Tuesday, June 29, 2010


whipped this up when the fridge and cabinets were almost bare- so simple and bursts with flavor

White Bean & Celery Salad

-1 can cannellini beans (white kidney beans)
-1 small head celery, chopped
-1/4 cup cilantro or parsley, chopped
-1 garlic clove, minced
-juice from 1 lemon
-extra virgin olive oil, to taste
-salt and pepper, to taste

-rinse beans with cool water to rid of any added salt, drain well
-add only a pinch of salt at first, celery is naturally high in sodium, and garlic, lemon and good quality olive oil add a ton of flavor
-if you feel like adding a few more flavors/fancying it up

1/2 cup scallions or leeks (or 1/4 cup red onion), chopped
3/4 cup small shrimp (use fresh - canned usually have too much added salt/preservatives)
3 tbl sesame seeds (not only adds great texture but adds a lot to presentation- don't forget, we eat with our eyes first)

-without any meat or dairy, this minimal dish can be a well-rounded meal!
-beans are high in protein (about 15g per cup) and especially fiber (cannellini beans or white kidney beans tend to have the most fiber per serving, up to 10 grams! however, all beans, whether freshly cooked or from a can and rinsed, are great for you)
-beans are also loaded with protective phytochemicals, antioxidants (*the USDA's ranking of foods by antioxidant capacity lists small red beans as having the highest antioxidant capacity per serving size of any food tested) and vitamins (particularly folic acid)
-extra virgin olive oil is high in mono-unsaturated fat ("good fat") which will not only help sustain energy and satiety but is extremely good for your heart
*keep in mind, all olive oil is not created equal - olive oil is unique among the oils in that you can consume it in its crudest form without any processing. not refining the oil has the benefit of conserving all its nutrients and extra virgin implies the oil you are getting is unfiltered and from the first pressing of the olives (it's actually a law!)

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