This post originally appeared on my former website, Fighting for Wellness, in June 2012.
I love making bean salad because of the variety of colors and nutrients you can squeeze into a serving. I have experimented with several different kinds of beans, but for this recipe I went with green, garbanzo, black, and kidney beans. All of these beans are high in fiber which makes them very filling and great for digestion. While all legumes are also considered a good source of protein, the garbanzo, black, and kidney beans in particular offer a great supply of protein that is great for maintaining healthy muscle. Beans are also lower in saturated fat and cholesterol than other sources of protein, and provide B vitamins, folic acid, iron, and calcium!
To add to the protein of this dish, I also included quinoa. Quinoa is a great source of protein and contains all nine of the essential amino acids that are required by the body as building blocks for muscle. It has the texture of a grain, but is gluten free because it is actually a seed. It is also a great source of iron, calcium, fiber, and magnesium.
The following recipe would easily feed 15 people as a side dish.
2 c. fresh green beans, trimmed and cut/broken into bite size pieces
1 can Nature’s Promise Organic Garbanzo Beans
1 can Nature’s Promise Organic Black Beans
1 can Nature’s Promise Organic Kidney Beans
½ c. chopped red onion
½ c. chopped bell peppers
1 tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
½ c. Ken’s Light Options Raspberry Walnut Dressing
1 pkg. (13 oz.) quinoa
Cook quinoa according to package instructions. Set aside to cool.
Rinse canned beans under cold water to remove excess sodium used in packaging (this gets rid of the “slime” on the beans) and place in in large bowl. Blanch green beans by bringing 4 cups of water to boil and adding green beans for 3-5 minutes, then immediately submerge in ice water. This keeps the beans from cooking all the way through so they stay crisp and bright green. Add green beans to the other beans and add red onion, bell peppers and cilantro.
Gently fold in dressing and cooked quinoa, cover, and refrigerate for at least two hours or overnight. Stir at least once midway through refrigeration and again before serving to allow the beans and quinoa to soak up the flavor of the dressing, onions, and cilantro.