Mustardy Four-Bean Salad

This summery salad combines kidney, pinto, black and green beans with a mustardy vinaigrette.

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Here’s another salad that’s perfect for summer. It works as a refreshing side dish or a main course, and while it’s completely delicious on its own with just vegetables and beans, you can also upgrade it to a grain salad. I made this salad to eat for lunch and after running the nutrition facts I decided I wanted a slightly heartier meal and added kamut:

Kamut wheat is sometimes called King Tut's wheat and is thought to have been eaten by ancient Egyptians.

Kamut wheat is sometimes called King Tut’s wheat and is thought to have been eaten by ancient Egyptians.

Kamut grains are shaped like brown rice, but larger.

Kamut is a type of wheat with berries approximately twice the size of regular wheat berries, with a similar taste. (Read more about kamut here.) I like using them in cold salads like this because the kamut berries are chewy but not soft, with a nice bite, and they hold their texture well. I also discovered with this recipe that they cook up nicely in a rice cooker with minimal effort!

I hate cooking rice because our stove refuses to maintain a simmer. I bought this little rice cooker for under $20 and it has made my life much easier. Besides rice, I can cook kamut, quinoa, barley, oatmeal and even polenta in it!

I hate cooking rice on our stove because it’s nearly impossible to maintain a simmer. Either the water boils away too soon, or the pot doesn’t bubble at all, leaving a watery mixture at the end of the cooking time. So, I bought the six-cup version of this basic rice cooker. It’s been life-changing! Besides rice, I can cook kamut, quinoa, barley, lentils, oatmeal…even polenta in it!

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Mustardy Four-Bean Salad

Yield: 3

Calories per serving: 562

Fat per serving: 9 g

Carbs per serving: 98 g

Protein per serving: 26 g

Mustardy Four-Bean Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2-3 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 ½ tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp honey (substitute a vegan sweetener if desired)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh basil and parsley, optional
  • 1 15-oz can of tri-bean blend (or a mix of whatever beans you like)
  • 3-4 tbsp crumbled feta or goat cheese, optional (leave out for a vegan variation)
  • ½ lbs fresh green beans
  • 1 ripe tomato
  • 1 small cucumber
  • ½ cup dry kamut or other grain (such as barley, quinoa or couscous), cooked and cooled, optional

Instructions

  1. Prepare the grain, if using, and allow to cool to room temperature.
  2. Add the olive oil, vinegar, mustard, honey, and salt and pepper to a large bowl and combine with a whisk. Add chopped fresh herbs, if using. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
  3. Rinse and drain the beans (if canned) and mix them with the dressing so they can soak up some of the flavors while you prepare the other ingredients. I like Simple Truth Tri-Bean Blend (available at Kroger) which is a combination of kidney, pinto and black beans. You can use this or a similar product, or just mix and match any beans you like.
  4. Add the cheese to the bowl, if using, and mix it in.
  5. Wash the green beans and cut them into 1-½-inch pieces. Add them to the bowl with the other ingredients. If you don’t want your green beans raw (or, if they’re a few days past their prime as mine were), you can steam and blanch them. I microwaved mine for 2 minutes in a covered casserole dish with about 2 tbsp of water, then plunged them into a bowl filled with ice water. Drain the green beans before adding to the other ingredients.
  6. Dice the tomato and cucumber and add them to the bowl. You can remove the seeds first if you wish.
  7. Incorporate the cooked kamut or grain. You can eat the salad right away or keep it in the refrigerator for 5-6 days.
http://whateverpieces.com/2015/08/10/mustardy-four-bean-salad/

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