I was invited to enter a food challenge hosted by Pritikin Longevity Center and Spa in Florida. When I heard they were asking food bloggers to share their healthy recipes, I knew just what to make. This summer bean salad is healthy, fresh, and the perfect summer meal. I won 2003 Best Seasonal Dish.
Summer bean salad
My favorite thing about summer is the food. No surprise there, maybe. A stroll through the farmers market and my brain is just running with ideas. With so many fresh ingredients, sometimes the meals make themselves. This recipe for summer bean salad was inspired by a trip to my local farmers market. It includes fresh onions, peppers, cucumbers, and other things that are in season right now. It is also meatless, but the beans make it really filling.
I hate heating up the house by cooking in the summer. This recipe can be made without any cooking at all. Or, you can cook dry beans in advance and chill them until you need them.
The Pritikin Challenge
The rules for the challenge are pretty simple. Create a recipe that follows the Pritikin diet guidelines. That means no salt, sugar, fat, red meat, or cheese. Hubby’s first response was “but those are the yummy things…” But I knew that if I could come up with a recipe that was tasty without them, it would be a winner. I made this for supper last week and everyone loved it.
The secret to making a dressing without oil is cornstarch. If you aren’t on a low-sodium diet, you can add a bit of salt to your taste.
- 2 cups garbanzo beans cooked or 1 can
- 2 cups black-eye peas cooked or 1 can
- 1 bell pepper stem and seeds removed
- 1/2 small red onion
- 2 roma tomatoes
- 1 medium cucumber
- 1 cup corn (fresh or frozen)
- 2 tablespoon cilantro (fresh)
- 1 cup vegetable broth (sodium free)
- 2 teaspoon cornstarch
- 2 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion power
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- Pre-cook dried beans if using. Soak overnight, drain, and boil for approximately 1 ½ to 2 hours. Dried beans will generally double in size during cooking, so 1 cup dry will make 2 cups cooked. However, this depends on the age of the beans and how long they soak. Allow beans to cool. Refrigerate until ready to use. These can be done days in advance and refrigerated for a week or frozen for several months.
- Chop bell pepper, red onion, tomato, and cucumber into a small dice. Chop cilantro finely.
- Combine beans and vegetables in a large bowl.
- For the dressing, dissolve cornstarch in vegetable broth.
- Add the dry spices to a jar with a lid. Pour vegetable broth and lemon juice over spices. Tighten lid and shake thoroughly.
- Pour dressing over mixture and toss to combine.
- Chill until ready to serve.