Recipe: Grandma’s Mixed Bean and Kale Salad

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From the Vitality Food Feature ‘Cool and Easy Summertime Dining‘.

Like grandma, I prefer to use dried beans that I cook myself because they are more economical than store-bought canned beans and have a firmer texture, but you can use canned beans if you’d rather. A thrifty tip is to cook a big batch of mixed beans in one shot, divvy them up into zip-lock freezer bags and freeze, especially handy for salad making. This makes a wonderful picnic salad because it really does taste better after it has had time to chill out, which not only allows the beans to draw in the flavours of the dressing, but also helps to soften the kale a little.


Making the Salad

  • 4 cups washed, shredded kale (or other green of choice)
  • 2 cups (more or less) of mixed, cooked, drained beans (chickpeas, kidney, lima, pinto and black are some of my favourites)
  • 1 sliced red onion
  • 2 shredded carrots
  • 1 chopped sweet red pepper
  • 1/2 cup organic golden raisins (optional)

(Ed note: Raw kale can be hard to digest, so feel free to steam or stir-fry it first if needed for increased palatability.)

Making the Dressing:

  • 3 tablespoons virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 3 cloves mashed garlic
  • 1 teaspoon or two of whole coriander seeds or a pinch of ground coriander

1) Mix salad ingredients into a large salad bowl

2) Mix dressing ingredients well, pour over salad, toss and chill until serving time

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