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White Bean Salad with olives

I don’t often talk about the specific health benefits of the ingredients I use in my recipes, but I felt I needed to “sell” it a bit. There’s nothing real sexy about white beans, but this salad is light, filling and surprisingly tasty in its simplicity. But wait til you hear how good it is for you.

Health Benefits!

This power house of a salad is high in fiber, protein and iron. All due to the mighty little white bean. In 1 cup of beans, you’ll get 75 % of your required fiber, 30% of your protein and 24 % of your iron! Now that’s one packed little bean. It’s one of my favorites because it’s inexpensive (love that part) and easy to find at any super market. It also has a mild taste which makes it’s easy to incorporate into recipes. Want to know more? Click Here.

Most of us are aware of the health benefits of olive oil, but no one ever really talks about the olive itself. Olives are high in anti oxidants and have anti inflammatory qualities. Hydroxytyresol is a phyto nutrient that has been linked to cancer prevention but it also helps in preventing bone loss. That might be why those that eat a Mediterranean diet have a lower risk of osteoporosis.

And lastly, 6 surprising health benefits of parsley! Who knew it was more than just a great way of freshening your breath?!

White Bean and Olive salad 2
Recently, one stormy night, I put on a batch of beans (otherwise the house gets way to hot to have the stove running that long). I made a triple batch so that I could freeze the extra portions. Having them on hand is a huge time saver and it doesn’t take any more time to cook 2 cups as it does to cook 1. If you like feel free to use white beans from a jar or even canned beans. If you’re just getting started with whole foods this is a great way of taking baby steps. If you’re interested in learning how, here’s an easy video on how to make them at home for pennies in comparison to the pre-cooked store bought ones.

The first time I served this salad it was on a bed of thinly sliced zucchini (I used a carrot peeler, but for more than 1 person a mandoline would be faster) drizzled in olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice and fresh ground pepper. Today I enjoyed it on a bed of freshly picked spinach from the garden tossed in a Tuscan Herbed Olive Oil and Sicilian Lemon White Balsamic (thanks Tina for the lovely present). Or try it on sliced tomatoes or with steamed green beans even. And if you’re into bread, it would make an exceptional topping of toasted sourdough as an appetizer…

White Bean and Olive Salad 1

White Bean and Olive Salad with Fresh Herbs

Serves 2-3 (depending on size of appetite) Double as required.

  • 1 1/2 cups cooked white beans, navy or cannellini beans
  • 1 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup kalamata olives, sliced
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • salt and pepper to taste

Put all the ingredients in a medium sized bowl. Mix to combine. Season with any additional salt and pepper to taste.

Optional Additions:

1 Tbsp lemon juice, tomatoes, red peppers, zucchini, spinach or arugula.

white bean and olive salad collage

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