Written by Diana Cullum-Dugan, RDN, LDN
Beans can make up a good part of a vegetarian’s diet yet now that it’s summer, we often forget about them. Typically we allocate beans as the protein in soups, chili and creamy, hardy dips, and lose sight of how delicious they are chilled in hot weather dishes.
Take into account the fiber-filled bean salad. Beans offer protein (repair damaged tissue, transport nutrients through your blood stream, and build strong muscles), market-fresh vegetables add vitamins and antioxidants (that improve immune function and assist in high quality absorption of beneficial nutrients), and a delicious olive oil dressing for much needed dietary fat (to carry the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K to muscle cells and for insulation).
And, summertime bean salads are fast and easy. You’ll have a filling and flavorful meal the whole family will enjoy in no time!
Summertime Bean Salad
This fresh summer salad is filling yet leaves you light on your feet. Add more or reduce ingredients according to personal choice. If a hardier meal is desired, add in a cup of cooked farro.
- Arugula, mesclun or spring mix greens of choice
- 1 – 1 ½ cups frozen corn, thawed (or equivalent of 2 fresh cobs of corn)
- 1 can pinto or black beans, rinsed and drained
- ½ small purple onion, finely diced
- ½ medium red bell pepper, diced
- 1 5-inch piece English cucumber, diced
- ½ fresh mango, diced
- Grape tomatoes, cut in half, as garnish
Chili Lime Vinaigrette
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- Place a handful or two of arugula on 4 medium-sized salad plates or bowls.
- Mix together the remaining salad ingredients from corn to mango in a medium-sized bowl.
- Whisk vinaigrette ingredients together in a small bowl or pulse in a small blender or food processor until well combined.
- Stir vinaigrette into the bean salad mixture and place a few spoonfuls on top of the arugula.
- Top salad with grape tomatoes and additional cilantro if desired.
Nutritionals (per serving using pinto beans)
297 calories, 33 g carbs, 7.4 g protein, 18 g fat
Exchanges: 2 starches/grains, 1 oz protein, 3 fat servings