Beans, Beans, They’re Good for Your Heart…and much more!!

photo 3If you have not made beans an important part of your healthy diet, what are you waiting for?  You’re missing out on the many benefits that are packed into beans, lentils and other nutritious legumes, not to mention the versatility they provide in cooking.

• rich source of vegan protein

• notably high in soluble fiber and insoluble fiber which helps to lower cholesterol

• packed with folate, magnesium, iron and potassium

• provides antioxidants which reduces certain cancers, especially colorectal and prostate cancer

• contain heart healthy nutrients which lower cholesterol, triglycerides and blood pressure and reduce risk of coronary artery disease and osteoporosis

• considered a complex carbohydrate and low glycemic index which is beneficial for diabetes sufferers

• low in calories, aids in weight control

inexpensive, mild in flavor and easy to find

• some varieties contain Vitamin B6 which protects against memory loss, and zinc which helps in tissue growth and repair, and vitamin C and calcium

Having a great go-to recipe for beans makes it so much easier to have them as often as possible.  This bean salad could be that always good, no-fail, delicious dish that tastes even better a day or 2 after it sits in the fridge.  Not only that but with the right additions it become a different dish.  Add a little of this and a pinch of that and the yummy basic salad has been transported to the cuisines of other lands–Israeli-mediterranean, Italian, Asian, Mexican and NYC Waldorf style. So start and end with the basic or keep going to build on it.







One Basic Bean Salad, Five Ways to Switch It Up


1 can Black Beans, rinsed & drained

1 can Kidney Beans, rinsed & drained

1 can Butter Beans, rinsed & drained

1 large tomato, finely chopped

1 large red pepper, finely chopped

1/2 red onion, finely chopped

1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley

1 tbs of minced garlic


1/2 cup fresh lemon juice

1/4 cup olive oil

1 tbs balsamic vinegar

1/2 tsp agave syrup

1 tbs Dijon mustard

salt and pepper to taste


1.  Place rinsed and drained lack beans, kidney beans and butter beans in a large bowl

2. Add chopped tomato, red pepper, red onion, parsley and garlic.

3. Whisk the dressing ingredients together and toss into the salad

4. Can be served immediately or chilled for several hours for the flavors to blend.


Israeli-Mediterranean Style

Add to the salad:  Chickpeas & chopped cucumbers

Add to the dressing: 2-3 tbs of tahini

Italian Style

Add to the salad:  canneloni beans and steamed green beans, cut in half, sprinkle of pine nuts

Add to the dressing:  1 tsp powdered garlic to the dressing

Asian Style

Add to the salad:  water chestnuts & snowpeas, sprinkle of sesame seeds and slivered almonds

Add to the dressing:  1 tsp sesame oil, 1 tsp rice vinegar, 2 tsp soy sauce


Mexican style

Add to the salad: Cubed avocado & cubed mango and chopped cilantro and 1/2 cup salsa

Add to the dressing: 1/4 cup lime juice

NYC Waldorf Style

Add to the salad: walnut halves, cubed green apples, chopped celery, halved green grapes

Add to the dressing:  1/2 cup veganaise and whisk together


xox Ellen

VAP Photo of me retouchedDSCF0406-150x150





  1. These bean salads are perfect to have on hand as a staple side dish for any occasion. Especially good for a barbecue. I like the various ways to switch it up too.

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