Beans – Use your favourite kind of bean! This time I decided to use canned chickpeas from Neal Brothers and some lentils I had on hand at home, but you can use black beans, kidney beans, navy beans, green lentils – any kind of legume, really! I used canned beans this time around but when I have the foresight and time I have also made this salad with dried beans that have been soaked, boiled and cooled. A&E, ONFC, Neal Brothers, Blackshire Gardens and Annex Distribution carry a variety of dried and canned bean options.
Veggies – Check what’s in season – cherry tomatoes, candy onion, green onion, celery, diced carrots, shelling peas, snow peas, shredded beets, cucumber, thinly sliced kohlrabi, even roasted sweet potatoes or the stalks from some rainbow swiss chard! I love something with a little crunch to contrast the creaminess of the beans.
Nuts or Seeds – sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, chopped almonds, etc. Try Jewels Under the Kilt, A&E or ONFC for some nut and seed options.
Fresh Herbs – Use whatever is available; tulsi, lemon or regular basil, thyme, dill, chives, oregano. Check out Persephone Market Garden, Burdock Grove, Stewart’s Fresh Produce, Stoeckli Organics, or New Life Farm.
Something Pickled – I always like to throw in something pickled for a little extra bite and saltiness. Try pickled beets, preserved lemons, minced jalapenos, garlic dills from Funky Ferments or Backwoods Preserves.
Cheese – Totally optional but quite delicious. Try some olive or regular feta, chopped cheese curds or cubes of vegan greek cheese from WoolDrift Farm, Millbank Cheese & Butter, or the Frauxmagerie.
Dressing – Make your own or check out the dressings from Huron Sun, like their organic Sundried Tomato & Basil dressing or perhaps Miners’ Maple Products’ Maple Raspberry Vinaigrette.
Salt & Pepper
This is an everything-but-the-kitchen-sink kind of recipe. I like to make a bean salad when I’m not feeling super creative and when I have no desire to actually follow a recipe. It’s the perfect way to use seasonal veggies – you can literally put almost any vegetable in here! Same goes for nuts and seeds – use up the dregs in your pantry that are just short of that amount you might otherwise need for baking or snacking.
The ratios and amounts are yours to decide. When I know I want to get a few days worth of meals from my bean salad, I’ll make sure to use 2 cans of beans and throw in as many veggies as my little heart desires. This is the kind of dish you can taste as you go without worrying about your nibbles impacting the recipe’s outcome. The only thing I am really consistent with is making sure to throw in a ton of fresh herbs for lots of flavour.
Bean salad gets better with time, making it a great fit for a make-ahead packed lunch or other meal prep routine – on top of that it’s easy to transport, filling, and yummy!
Drain and rinse your beans and toss them into a large mixing bowl.
Chop up your veggies and herbs and add them to the bowl.
Toss in your nuts and seeds. Add cheese if using.
Dress & Toss
Store in an airtight container for 2-4 days in the fridge.
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