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Cool Beans Mediterranean Salad

I found this colorful, healthy salad recipe when I was trying to think of what to do with a can of kidney beans in my pantry. I bought them originally when it was colder outside and I wanted to make vegetarian chili, but with this summer heat, I can't imagine chili right now! This beautiful crisp salad is loaded with healthy protein, fiber, and it is completely gluten free and vegan. (Skip to Recipe)



My discovery this recipe is from an amazing food blogger, @cookieandkate (which is named after her dog "Cookie" - how stinking cute!) and author of a healthy cookbook: Love Real Food. I added a few things to the recipe and changed it up just a bit for a more Moroccan flavor, plus fresh mint! The spice blend I added is Moroccan Around the Clock from Healthy on You, a line of musically named organic spice and salt blends (she's local San Diego too!).


The health benefits you'll get in this salad are so abundant, but here are a few:


  • Kidney Beans are loaded with protein, and a 3.5 oz. serving contains only:

Calories: 127

Water: 67%

Protein: 8.7 grams

Carbs: 22.8 grams

Sugar: 0.3 grams

Fiber: 6.4 grams

Fat: 0.5 grams

  • Celery has its reputation boring or bland (must have hummus, peanut butter or be added to something like this salad), so give some credit to how much it can do for you body! Did you know that celery is rich in various antioxidants that possess anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and anti-viral properties? Celery also contains a compound called luteolin that can prevent inflammation in the brain cells. Research suggests that celery extract acts like anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin and ibuprofen (https://pharmeasy.in/blog/8-health-benefits-of-eating-celery)

  • Parsley is a common garnish, and is added to the side of your plate in a restaurant because it freshens your breath (like mint - also in this salad!), but it also aids in digestion and strengthens the immune system.

  • Cucumbers are dense in water, plus loaded with vitamins and nutrients like vitamin C, vitamin K, magnesium, potassium, and manganese.

  • Onions and garlic offer excellent health benefits such as reducing inflammation, lowering high blood pressure, and boosting your immune system.

Recipe:


Ingredients:


  • 1 15 oz. can chickpeas

  • 2 stalks celery, cut on bias

  • 1 English cucumber, peeled and diced

  • 2 Tbls mint, freshly cut

  • 3 cloves garlic

  • 1 Green bell pepper, diced

  • 1 15 oz. can kidney beans, red

  • 3/4 cup Parsley, fresh

  • 1 Red onion, diced (about 1 cup), small

  • 3 cloves Garlic

  • 1/4 cup Lemon juice

  • 1 Small pinch red pepper flakes

  • 3/4 tsp Salt

  • 1/4 cup olive oil, extra-virgin


Instructions:


  1. Cook kidney beans on stovetop; rinse from can, bring water to boil, add Moroccan Around the Clock seasoning from Healthy on You spices, and lower temp to simmer for approximately 10 mins.

  2. Roast chickpeas: heat oven to 350, drizzle olive oil, salt, & pepper on rinsed chickpeas, and bake for 10 mins.

  3. In a mixing bowl, combine the prepared kidney beans, chickpeas, onion, celery, cucumber, parsley, green pepper, and mint.

  4. Make the lemon dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper flakes until well blended. Pour the dressing over the salad and stir until combined.

  5. Serve immediately for the most flavor, or let it marinate in the refrigerator, covered, for a couple of hours or longer. Leftovers will keep well, covered and refrigerated, for up to 4 days. If necessary, wake up leftovers with a little sprinkle of salt or drizzle of lemon juice.


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