Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Mediterranean Influenced Bean Salad

Fred is embarking on a new health and fitness journey. Part of his plan is to up his protein intake. In an effort to do all I can to support him (and to limit the possibility of meat being suggested) I am whole heartedly getting on the bandwagon to find veg sources of protein rich dishes. I find my body is happier on a higher protein regimen, so this should be a very good thing for both of us.

After our Mediterranean themed Easter dinner, I am still feeling the glow of love for things Med. Before work yesterday, I needed to throw something quick, filling and healthy together. (I was hoping for Easter leftovers, but there were none to be had). I have to say, working with what I had in the fridge and the pantry, this salad came out quite nicely. It is just perfect for the warm weather here and our eating goals. This one could be easily doubled for a big pot luck too! It screams of spring and of picnic fare. If you are looking for a quick cool treat, this is a great option! I hope you enjoy this one.

Mediterranean Influenced Bean Salad

2 - 14.5 oz cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 red bell pepper, about 1/2 inch dice
2 medium sized tomatoes seeded and diced
1 large cucumber, unpeeled and cut into bite sized pieces
1/4 cup tightly backed fresh basil, chiffonade
1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives, quartered
1 tablespoon capers, drained
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon dried oregano (or 1 tablespoon fresh, finely chopped)
1/2 teaspoon salt (or more to taste)
fresh ground black pepper to taste

Get yourself a big old bowl. Throw all of the goodies in and stir to distribute ingredients evenly. This one is best if you let it marinate in the fridge for several hours or overnight.

Serve with sliced baguette. You could also use this as a wonderful bruschetta topping.

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