When it comes to bean salad recipes, the choices are endless. Tender green beans and yellow wax beans are best for salads when about one fourth inch wide and less than four inches long. A slight steaming and cooling is all it takes to prepare fresh ones for salads; leaving a little crispness to the texture. Although not as crunchy, canned green bean and wax beans make salad making very easy.
Limas are also important to some bean salad recipes. These are available fresh in the small size called butter limas (which I like) or the larger lima beans. When using these beans fresh, it takes very little precooking and cooling to add them to a salad.
Many of the bean salad recipes are made from dried beans; these might be dried beans, lentils or peas in this group. All of these beans can be purchased canned in the grocery. The cans are very convenient to use but cooking dried beans is so much more economical. I usually cook a large pot of dried beans then divide them into small containers to put in the freezer simply thawing for my salads.
Some of the bean salad recipes can be used as a lunch meal by only adding bread with them. The beans with other ingredients like cheese, boiled eggs, other vegetables and grains will provide enough protein and other nutrients for a complete meal. These salads can also provide a healthy recipe for lunch or as an accompaniment to a meal depending on what additional ingredients are added.
Healthy oils and various vinegars are blended for many of the beans salad recipes. All kinds of herbs and spices can be added to the beans which add great flavor. Of course, there are some delicious creamy recipes made with mayonnaise or sour cream. These also have great flavor. For those of you who cut back on sugar, the recipes with sugar added can be replaced with sugar substitutes.
One of my favorite bean salads is the following. It can be either a three or four bean. In some areas it is hard to find the yellow wax beans so use three beans or add another type.
THREE BEAN SALAD RECIPES
Drain all beans and combine in a large bowl; add the chopped onion and celery.
Combine the vinegar, water and sugar and pour over bean mixture.
Season with salt and pepper if desired, cover bowl and refrigerate for a few hours to marinate flavor.
The kidney bean salad is also one of my favorite bean salad recipes. It is great for lunch served over a few lettuce leaves and garnish with a couple slices of tomatoes.
KIDNEY BEAN SALAD RECIPES
Drain beans and place in a medium size bowl.
Add the chopped eggs, relish, chopped onions and chopped celery.
Stir in enough sour cream or mayonnaise to moisten mixture.
Spoon onto lettuce leaves and sprinkle with shredded cheese; add garnish and serve with bread or crackers.
BEAN SALAD RECIPES
Combine beans, broccoli, onions and celery in a bowl. Pour enough dressing over mixture and stir to coat well. Cover and refrigerate for a couple hours to marinate.
Some of the bean recipes have a cream base such as mayonnaise or sour cream. This is one of my favorites and I usually use kidney beans to make it, but try your favorite beans.
LENTIL SALAD RECIPE
Place lentils, water, bay leaf, salt and whole onions in heavy saucepan.
Bring lentils to a boil, cover and simmer 30 minutes; drain lentils and remove onions and bay leaf.
Combine olive oil, vinegar, dry mustard, sugar, garlic, Worcestershire and red pepper sauce.
Blend mixture well and season with salt and pepper; pour over lentils and toss gently.
Refrigerate overnight mixing occasionally.
Add green onions, celery, parsley and chopped hard boiled eggs.
Garnish with quartered hard cooked eggs. Serves 12.
BLACK BEAN SALAD RECIPE
Combine all dressing ingredients; blend and set aside.
Combine beans, red bell pepper, tomatoes, scallions and dressing; toss gently to coat.
Cover loosely and let stand at room temperature for 1 hour before serving.
Spoon salad into pepper halves to serve. Serves 4.