  • ½ cup chopped toasted pecans
  • ¾ cup crumbled feta

Preparation:

Bring wheat berries, salt and 4 cups water to a boil in saucepan.  Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer 1 hour.

Meanwhile, cook snap peas in boiling salted water to cover 2 minutes or until crisp-tender, then drain.  Plunge into ice water, drain and pat dry.  Slice in half.  Drain wheat berries, and rinse under cold water until cool.

Toss together kale, wheat berries, and ¼ cup vinaigrette in large bowl.  Let stand 30 minutes. Stir in blueberries, pecans, and sugar snap peas.  Add salt & pepper if desired and sprinkle with feta.  Serve with remaining ¼ cup vinaigrette.

Red Wine Vinaigrette (makes about 1 cup):

  • ⅓ cup red wine vinegar
  • ½ large shallot, minced
  • ⅔ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons coarse-grained Dijon mustard

Stir together red wine vinegar and minced shallot; let stand 10 minutes.  Whisk in olive oil and remaining ingredients.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Refrigerate in airtight container up to 1 week.

Liz’s Tidbits:

The Vinaigrette recipe makes more than you will use for this salad.  Keep the rest in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.

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