Hi everyone, I got some great feedback on my previous post for making a healthy, delicious bean and chopped veggie salad, so I wanted to share some additional tricks of the trade from the real expert, the chef, my wife!
- Shop at Aldi: If you have Aldi (or another bargain Grocery Store) near you, you can get good, quality ingredients for less! If budget is a consideration, please look around at your options.
- Use some of the juice from canned, diced tomatoes: The juice from canned, diced tomatoes will add a nice pop of flavor to your salad, and it will also help it keep better in the fridge. Sometimes if you do not use enough liquid in these salads, they can dry out/soak up all the liquid in a day or 2.
- Rinse your canned beans: Use a strainer and rinse your canned beans…unlike the tomatoes, there is not great flavor added from the water in canned beans.
- Customize and make it your own! Variations and additions I’ve seen/tried include:
- Make it Greek! Add/sub Feta and Olives
- Add Avocado!
- Make it Black Bean and Corn! (Sub Black Bean, Corn, add Cilantro)
- Add chopped Garlic!
- Add Fresh Herbs!
- Make it Spicy! Add Jalapenos or Hot Sauce
- Add your favorite Humus!
- Use it as a side dish with your favorite Protein!
- Add your favorite Cheese!
- Eat it with Tortilla Chips!
The point is, try some stuff out and make it your idea of delicious, while being relatively healthy. My father in-law was shocked to learn that I would decline the opportunity to have drive through fast food, in favor of this bean salad for dinner. Now, I am not saying I don’t enjoy a treat once in a while, but this meal is part of my routine and delicious enough that I will not sub in a burger and fries when I know this is waiting for me.
One final pro-tip, make enough for the week! As mentioned, if you use enough liquid and have it in a sealed container, it can last your 4-5 days in the fridge (just give it a nice stir each day). Enjoy, have a great weekend!