Toss Beans Into That Salad!

I’m a podcast addict. They amuse, educate and inspire. Ear buds and cord tethered into my IPhone, my favorite shows get me through housework drudgery, grocery shopping and workout routines.

Last week, NPR’s TED RADIO HOUR “Fountain of Youth” podcast concerned ways in which one could bring their aging process to a grinding halt, or at least slow it down. You know the drill: regular exercise, a plant-based diet, strong social networks, a mellow outlook on life. The formula, thankfully, includes a daily glass of red wine. Fortunate for me that I can  bathe in the size of my wine glasses.

Chickpea and Cabbage Salad

Chickpea and Cabbage Salad

I digress. Back to the podcast, which reminded me to eat more beans.

Beans set up flora so that healthy gut flora can survive. Areas where life expectancy is an extra dozen years compared to others–the highlands of Sardinia, the islands of Okinawa, Japan, the 7th Day Adventists in Loma Linda, California–have a commonality of beans (amongst other things) as being a cornerstone of their diets.

Beans–fresh, canned or dried. It’s easy to insert beans into your diet with summer salads. Here are a few salads integrating beans that  I’ve made over the years:

Quinoa with Corn, Avocado & Black Beans

Quinoa with Corn, Avocado & Black Beans

Quinoa with Black Beans, Avocado and Corn (pictured left),  Black Bean and Mango SaladChicken Taco Salad with Chipotle-Lime Dressing, Lemony Quinoa and Chick Pea Salad, Chickpeas with Cabbage

I’ve also begun tossing them into recipes that don’t call for beans, and they’re a great addition: Tomato-Bulgur Salad, Quinoa Tabouli, Roasted Corn and Barley Salad, Jerusalem Tomato-Pita Salad.

Putting Up Tomatoes: The Easy Way

August Tomatoes! Such a treat!

Certainly you don’t need a recipe. Toss a healthy grain–such as cooked bulger, quinoa, barley or farro– into a vinaigrette made with extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice and garlic.

Stir in  your favorite beans, and some of the beautiful summer tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, corn and herbs we’re seeing at the Farmers Market and in neighborhood gardens. Crumbled feta’s always a good addition. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. Done.

The Promise Kitchen


Aside–Three days left to enter the 100-Kindle book giveaway:

The Promise Kitchen, in digital, physical & audio formats, will available September 28th; the digital version August, 16.


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