With BBQ season right around the corner, a quick and easy bean salad is one of my favorite go-to salads. First, it travels well when going to a BBQ, or if you are hosting a BBQ, it stays together well in the summer weather. And, of course, I made a bean salad without any oil, loaded with veggies, with a tangy tasty flair.
When I start to plan menus for BBQ parties or weekly lunches, I think about the easiest and quickest meals I can make. We are all busy, so why not take the thinking out of cooking and make it as simple as possible. Since I’m all about convenience and taste, let’s make it 15 minutes easy!
Regardless if you are looking for a quick and easy lunch idea or a recipe for a picnic or BBQ, bean salad is always popular with a crowd.
BEANS, BEANS, THE MUSICAL FRUIT…THE MORE YOU EAT…THERE IS RELIEF!
Unfortunately, a lot of people have difficulty digesting beans, and gas is the result. Stop worrying about tooting when eating beans. One solution, however, is to use a piece of Kombu in your beans when you cook them.
WHAT IS KOMBU?
This magical sea vegetable can change your vegan life. Many people have asked me how I can eat so many beans and other legumes without the stomach pains and gas associated with eating beans and legumes. In my opinion, its real power is in its ability to take the gas out of beans; yes, removes the negative results of heavy bean and legume consumption.
Seaweeds are becoming more widely known as a healthy food with few calories and rich minerals. Kombu, however, possesses something that other edible seaweeds do not, and this is what makes kombu kelp the “King of Seaweed.” Not only is Kombu delicious on its own, but it is different from other seaweed in that it produces Dashi(stock). No other seaweed has that gift. This exclusive characteristic of kombu is extremely important and is indispensable to Japanese cuisine. Dashi is the base of several dishes and valued as a vital and rich ingredient.
COOK KOMBU WHILE YOU COOK ALL YOUR BEAN AND LEGUME DISHES
All you have to do is put one piece of Kombu, whole, into your bean and legume dishes while they are cooking. For instance, I put a piece in the crockpot of the chili we ate for dinner tonight. I left the Kombu all-day brewing in the chili. Like a bay leaf, I removed it when I served the chili.
IT DOESN’T TASTE LIKE SEAWEED OR CHANGE THE FLAVORS OF THE FOOD
It does not leave a seafood taste; you won’t even know it was in there, but you will notice a decrease if not full disappearance of gas and discomfort that some experience when eating beans and legumes.
WHERE CAN YOU BUY THIS MAGIC SEAWEED?
I bought my Kombu at Whole Foods, in the Asian section, but you can buy Kombu on Amazon as well.
Since I plan to use canned beans for this salad, instead of cooking kombu into my beans, I ground up kombu to put in my bean salad.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO EAT BEANS?
Dr. Joel Fuhrman, in a 2015 article, “Beans Lead to a Longer Life,” says, “Beans contain both insoluble fiber and soluble fiber and are very high in resistant starch. Although resistant starch is technically a starch, it acts more like fiber and ‘resists’ digestion. Since it passes through the small intestine undigested, it means that a significant amount of the carbohydrate calories are not absorbed.”
And as any vegan knows, eating beans is a great way to get that protein everyone thinks we can’t get from vegetables alone, which of course is untrue.
THE BENEFITS OF EATING BEANS AT LEAST 4 TIMES A WEEK:
- Good for digestion
- Helps regulate weight
- Reduces the risk of different types of cancers
- High in fiber
- High in protein
- High in vitamin B
- High in iron
WHAT IS IN A EASY VEGAN BEAN SALAD?
In order to make a crunchy and tasty bean salad, you need very few ingredients. Because I like to include several colors, as well as textures, I add some additional vegetables not typically in a traditional bean salad. In my bean salad I included:
- Cannellini Beans
- Chickpeas (or garbanzo beans)
- Dark red kidney beans
- Red onion
- Red bell pepper
- Red pepper flakes
HOW DO I MAKE A HEALTHY OIL-FREE DRESSING THAT TASTES GOOD?
Whenever I am making an oil-free dressing, I start by replacing the oil I would have used with water. Yes, water! Although water is not oil, it does mellow out the flavors of the vinegar and other ingredients. Oil, after all, doesn’t really taste like anything. For instance, you wouldn’t drink olive oil; that would just be disgusting!
So, my dressing includes:
- Red wine vinegar
- Maple syrup
- Dijon Mustard
- Italian Seasoning
Not only is this bean salad, healthy, but it is also easy to make. So, the next time you are wondering what to make for lunch, or bring to your next picnic or BBQ, just bring a bean salad.
IF YOU ARE TRYING TO ADD MORE BEANS AND LENTILS TO YOUR DIET, GIVE THESE RECIPES A TRY? WE HAVE YOUR BEANS AND LENTILS COVERED!
- Vegan White Bean Chili
- Creamy White Bean Soup
- Very Veggie and Bean Soup
- Crockpot Butternut Squash Pinto Bean Chili
- Skinny Veggie and Pinto Bean Quesadilla
- Skinny Basil White Bean and Chickpea Dip and Sandwich Spread
- Crockpot Three-Bean Mega Veggie Chili
- Oil-Free Vegan Swedish Lentil Meatballs
- The Best Ultimate Vegan Lentil Black Bean Burrito Ever
- Lentil and Tahini Twice Baked Potatoes
- Crockpot Curry Crushed Lentil Stew
- Vegan Meatloaf Meatless Lentils!
- Red Lentil Curry Wrap
If you meal prep, as I do, bean salad is easy to pack for lunch and the oil-free dressing enhances the bean salad the longer it marinates.