Zesty Five Bean Salad with Apple-Cumin Vinaigrette (gluten free, vegan)

Bean Salad

Do you ever find yourself rediscovering recipes already in your arsenal, but had completely forgotten about? And doesn’t it feel like you’ve reconnected with a long-lost friend, the experience seemingly both fresh and familiar at the same time? Maybe it’s just me, but it seems like whenever a recipe falls out of my regular rotation, it’s gone for quite some time. I used to make this salad regularly when Conor and I lived in our last apartment – it’s really easy to pull together, packs neatly for a lunch, and can function as either a side or a meal unto itself.

But then I guess I made it one too many times, got tired of it, and it was like it ceased to exist altogether.  Bean salad? What bean salad? Strange. However, I’ve really busy this week with the new job (more on that later) and have barely had time to think, much less cook. I was in a mad scramble trying to think of something I could pull together for my lunches without having to go grocery shopping – I avoid buying lunch whenever possible, unless it’s a leisurely one with friends – when a quick peek into my pantry gave me an idea. Or rather, reminded me of an idea I’d already had, long ago.

I love the vibrancy of the colours and flavours in this salad. Store-bought bean salads always taste like they’ve just been drenched in oil to me, without any added veggies, and their colours always look so dull. Not so here! If you find yourself in a salad rut, or without time to prepare lunches, this recipe is definitely for you. If you want it to feel even more like a meal, try adding some sprouts and quinoa – I did yesterday and it was perfect after my workout.

Five Bean Salad with Apple-Cumin Vinaigrette

~ Gluten free, vegan, refined sugar free, soy free, nut free ~

Ingredients

For the salad

  • 1 can (14 oz) reduced sodium lentils, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (14 oz) reduced sodium black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (14oz) reduced sodium bean medley, drained and rinsed
  • 1-2 medium carrots, julienne peeled or grated
  • 4-5 green onions, sliced
  • 1/2 orange bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped

For the dressing

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp flax oil (optional, if you don’t have flax oil simply replace it with more olive oil)
  • 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • sea salt and black pepper

Directions

  1. In a large bowl or tupperware, toss together all the salad ingredients
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the salad dressing.
  3. Add the dressing to the rest of the ingredients and toss to combine. This salad can be eaten right away or made ahead for lunches during the week, since marinating only enhances the flavour. 

Bean Salad 2

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