Four-Bean Salad = YUM

In my efforts to get back on track eating-wise, I’ve been looking for some new recipes to spice things up a bit. Something new to excite my palate, yet something low-fat and low-carb to stay in line with the way I need to be eating.

I stumbled across a recipe for a bean salad on Pinterest and thought it looked pretty yummy. This in and of itself is rather remarkable because bean salad is something I would’ve never eaten a few years back.  But this one looked good and I happened to have the ingredients on hand so I gave it a try.

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The results were simply marvelous. I have been munching away on this for a few days now and it only gets better with time.

As usual, I made a few modifications so I thought I’d share my recipe with you here. It’s basically the same thing, with a little more seasoning & veggies thrown in.

The combination of crunchy veggies and creamy beans is just very satisfying and the coolness of the salad is great on a hot summer day. I’ve served it alongside dinner as a side dish the last couple nights. SuperMan and I have really enjoyed it.  The kids didn’t care too much for it, but  I’m sure they will warm up to the idea over time. Their palates are drastically improving this summer and they are trying all sorts of new things. I’m so proud of them.  So this bean salad will stay on the rotation for us and I hope they’ll learn to like it in time.

Four Bean Salad

Ingredients:

1 can black beans
1 can pinto beans
1 can chick peas (garbanzo beans)
1 can black eyed peas
1 can sweet corn
1 yellow bell pepper
1 green bell pepper
2 ribs celery
1/2 Vidalia (sweet) onion

Italian dressing (about 1 1/2 cups)

Houston House Seasoning
Mrs. Dash Garlic Seasoning
salt & pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Thoroughly rinse & drain the beans and corn.
  2. Finely dice the vegetables.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the beans and vegetables.
  4. Pour the Italian Dressing over the top and mix thoroughly.
  5. Season with about 1 tsp of the House seasoning, 1-2 tsp of the Mrs. Dash and salt & pepper to taste.
  6. Chill for about an hour before serving.

You may need additional dressing and/or salt/pepper at serving.

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Houston House Seasoning

1 cup kosher salt
1/4 cup black pepper
1/4 cup garlic powder (not garlic salt)
1/4 cup onion powder

Mix all thoroughly. For storage, reuse a large seasoning bottle (I reused my leftover garlic powder jar) or a Ziploc-type baggie.

So simple, yet so good

I am having one of my favorite salads for lunch today.

I don’t know why, but I have been on a salad kick lately. Maybe my body needs the greens.  It doesn’t matter. I’m just loving eating salads again. I haven’t had many since my surgery because it seemed silly to fill my belly with salad instead of protein.   Now that I’m getting closer to my goal, I’m eating a little more variety and the salads are back! Yay!

This is one of those salads you’d get at a fancy restaurant. All dolled up on a pretty plate and you’d think you were getting something super special. Until you deconstruct the salad and see how stinkin’ easy it is to make.

Then, it goes from “super special salad” that you eat only on occasion to “super duper salad” that you can eat anytime.

The magic of this salad is the blend of flavors.  The creamy, pungent gorgonzola mixed with the sweet crunch of the pears and topped with the bite of the balsamic dressing. 

Yum.

Sigh.

So good.

Here’s what I use:

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You need:

  • a pear (I used a bosc) Peeled and cored. Slice into about 1/8” thick slices
  • mixed greens – I used a spring green mix.
  • Balsamic dressing
  • gorgonzola cheese

That’s it!

Super-easy.

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Assemble your salad thusly and then drizzle with your dressing.

This is not a salad you want to “drown” in dressing.

You want the Balsamic to be a compliment to the cheese and pears.

And, quite honestly, the greens are just the transport vehicle for the yumminess.
(to me, anyway)

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You can also add a little grilled chicken if you're feeling a little bit crazy. (or hungry)

Try this today.

You will be glad you did.

Trust me.

(have I steered you wrong yet?)

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Sprouting Feathers

My family loves chicken.  So much so that I think I could cook it for them every day and they would be happy.  Well, except for BigGirl (the Meatasauraus) who needs her steak and “pork butt” to be happy.

I seem to cook an awful lot of chicken recipes.  Do you?

This past weekend (as you know if you are a regular blog reader) I cooked 2 5-lb chickens on the grill. I used my beer can chicken recipe and they turned out super good. 

We ate some chicken on Sunday with our spaghetti and then I deboned the rest and saved it for recipes this week.

Last night I made chicken and dumplings (and a mess in my kitchen) and chicken salad with those leftovers.

I thought I’d share the recipes with you today.

But first, I must confess one thing.  When I cook, I’m one of those “dab of this, pinch of that, sprinkle a little of this” kind of cooks.  So, when you read my recipes, especially these two, remember that fact and feel free to get creative as you cook them.  I approximated in the recipes what I did last night while I prepared these two things, but other than the dumplings, the rest was just eyeballing it and flying by the seat of my pants (how is that for mixing my metaphors?)

Anyway, thought it was important to get those disclaimers out of the way.

If you don’t think of yourself as a good cook, I know it is a little intimidating to try to follow someone’s recipe when they don’t give you actual, definite amounts to go by.

But one thing to remember.  Cooking is more about the blending of flavors and seasonings and less about science.  Baking, well, that’s a whole ‘nother blog post.  Baking IS science. And I have the disaster stories from my experiments to prove it.  Baking is more precise.

Cooking, on the other hand is more like art.  Just go with the flow and see where it takes you. Usually to something good.

Ok, enough of my ramblings. I know you really just came here for the recipes anyway. 😉

Here’s a link to the chicken & dumplings recipe. I changed it only in that I used the leftover chicken and I substituted half whole wheat flour for my dumplings.  BigGirl said it was the best chicken and dumplings I’ve ever made. She ate two helpings.

Here’s the chicken salad recipe.  It is an approximation of the chicken salad my friend Donna makes. It’s got some non-traditional ingredients, but I love it. I eat it all by itself, unadulterated with bread or crackers (although it is good that way, too)

I hope you enjoy.

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Menu Plan Monday ~ 30 August

Happy Monday, everyone!

This week will be an interesting one for us. SuperMan is going on a new work schedule and won’t be home until after 7 each night (boo!) which means that the girls and I will be on our own for supper most nights. This will be a challenge for me. What to cook that the girls will enjoy/eat and will still be appetizing for SuperMan when he gets home…

Here’s what I have planned for the week:mpm-1

  • Twice-baked potatoes with a salad
  • Chicken Parmesan
    This will be a new one to try on the kids. I don’t know if they will like it or not.
  • Steaks cooked on the grill with fresh veggies and buttered potatoes
    This is usually a SuperMan-cooked dinner. It will be interesting to see how I do cooking steaks.
  • Pizza Braid
    I saw this recipe last week when I was perusing other Menu Plan Monday posts. Have to try it.
  • Sloppy Joes with homemade french fries & fresh fruit
    Kid-friendly & fast – good for one of those nights we have dance classes.
  • Chicken Pomodoro
    I have had this on my list for two weeks and haven’t made it yet. Maybe this week?

 

What are you cooking this week?

Join us over at orgjunkie.com and share your menu plan!

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