mayocoba beans

Mayocoba Bean Salad

It is that time of year again where the benefits program offered by my employer encourages healthy eating choices.  By choosing “superfoods” such as beans and legumes I can earn points faster, so I tend to incorporate them even more than I already do in my diet.

mayocoba beans

With this in mind I have been on the search for beans I haven’t tried and I stumbled upon mayocoba beans.  They are a smooth white bean, similar to a northern bean, and equally as mild.

I decided on a basil vinaigrette and tomatoes and heart of palm as mix-ins, which was a decision based on using up some leftover ingredients.  The resulting mayocoba bean salad was a fresh dish that I most certainly will make again.

mayocoba beans

Mayocoba Bean Salad

1 lb dry mayocoba beans
6 cups chicken stock
14 ounce can of hearts of palm, drained and chopped
1 lb vine-riped tomatoes, destemmed and chopped
½ cup olive oil
¼ cup white vinegar
4 tablespoons basil stir in paste
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup grated pecorino Romano cheese

Soak the beans overnight, then drain and rinse.  Add the beans and stock to a large pot and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook for 1.5-2 hours or until beans are tender, but firm.  Drain and add to a large bowl. Add the tomatoes and hearts of palm.  In a separate bowl, stir together the oil, vinegar, basil paste, and salt.  Pour over the bean mixture and stir to coat.  Stir in the cheese and serve.  Refrigerate any leftovers.

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three bean salad

Three Bean Salad (a.k.a. Super Salad)

Today’s Three Bean Salad is a husband-inspired dish.  In fact, it is what he calls “super salad” a mix of good-for-you greens, beans, and other super foods.  It is his favorite way to boost his veggie and protein intake at lunchtime, often adding this salad over a bed of mixed greens and topping with a packet of tuna.  I can’t deny that it is a great lunch and I LOVE that he gets the kids to eat it for lunch as well.

three bean salad

three bean salad

If you are looking for a great way to jumpstart an eating healthier resolution, let’s review just some of the super powers of this Three Bean Salad:

  • Edamame, garbanzo beans, and black beans: Good sources of fiber, protein, calcium, and iron
  • Tomatoes: Good source of lycopene, and vitamins A & C
  • Red onions, Dill, Parley, and Lemon Juice: great sources of flavonoids
  • Garlic: considered “anti-cancer”, and “anti-inflammatory” among a long list of other benefits

We often swap in and out other good for you veggies and herbs, while keeping the beans as a base.  For example, we have been known to stir in avocado, green onions, or apples at times.  I hope this recipe inspires you to create your own super salad.

three bean salad

Three Bean Salad (a.k.a Super Salad)

1 1/2 cups frozen, shelled edamame
1 cup canned garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups baby tomatoes, chopped
1 cup diced red onion1 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
4 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped
4 tablespoons fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
¼ cup lemon juice
½ cup olive oil
1 tablespoon honey
½ teaspoon freshly minced garlic
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
 

Cook the edamame according to the package directions, then drain and add to a large bowl along with the garbanzo beans, tomatoes, black beans, onion, dill, and parsley.  In a small container, mix together the lemon juice, olive oil, honey, garlic, salt and pepper until well blended.  Pour the dressing over the beans and stir to coat.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.

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Crunchy Chipotle Chickpeas

Once again, my daughter has inspired a new treat – this time in snack form. She declared she wanted crunchy beans, which neither I or my husband could figure out what she meant. We had crunchy wasabi peas in the house, but I’m sure you can guess how much a 2 yr-old or 4 yr-old like these.

What first came to mind was a recipe for Chickpea Kickers I had saved from Good Housekeeping eons ago (ok, from their May 2006 issue to be exact). While I still can’t wait to try it, the pan roasting method sounded like it would create a softer exterior than I wanted. I decided to lean on a recipe by Giada De Laurentiis and another one by Kim of Life in the Van for roasting tips to get that perfect crunch. Both indicated two important tips: (1) dry the beans after draining, and (2) roast for nearly an hour.

crunchyChickpeas

The end result IS a crunchy bean that is just as satisfying as chips or other snack food with the added benefit of a good boost of protein. For an extra kick, I spiced things up with a chipotle flavored seasoning blend ( I can’t wait to try other blends!) to create these Crunchy Chipotle Chickpeas.

crunchyChickpeas


Crunchy Chipotle Chickpeas

2 15-ounce cans of chickpeas, drained and rinsed

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 teaspoons southwest chipotle seasoning blend

1 teaspoon coarse sea salt

 

Preheat the oven to 375 °F and spray two baking sheets with non-stick spray. Pat the chickpeas dry with a towel, then place in a medium sized bowl and pour olive oil over chickpeas and stir to coat. Sprinkle the seasoning blend and the sea salt over the chickpeas, stir to coat evenly, then spread evenly on the two baking sheets, spreading the chickpeas as much as possible. Bake for 20 minutes, then remove from the oven and stir, then return to the oven for another 20-30 minutes, or until the beans are turning brown and have a crispy exterior when tested.  Remove from the oven and let cool, then serve.

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Adzuki Bean Salad

Since I am always on the lookout for new, healthy foods to incorporate into my family’s diet, it was about time that we tried adzuki beans.

Adzuki beans (also called aduki beans) are a part of the legume family. They are often found in red bean paste used in Asian cooking and are easier to digest compared to other beans.  After slowly cooking the adzuki beans, I mixed them with some butternut squash, avocado, and balsamic vinaigrette to make a colorful and delightful salad.

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Why try a new bean, you ask?

*Did you know that beans can count as vegetables or as a protein source in your diet? (although the Botanists among us might argue that they are a fruit)

*They are a source of high fiber, important minerals, and useful nutrients.

*Can you really argue with trying something new?

My whole family (kids included!) enjoy eating this as a side salad, though we have been known to eat it as a lunchtime meal with a bit of chicken stirred into the Adzuki Bean Salad and served over mixed greens.

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Adzuki Bean Salad

1 ½ cups dried adzuki beans

2 ½ cups cubed butternut squash, cooked

1 avocado, cubed

2/3 cup olive oil

1/3 cup balsamic vinegar

½ teaspoon salt

2 cloves fresh garlic, minced

 

Place the adzuki beans in a large pot with 4 ½ cups of water. Place over medium heat and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 1 ½ hours, or until beans are tender, adding additional water if necessary (I usually have to add 1-2 more cups of water after about an hour). Drain the beans and place in a large bowl, then stir in the butternut and avocado. In a small bowl, stir together the oil, vinegar, salt, and garlic then pour over the bean salad and stir to coat. Serve immediately; refrigerate any leftovers.

Note: Some cooking instructions recommend soaking the beans prior to use. My package indicated that no soaking was required, however I recommend checking your package and adjusting your cooking time as necessary if soaking is required.

 

 

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