There’s a bright blue sky in the PNW and the temperatures are starting to rise! And it’s AAAWE-SOME! If it’s not sunny and warm where you are, get on a plane and come here. Like right now. And hurry, because I feel like me telling you to come here right now to enjoy the sunniness might jinx it. The weather here can be so sneaky like that.
Every year during this spring-but-not-quite-summer time of year I feel myself beginning to get a little giddy (in case you didn’t notice). Giddy to spend more time outside and to not have to wear a BAJILLION layers of clothes every time I venture out. It also means exploring the great outdoors, heading to a park for a picnic with the hubs and kiddos, and outdoor potlucking with friends is just around the corner. Just thinking about it makes me jump out of my chair and shout “WAAAHOO!” C’mon, you know you want to shout it out too.
With potlucks and picnics upon us, we’ve got to be ready to cook up some tasty food to take with us and this three bean salad is just the thing! It’s easy, it’s uber healthy, it’s flavorful, and it just tastes good. I think your friends and family will like it too.
As the name suggests, this salad is made up of three beans –> adzuki (the reddish purple bean), mung (the round, bright green bean), and green lentil (the flat, light green bean). Adzuki beans are an East Asian bean that are naturally sweet in flavor and help manage insulin receptors in our bodies keeping blood sugar at a normal level. They are packed with essential nutrients such as folic acid and provide high levels of manganese and calcium. Mung beans are a staple in Iran, India and China and contain a wealth of vitamins (A,B,C and E) and minerals (iron, calcium, magnesium, and potassium). Lastly, lentils, which we are usually more familiar with here in the United States, boast the second-highest ratio of protein per calorie of any legume (after soybeans). They are rich in both soluble and insoluble dietary fibers, iron, folate and magnesium. Round of applause for the awesomeness found in these nutritional tasty legumes!
Then to amp up the nutritional value of our beans a little more, we’ll add some diced cucumber, fresh parsley, green onions and feta cheese (which you can omit if you’d like to make it a vegan dish). With a little additional magic from some lemon, cumin, and olive oil you’ll wind up with a flavorfully fresh and filling salad that you can devour as either a main dish or a side served up with some grilled chicken or fish.
While the most time consuming part of this recipe is waiting for the beans to cook, it makes for ample time and a perfect excuse to research a beautiful local park and to call up your friends and plan that impromptu potluck. Because the best part about making tasty and nutritional food (besides eating it!) is sharing it with those nearest and dearest.
Happy picnicking friends! ❤Print
A fresh and flavorful Three Bean Salad perfect for outdoor picnics and potlucks! Tasty as a main dish or as a side with grilled chicken or fish.
- 3/4 cup adzuki beans
- 3/4 cup mung beans
- 1/2 cup green lentils
- 7 cups water (or chicken stock if you would like to add a little more flavor)
- 1 cucumber, diced
- 1 1/4 cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped
- 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 4 green onions, thinly sliced (white and green parts)
- 3/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled (optional)
- 1-2 lemons, juiced (to get about 5 Tablespoons of lemon juice)
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3/4 tsp salt (or to taste)
- 1/2 tsp pepper (or to taste)
- Combine the adzuki beans, mung beans, and water in a large pot and bring to a boil over medium high heat.
- Continue to boil for 5 minutes.
- Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 1 hour.
- Add green lentils and continue simmering for an additional 30 minutes
- Drain and rinse beans with cool water.
- In a large bowl combine beans with the rest of the remaining ingredients. Mix well.
- Serve at room temperature.
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