Monday, September 3, 2012

Flexible Bean Salad

When it's too hot to cook or you are just looking for an easy and cheap meal, bean salad is the perfect option. High in fibre, flavour, and general goodness.

As usual the measurements are approximate and can be tweaked easily to suit your taste.

1-3 cans of beans (mixed or 1-3 cans of different types of beans)
seasonal veggies
salad dressing

  1. Rinse and dump beans into a bowl
  2. Add chopped veggies*
  3. Add salad dressing and mix
The flavours only improve the longer it sits.

Salad Dressing:
I rarely have dressing on hand so I simply make one using the following guide. Fresh herbs taste great but can be expensive unless you grow your own, dried are a great alternative:

1 part oil
2 parts acid (lemon juice, white vinegar, wine vinegar, rice vinegar, etc.)
Italian seasoning, fresh or dried (basil, thyme, oregano, parsley)
1 squirt of mustard
Salt and pepper to taste

Blend until smooth.

* My favourite veggies combos are:
  • tomatoes, peppers, green onions
  • carrots, celery, and green onions

Cheap and easy hummus

After much delay here is a simple hummus recipe. It is flexible and you can add whatever flavours you like. Also all the measurements are really to taste so just tweak them to get the flavour and texture you prefer.

1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
approx. 2-3 tbsp oil (olive oil is traditional, but vegetable and canola work great too)
1-2 cloves garlic (or a generous sprinkle of garlic powder)
a splash of lemon juice (approx. 1 tbsp)

Put everything in the blender and add about 1/2 cup of water to start. Blend adding water as needed until you have a smooth and creamy consistency. (I use a magic bullet: add all ingredients then fill it to the top with water).

Season with salt and pepper.

These are some things I like to add to my hummus to boost the flavour.
  • parsley and paprika
  • 1-2 pieces of jarred roasted red pepper
  • a few olives, pits removed
  • 0.5-1 tsp tahini/nut butter/sesame oil
If you like creamier hummus  increase the oil and decrease the water, if you like more bite add a little more lemon juice*.

*lemon juice is usually in 1 L bottles in the juice isle. It is fairly cheap and keeps forever (unless you eat a lot of hummus).