Quick Three Bean Salad

Notes: I created this recipe for the Earth Day demonstration at MANNA, where I volunteer each week to pack food for people who are seriously ill. I used canned beans, because the nutritionist at MANNA, Cyndi Dinger, said that is probably what the clients would use, so this is pretty quick. It’s also nutritious and low on the food chain.

Below the three bean recipe is a photo of my Green Soybean Succotash, (originally posted on Feb. 15th) but I  added salsa. Next to it are the pea shoots that Cyndi grew. (She also made a tofu and spinach dish from a book recipe that everyone tasted.)  Finally, below the legume handout that Cyndi provided are my greens that I grew as a centerpiece.

Utensils: Cutting board and knife, strainer, can opener, bowl for  mixing, plate for serving
Prep. Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: None!


one 15 ounce can of (salt-free) pinto beans
one 15 ounce can of (salt free) garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
one 15 ounce can of (salt free) black beans
1-2 cups diced vegetables (peppers, celery, carrots, scallions, artichoke hearts, etc.)
1 – 2 Tbl .of your favorite light dressing (not creamy)
salt & pepper (optional)


1. Drain beans into a large colander and rinse well with cold water. Place in a large bowl when fully drained.

2. Dice 1 – 2 cups of washed and trimmed vegetables and add to the bowl.

3. Add 1 -2 tablespoons of your favorite dressing. (I used the liquid from the jar of artichoke hearts.)

4. Season with salt and pepper if needed and if allowed in your diet.

5. Toss well and place in an attractive bowl to serve cold. Garnish with artichoke heart or other veggie.

Yield: 4 – 5 cups, depending on whether you use one or two cups of diced veggies.

Green Soybean Succotash from Feb. 15th posting (with salsa added) plus Cyndi’s pea shoots.


Legumes: Types and Cooking Tips*

Legumes Defined — a class of vegetables that includes beans, peas and lentils.  Legumes are typically low in fat, contain no cholesterol, and are high in folate, potassium, iron and magnesium. They also contain beneficial fats and soluble and insoluble fiber.  They are great for soups, stews, casseroles, dips, spreads, and salads.

Types of Legumes

Many supermarkets and food stores stock a wide variety of legumes — both dried and canned.

Type of legume

Common Uses

Adzuki beans

Also known as azuki beans, asuki beans, field peas, red oriental beans

Rice dishes and Japanese or Chinese cuisine

Anasazi beans

Also known as Jacob’s cattle beans

Homemade refried beans and Southwestern recipes — especially soups

Black beans

Also known as turtle beans, black Spanish beans and Venezuelan beans

Soups, stews, rice and beans, Mexican dishes, and Central and South American cuisine

Black-eyed peas

Also known as cowpeas, cherry beans, frijoles, China peas, Indian peas

Salads, casseroles, fritters, bean cakes, curry dishes, and Southern dishes with ham and rice


Also known as garbanzos, garbanzo beans, ceci beans

Casseroles, hummus, minestrone soup, Spanish stews and Indian dishes, such as dal


Also known as green soybeans

Side dishes, snacks, salads, soups, casseroles, and rice or pasta dishes

Fava beans

Also known as broad beans, faba beans, horse beans

Stews and side dishes


Soups, stews, salads, side dishes and Indian dishes, such as dal

Lima beans

Also known as butter beans, Madagascar beans

Succotash, casseroles, soups and salads

Red kidney beans

Stews, mixed bean salad, chili and Cajun bean dishes

Soy nuts

Also known as soybean seeds, roasted soybeans

Snacks or as garnish to salads

Preparing Legumes

Beans and dried legumes require soaking in room temperature water, a step that rehydrates them for more even cooking. Before soaking, pick through the beans, discarding any discolored or shriveled ones or any foreign matter. Depending on how much time you have, choose one of the following soaking methods:

  • Slow soak. In a stockpot, cover 1 pound dried beans with 10 cups water. Cover and refrigerate 6 to 8 hours or overnight.
  • Hot soak. In a stockpot, bring 10 cups of water to a boil. Add 1 pound dried beans and return to a boil. Remove from the heat, cover tightly and set aside at room temperature for 2 to 3 hours.
  • Quick soak. In a stockpot, bring 10 cups of water to a boil. Add 1 pound dried beans and return to a boil. Boil 2 to 3 minutes. Cover and set aside at room temperature for 1 hour.
  • Gas-free soak. In a stockpot, place 1 pound of beans in 10 or more cups of boiling water. Boil for 2 to 3 minutes. Then cover and set aside overnight. The next day 75 to 90 percent of the indigestible sugars that cause gas will have dissolved into the soaking water.

My tip for preparing: Soak overnight, drain and let sprout for one day. Place on a cookie sheet and allow beans to freeze singly. Gather and place in a freezer bag. When ready to cook, take out what you need. The cooking time will be much shorter. ellensue

Cooking Tips

  • Add salt or acidic ingredients, such as vinegar, tomatoes or juice, near the end of the cooking time, when the beans are just tender. If these ingredients are added too early, they slow the cooking process.
  • Beans are done when they can be easily mashed between two fingers or with a fork.
  • To freeze cooked beans for later use, immerse them in cold water until cool, then drain well and freeze.
  • One pound of dried beans yields about 5 or 6 cups cooked beans. A 15-ounce can of beans equals about 1 1/2 cups cooked beans, drained.

No time to spare?

Lentils, split peas and black-eyed peas don’t need to be soaked. In addition, some legumes are “quick-cooking” — meaning they have already been presoaked and redried and don’t need extra soaking. Finally, canned legumes make quick additions to dishes that don’t require long simmering. Just be sure to rinse prepared and canned legumes to remove sodium added during processing.

*Information provided by Mayo Clinic staff and Images provided by © Dole Food Co, Inc. Presented to MANNA participants at the legume demonstration and tasting

These are the sprouted greens I made for the food demo. From left to right: buckwheat “lettuce,” lentil grass, wheatgrass, and sunflower greens.  How green can you get???

4 thoughts on “Quick Three Bean Salad

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