This week I thought I’d share an easy bean salad recipe that I love to make in the summer. What I like about this recipe is that the dressing contains no sugar (unlike the traditional recipe that my mom makes). Aside from the fact that this recipe is delicious, here are six other reasons why you should add this bean salad to your summer routine.
1. Building and Repairing the Body
Legumes are a source of protein and getting enough protein each day is necessary so your body can build and repair. This includes your immune system! For vegetarians make sure you have whole grains or seeds the same day to provide your body with all essential amino acids (the building blocks of protein).
Legumes contain starchy carbohydrates that provide your body with satisfying, steady energy. No need to serve other starchy carbohydrates (potato, bread, pasta, corn and quinoa) at the same meal. Too much starchy carbohydrates provides the body with excessive amounts of sugar (energy) which may end up as fat if not used. Instead serve this bean salad with more protein (meat, fish, cheese) and vegetables for a balanced meal.
Legumes are high in fibre which is crucial for digestive health, to help the body get rid of toxins, and for disease prevention (cancer, diabetes and diverticulitis to name a few).
4. Cellular Integrity
Free radicals are unstable, reactive molecules caused naturally by metabolism and stress and unnaturally from cigarettes, environmental pollution and chemicals in our foods. When these unstable molecules are not neutralized by antioxidants they cause damage to our cell membranes leading to premature aging and disease. Legumes contain molybdenum, manganese and other phytonutrients which act as antioxidants in our bodies and protect our cells.
5. Energy (again)
Iron found in legumes is used to carry oxygen to our cells for energy production.
Legumes are a source of tryptophan, an essential amino acid that is a biochemical precursor of serotonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that contributes to feelings of well-being and happiness.
Three-Bean Salad (Canadian Living)
Makes 6-8 servings
3 cups cut green beans, 19 oz can of chickpeas (drained and rinsed), 19 oz can of kidney beans (drained and rinsed), 2 thinly sliced green onions, ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley, 1 tbsp minced jalapeo pepper
3 tbsp each of olive oil and wine vinegar, 1 clove minced garlic, 1 tsp dried oregano, ¼ tsp each salt and pepper
To make vinaigrette whisk together all ingredients and set aside. Steam green beans until tender-crisp, drain and add to vinaigrette. Add chickpeas, kidney beans, green onions, parsley and jalapeno to bowl and toss to coat. Refrigerate until chilled, about 30 minutes (can refrigerate for up to 24 hours).