When he was small, my youngest son had a habit of filling his pockets with treasures he encountered in his daily adventures. I didn't always understand the value he saw in his chosen objects -- really, how many rocks and sticks could one boy keep? In his eyes, though, each one was beautiful and important. Life is just like that on a larger scale, isn't it? We gather up the precious bits of our experiences and save them all to learn from and enjoy later. Perhaps you'll find a little something here that you'd like to keep in your own pockets. Thanks for visiting.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Rainbow Bean Salad

On a recent Saturday morning trip to Vincenzo's (a fantastic food store in town), Matt and I picked up a couple of servings of a yummy looking bean salad to have for lunch.  It ended up being as delicious as it looked, and I realized that I could very easily recreate something similar at home.  With a few cans of beans, some fresh veggies and herbs, and a simple lemon-based dressing, this homemade version of bean salad has become one of our new favourite summer eats.

Nutrition experts recommend eating all the colours of the rainbow for optimal health benefits; this salad combines almost all of those colours in one very tasty, nutrient-packed dish! 

Rainbow Bean Salad

For the salad:

1 540ml can of red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 540ml can of chick peas, drained and rinsed
1 540ml can of black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup fresh green beans, cut into 3/4 inch pieces
1 cup frozen corn kernels (thawed by running under cool water)
half of a sweet red bell pepper, diced
half of a sweet orange bell pepper, diced
1/3 cup finely chopped red onion
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

For the dressing:

the juice of three small lemons, freshly squeezed
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp raw honey
sea salt and pepper, to taste

Bring a small saucepan of water to a boil on the stove top.  Add the chopped green beans and cook them for approximately 30 seconds.  Quickly drain the beans and run them under cold water to stop the cooking process.

In a large bowl, combine the kidney beans, chick peas, black beans, blanched green beans, corn kernels, red and orange pepper, red onion, and parsley, mixing them gently together with a large spoon.

In a jar with a tight fitting lid, combine the lemon juice, red wine vinegar, olive oil, garlic, Dijon mustard, honey, sea salt and pepper.  Shake vigorously until all ingredients are well mixed together, then pour the dressing over the salad ingredients.   Gently toss the salad until it is well coated with the dressing. 

This salad is best made several hours ahead of when you want to serve it, so after assembling it, cover the salad and keep it in the refrigerator for awhile to allow the flavours to blend and intensify.

This colourful, healthy salad is very easy to put together and makes a great addition to summer potlucks, picnics, and backyard barbecues.  Here's to simple and delicious summer eating!


  1. Yay! I'm happy to have found you too! The baby in my belly has had bean salad on his mind (inspired by a recent picnic) so I'm going to give this a try. I also love the 'pocketfuls' idea--it's so true that our children are our best teachers through their observations. Looking forward to reading more!

  2. Yay! :) Yes, it really is amazing what we learn from our children in the process of helping them grow... I find parenthood a very humbling experience. I hope the bean salad will make the baby in your belly happy!