Sunday, June 19, 2016

Meatless Monday: Summer is for Salads

It’s the first day of summer! And the weather in New England is glorious at the moment. With such perfect weather it is a shame to spend too much time indoors. In our house, summertime is salad time, especially now that fresh local greens and berries are making their way to our farmers’ markets. With some careful planning before you go to the market, and a bit of advance preparation on the weekend, you too can stock your fridge for a week’s worth of salads.

In all my years of Meatless Monday blogging I can’t believe I have never shared this favorite recipe — a riff on “Kidney Bean Salad” from Recipes for a Small Planet, by Ellen Buchman Ewald, first published in 1973. This easy to prepare salad is versatile and economical; it can be altered depending on the ingredients you have on hand, making it perfect for a surprise invitation to a potluck. Served on a bed of greens with a side of bread it is all you need for a quick dinner on a hot summer night. It stores well in the fridge and makes a wonderful grab and go lunch for the office or a spontaneous picnic. No need for those high-price containers from the deli section!

The original recipe follows with my changes in brackets.

6 portions; 1 portion=approx. 7 grams of protein

  • 1 cup dry kidney beans [1 small can kidney beans + 1 small can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained, + 1/3 lb. fresh or frozen green beans, lightly steamed]
  • 1 green [red] pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped onions [Vidalia]
  • 1 teaspoon crushed or minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup olive oil [extra virgin]
  • 1/4 cup wine vinegar
  • 1/8 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon tomato catsup
  • dash [or 2 or 3] hot sauce
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley [Italian] 
  • 1 cup yogurt whisked with …1/4 cup milk powder [Greek yogurt]

  • Combine the beans, pepper, onions, and garlic.
  • Make a dressing of the remaining ingredients EXCEPT yogurt and milk powder.
  • Pour the dressing over the bean mixture and toss gently. 
  • Refrigerate at least one hour.
  • Just before serving, stir in the yogurt mixture.

Optional additions: chopped cucumber and/or celery. NOTE: I chose not to stir the yogurt into the mix. I prefer to top each salad with a scoop of Greek yogurt, some crumbled feta cheese, or some grated sharp cheddar. The salad stores better that way.

Enjoy your time outside the kitchen! And come back next week for a complete list of the salad recipes I have shared over the years.

Happy Summer! Happy Meatless Monday.

On Mondays I often blog on food, food issues, or gardening in support of Meatless Monday, one of several programs developed in the Healthy Monday project, founded in 2003 in association with Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Communications. Meatless Monday’s goal is “to help reduce meat consumption 15% in order to improve personal health and the health of our planet.”

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