Add beans to your salad instead of chicken.
I don’t know about you, but if I see one more skinless, boneless chicken breast I just might lose it. Both chicken and beans provides protein, B vitamins and iron, but beans add fiber, antioxidants, calcium (!), and other minerals too. For fewer calories and less money.
Canned beans are fine, just rinse them off before using them. They will keep in a ziploc or bowl in the fridge for several days at least. One can usually makes about three salads for me. Here’s how I do it:
Greens – romaine, baby spinach, arugula, mixed greens, whatever you’ve got
Cherry tomatoes – no chopping required – or dice up a regular tomato
Goat cheese or feta – just crumble a spoon or two
Nuts – unsalted taste best in salad, use whatever you have, almonds, pecans, walnuts, etc.
Veggies – whatever you’ve got, like broccoli slaw or grated carrots
Oil and vinegar dressing, I like balsamic (2 Tbs.) and olive oil (3 Tbs.) with salt and pepper – makes enough for 3 salads
Easy, filling and really good.
Greens, crunchy ones like romaine work best here
Cherry tomatoes, onions, peppers – you can use pico de gallo from the deli section if you like
Diced avocado – 1/4 per person
Kidney, black or pinto beans (refried works too – sounds crazy but the creamy texture is good)
Pepitas – raw pumpkin seeds – about 1-2 Tbs. per person
Salsa or oil and vinegar dressing – lime juice (2Tbs.) and canola or olive oil (3 Tbs) with salt and pepper – enough for 3 salads
Roasted Vegetable Salad:
Leftover roast vegetables (onions, peppers, zucchini, eggplant, squash, tomatoes, etc.) or ratatoulli
Cannellini or Garbanzo beans
Feta cheese or goat cheese, about 1 Tbs. crumbled on top
Add some of the balsamic dressing above if the salad is dry
I roast extra veggies just to have this for lunch the next day
You will be full, satisfied and healthy with these salads. And have some extra money in your pocket.
If you want to cook dried beans, they are even cheaper and will taste exactly the way you like. Soak them in water and some salt the night before, then drain the water and give them a quick rinse. Put into the pot, cover with water, add a bay leaf and and simmer until tender. Add salt and any seasonings you like about halfway through. The beans will keep, either in the broth or drained and in a ziploc baggie, about a week in the fridge. To find heirloom beans and great recipes, check out Rancho Gordo. They rock.