Tuesday, June 8, 2010

White Bean Salad

My White Bean Salad is great for a light summer supper or a side dish with lean grilled chicken breast. It's low in fat and sodium, gluten free and vegetarian.

2 tablespoons Olive oil
1/4 to 1/2 chopped onion
Two pounds of raw spinach leaves
8 ounces of cooked white beans
6 ounces of cherry tomatoes

1 tablespoon orange juice or lemon juice
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/8 teaspoon dried dill
Olive oil to taste

Lemon Pepper spice blend
Sliced almonds

Whisk the orange or lemon juice, white wine vinegar and seasonings in a small bowl and allow to rest.

Heat a large pan on medium heat and add the olive oil. Add the onion and spinach. Cook for approximately 3 minutes, until the spinach begins to wilt. Add the beans and cherry tomatoes and continue cooking until the spinach is wilted and the beans are heated through.

While the spinach mix is cooking, stream olive oil into the vinegar blend to taste, approximately one teaspoon. If you prefer a tangier taste, use less. If you prefer a smoother blend, add more.

Remove the spinach mix from the heat and pour into a salad serving bowl, preferably one with lower sides and a flat bottom. Slowly pour the dressing over the spinach mix and toss, using salad serving spoons.

Add a few dashes of lemon pepper spice blend and sliced almonds, if desired. The lemon pepper adds kick and the almonds add crunch. Don't have either? Add a pinch of pepper and a few croutons.

Use other greens if you don't care for spinach, such as baby greens. If you want the tomatoes to pop, add them in with the onions. Don't like cooked onions? Add red onions after the spinach or greens are wilted.

Remember: Use gluten free wine vinegar and gluten free croutons if you need to avoid wheat products.

Note: You can adjust the amount of beans you use in your salad as well as use canned beans. I prefer dried beans I prepare myself as they retain more calcium and protein than the canned.

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