Recipe: Simple bean salad

This year, as part of a plan to save more money, I’m pushing myself to bring lunch to work at least 4 days per week. For me, it saves a TON of cash (I work in an area where eating lunch out will cost you anywhere from $10-$20 per day, unfortunately), but the other benefit is that there’s a huge opportunity to eat healthfully more often too.

The only difficulty is coming up with dishes that can last a few days, because the reality is, I can’t cook every night and guarantee leftovers for myself. It can also be tough because dishes that hold especially well — namely, pastas and casseroles — tend to be refined carb heavy, which is something I’m trying to get away from. Soups are great, but I can only deal with so many weeks of soup before I’m ready for something else.

This week, I decided to make a simple bean salad, dressed with lemon and olive oil, which will hold at least until Wednesday. My plan is to bring a side serving of it each day, and then have it accompany a small sandwich or whatever leftovers I end up scrounging together from the previous night’s dinner (this would be great with some roasted chicken, or even atop a green salad). It’s colorful, flavorful, and filled with items that I specifically selected so that they wouldn’t be mushy by day 2 (I’m looking at you, cucumber).

You could easily take this idea and substitute whatever beans and herbs you have on hand. And if you’re eating it straight away, feel free to add in items like cucumber, tomato, even a little bit of feta cheese.

Get the (very easy!) recipe, after the jump.

Simple Bean Salad

1 can cannellini beans
1 can adzuki beans (these aren’t always in stores; substitute kidney beans instead)
1 can quartered artichoke hearts
2 carrots
1 bunch curly leaf parsley, washed
1/2 medium red onion, finely diced
2 lemons
1/4 cup + more to taste extra virgin olive oil
–kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

In a colander, pour out the beans and the artichoke hearts, and rinse under cool water. Set aside and allow to drain.

Using a box grater, grate the carrots. Add to a medium sized glass bowl. Cut away the leaves from the stems of the parsley, and quickly chop. Add this and the chopped onion to the bowl. Using a microplane, zest the lemons over the bowl, then cut and half, and juice them over the bowl. Add in the beans and artichoke hearts, pour in the olive oil, season with salt and pepper, then toss to combine. Taste the salad and season with more salt and pepper, lemon juice, olive oil, or even the vinegar of your choice (red wine, white wine, or even apple cider vinegar could work well here) until you like the way it tastes. Refrigerate for up to 3 or 4 days.

Remember, this is a plain salad meant to last me a few days for lunch. Spruce it up with more veggies, cheese, diced chicken — whatever you have on hand!

UPDATE: And, after eating this about 24 hours later, I can vouch that it’s even better after marinating in the lemon juice and olive oil. Lunch today = YUM.


  1. 1.9.12

    trying this. pronto. gorgeous photos, too!!

  2. 1.9.12

    This looks amazing. I have been trying to eat healthier too. I have made many quionoa and farro salads they hold up pretty well too! Thanks for the delish recips I will be making it stat!

  3. 1.9.12
    Hogger said:

    Found: new favourite blog.

  4. 1.9.12

    this looks like skinny in a bowl! I’m going to try to be making more recipes like THIS in the upcoming months!

  5. 1.9.12

    This looks delicious, I love bean salads, eat them 2-3 times a week!

  6. 1.9.12

    Adding to my recipe box — looks so easy, healthy and my mouth is watering. Thanks for sharing!

  7. 1.9.12

    Oh yum!! I also need to be better about packing my lunch because I spend a lot of $$ grabbing lunch that doesn’t always taste good and usually isn’t the healthiest. I can’t wait to try this salad for lunch this week. Thanks for the idea! Oh, and beautiful pictures!

  8. 1.9.12
    Rowena said:

    This looks totally delish and is perfect for my part time vegetarian diet. Thanks!

  9. 1.9.12
    Kate said:

    This looks delicious! I’ll have to try this sometime!

  10. 1.9.12

    That looks so good!!! I love beans and anything dressed in lemon juice and olive oil. I will definitely try this…

  11. 1.9.12

    Love a good salad to pair with a healthy sandwich! This sounds delicious, I’m excited to try it! Definitely need to eat better after the holidays.
    And Victoria such a good idea to put your URL on your beautiful photos — I should really start doing the same.

  12. 1.9.12
    Tamra said:

    easy, cheap, long lasting.. done and done! Were you in my head earlier when I was thinking to myself I need to create a meal plan during the week so I don’t forget to eat so often???? xx

  13. 1.9.12
    Eileen said:

    yum! I would love this for lunch, thanks for sharing :-)


  14. 1.9.12
    Lauren said:

    this is absolutely my kind of dish. Not sure if you know this, but I am pretty much a health freak. This is right up my ally. So making this for lunch or dinner!

  15. 1.9.12
    Kathryn said:

    That looks absolutely delicious! I made a similar resolution- but just to bring sandwiches :)

    XX Kathryn

  16. 1.10.12
    Christine B. said:

    Looks/sounds delicious! I’ll have to try this for a new lunch treat soon!

  17. 1.10.12

    Thank you so much for this recipe (and gorgeous pictures)! I’m trying really hard to bring lunches with me instead of buying something supremely unhealthy, and also trying to incorporate more beans into my diet (so healthy). I tried a bean stew the other day, which was okay but this actually looks much tastier. Definitely going to try this out!

  18. 1.10.12

    I have to try this recipe! I always tell myself I’m going to pack lunch everyday, but its hard to make things that I’ll want as leftovers.

  19. 1.11.12

    Your recipes haven’t done me wrong so far. Looks like I’m going to add another.

    And your photos. OH MY GOODNESS!?!?! So beautiful.

  20. 1.16.12
    Laura said:

    I made this yesterday as I was so fed up of my lunches that didn’t satisfy me. It is absolutely DELICIOUS! Thank you for posting.

    Rather than artichoke I actually put in white cabbage. I also used butter beans and I had it with chicken. I can’t wait for my lunch tomorrow now.


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