Beans Offer Good Nutrition And Mix Well With Soups, Stews, Salads

Special To The Courant

Canned beans should be a staple in every pantry. Choices such as chick peas, black beans, red kidney, lima and navy equal nutritional powerhouses. An inexpensive protein source, beans are low in calories, cholesterol- and fat-free, and a good source of B vitamins, potassium and fiber.

Convenience accompanies the canned varieties, which allow the cook to skip the lengthy process of soaking dried beans overnight and cooking them until tender. Rinsed and drained, beans can be added to soups, stews or salads such as today's recipe that pairs three kinds of beans with fresh vegetables.

Rinsing the beans will eliminate some of the sodium content. Be sure to taste the salad before adding additional salt.


>>1 (15.5-ounce) can red beans

>>1 (15.-5-ounce) can black beans

>>1 (15.5-ounce) can garbanzo beans

>>1 red pepper, cored and diced

>>1 English cucumber, diced

>>1 ripe avocado, peeled and diced

>>1 cup diced celery

>>Juice of 2 lemons

>>1/4 cup of olive oil

>>1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup

Salt and pepper to taste

Drain and rinse beans and place in a large mixing bowl. Add the red pepper, cucumber, avocado and celery, and mix well. Whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil and honey, and mix well. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Serve chilled or at room temperature. Makes about 3 quarts.

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