Sunday, August 15, 2010

Three Bean Salad - A Healthy Classic

This classic is another simple side dish that everyone will love. The most amazing part? I get raves about it every time I make it, yet there is nothing original about three bean salad. Full of fiber, protein and vitamins, it can be made from pantry staples. It can be used as a base for your own free form bean and veggie salad. Add diced bell peppers, wax beans or even zucchini. Fresh is best, but canned veggies work too. Make sure it chills for a couple hours before serving to help the flavors meld. The small red beans called for in the recipe are the type used in Louisiana-type red beans and rice. They are more tender than red kidney beans right out of the can. You can also cut down the amount of fat in the dish by decreasing the oil to about 2 tablespoons.

3 cups fresh green beans
15 oz, can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
15 oz. can small red beans, rinsed and drained
¼ cup finely chopped onion, preferably Vidalia
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved (optional)
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
¼ cup canola oil
¼ tsp. garlic salt
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Blanch green beans in just enough boiling water to cover until tender-crisp, about 3 to 5 minutes. Rinse under cold water to stop cooking and drain.

2. Combine green beans, garbanzos, red beans and onions in a medium bowl and set aside.

3. In a small mixing bowl combine remaining ingredients, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Pour over beans, chill and serve. 220 calories, 8 g. fat, 6 g. protein and 6 g. fiber per serving.

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