I changed to a plant-based diet about six months ago and I have loved every minute of it.
The one little teensy tiny thing that I’m not used to however, is that sometimes, I just want to throw together something really fast that doesn’t necessarily mean I have go to the grocery store to get the ingredients or have to cook them, chop them, or soak them overnight.
Don’t get me wrong. It’s not that I’m complaining about plant based cooking. I’m not. It’s just that—well, I wanted a more or less go-to veggie salad that I could throw together without having to cut up all the veggies myself if you know what I mean.
Then I remembered.
Way back when, everybody used to make “Three Bean Salad.” (Anybody remember?) A salad made entirely of three different kinds of canned beans.
Okay. First of all, before I go any further, I’m aware that there are those who wouldn’t eat out of a can these days because the can itself has some kind of this or that poison in it that causes this or that kind of disease; or because canned goods have sodium in them; or because cans are probably not environmentally friendly or because something is wrong with them.
But. I’m talkin’ three cans.
Once in a while.
And, if you don’t want to use cans—then you can soak, cook and chop away to your heart’s content or, you can use frozen or even fresh, but I’ve never seen julienne cut frozen or fresh beets.
Whatever works, because three bean salad, while maybe a little bland in the original version, is easy to fix and meets my criteria of fast, easy, on the shelf, and, with the addition of a few things I cut up myself added to it, is absolutely delicious—nothing like the one my girlfriends’ mothers used to make.
Anyways, I thought I would give my recipe a share.
Maybe there are others out there who would appreciate having a salad that keeps covered tightly in the refrigerator for 3-4 days and that, once it’s ready, all they have to do it get up off their couch and get a big spoon and go eat it!
- 1 can organic whole cut string beans
- 1 can organic julienne beets (these are hard to find so if you see a can of them on the shelf, grab it when you can)
- 1 can kidney beans or garbanzo beans (your choice)
- 1 can whole or sliced black olives
- 1-1/2 cups yellow baby tomatoes (cut in half the long way)
- 1/2 red onion finely chopped
- 1/3 orange bell pepper (cut into 1 inch pieces) (This is really for color so you can add more or less or use a red or green pepper, as you please)
- 1 handful roughly chopped fresh basil (sorry, but fresh is important)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp garlic powder (not garlic salt)
Drain and rinse the canned beans and the beets thoroughly. Then put them and all of the other ingredients in a bowl and lightly toss them together.
Put the salad in a tightly covered bowl (such as Tupperware) in the refrigerator.
Drizzle generously with balsamic glaze to serve
Note: This salad has no oil in it. The olives serve as fat. For more fat, add cut up avocado just before serving.
Also: This salad is actually better the next day and is perfect for parties or to bring to a buffet.
Author: Carmelene Siani
Editor: Renée Picard
Photo: via the author