You may have noticed a reduced amount of sugary treats & and the addition of nutritional information on my posts lately and if you guessed that I’ve started trying to eat healthier, you guessed right! My 10th wedding anniversary is coming up in June and my 30th birthday in October and I refuse to look the way I do right now for either of those occasions! (Somewhere between Krispy Kreme Bacon Cheeseburgers, Rolo Pretzel Turtles, and Buttery Beer Bread, I managed to gain 25 pounds. I’m mystified! ;) ) Luckily I find it much easier to eat healthy in the summer than I do in the winter, when we naturally tend to eat heavier foods, and I haven’t felt deprived at all (yet) eating wonderful things like this Five Bean Salad.
It is a very simple salad to throw together and has a wonderful sweet & tangy dressing that soaks into everything and does a little dance in your mouth with each bite. The best part for me is that the longer it sits in the refrigerator, the yummier it gets. The recipe makes quite a lot for two people, so we can enjoy it over the course of three days (spaced apart over a week) without worrying about it getting mushy or funky. Dennis and I both like to pack it as a lunch because although it’s usually served as a side dish, we both love it so much that we can’t keep to one small serving and prefer to make it into a meal.
I’ve been making it for several years and although I don’t remember where I got the idea, I do remember that the original dressing I used made so much that the salad would be sitting in an inch of it. I’ve now got the dressing under control so that it’s just enough to coat everything with just a little bit in the bottom for you to stir back into the salad before serving. I have also tried adding other beans, at one point making it a 7 Bean Salad with black-eyed peas and black beans, and have added cilantro, parsley and even green pepper and while I like this salad best the way I’ve written it here, it can obviously be changed up to suit your tastes.
Five Bean Salad
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon salt
Fresh cracked pepper
1 (15 ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 (16 ounce) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15.5 ounce) can great northern beans, rinsed and drained
2 (14.5 oz) cans green beans, drained
1 (14.5 ounce) can yellow wax beans, drained
1 red onion, diced
2 ribs celery, sliced
Mix dressing ingredients in a small bowl and set aside. Combine all salad ingredients in a large bowl, pour the dressing over and mix well. Cover and refrigerate overnight & stir well before serving.
Makes 6 main dish servings or 12 side dish servings.
Nutritional information (per main dish serving): 376 cal; 10.6 g fat; 58 g carb; 15 g fiber; 13 g protein