Beans are staples in my plant-based diet (except for a few supplements that are not vegetarian). Generally I buy dried beans, which I then soak, sprout, and freeze to use as needed. But I always like to keep a can of organic black beans (No BPA or BPS lining*) in the kitchen cabinet, because I have found that dried black beans take so long to sort and cook that the money I saved on buying them dried is los tin the cost of long-term cooking.
Recently I think I have found an alternative to canned black beans. I can now buy them in a tetra pack (https://www.tetrapak.com/packaging) or a carton made from mostly paperboard but does have 4% aluminum, that is sealed hermetically. (I need to do more research which is the better choice, non-BPA/BPS linings tetra packs. I read that BPA-free does not necessarily mean 100% safe.)
So, whether you use dried, canned, or tetra pack beans, here is a fall salad that you can enjoy. The artichokes are NOT from a jar or can, but frozen with no added oils, citric acid, etc., just artichoke hearts that I thaw and use in many recipes.
Utensils: Cutting board and knife, strainer, bowls
Prep. Time: 15 minutes (with cooked beans)
Cooking Time: None!
Categories: No sugar added, Vegan
Ingredients (This is a cooking-by-your-apron strings dish that allows flexibility in the amounts used.)
one cup artichoke hearts (If using jarred, then strain them; if using frozen, thaw them.)
one cup cooked black beans, well drained and rinsed
slices of leek or fennel bulb
parsley (chopped) [Can also use cilantro or dill instead]
salad dressing of choice (ex. olive oil and lemon)
salt & pepper to taste or other herbs of your choice
- Remove artichoke hearts from freezer; measure out one cup into a small bowl and allow to thaw while preparing other ingredients. (You may want to do this about one hour before lunch dinner to be sure they are soft before adding to bowl.)
- Rinse well and drain cooked black beans so none of the color leaks into salad. Place in large serving bowl.
- Slice washed leek or fennel bulb thinly and add to bowl.
- Grate one small, scrubbed carrot into the serving bowl.
- Wash and chop parsley (or cilantro or dill), reserving stems for soup stock and add to salad.
- Toss all the ingredients, including thawed artichoke hearts, with salt & pepper to taste (optional) and your favorite salad dressing.
Note: If you wish, you can line your bowl with Romaine lettuce, Bibb lettuce, or kale.
Artichoke data from Googling Artichoke Hearts: “Because of their tough exterior, artichokes take some careful preparation.+ But your efforts will reap nutritional rewards — the veggie is a good source of folate, dietary fiber, and vitamins C and K. Artichokes are also packed with antioxidants; they’re number 7 on the USDA’s top 20 antioxidant-rich foods list.” (+My recipe uses only the hearts, so no careful prep needed. es)
BPA and BPS, or bisphenol A and bisphenol S respectively, are chemicals that are used in the production of “soft” (i.e. flexible) plastics and the linings of some metal products. The danger in using these chemicals in the production of food containers is that the chemicals from the container can seep to the food inside it, which can cause some negative health effects. In fact, a growing body of research has already linked BPA and BPS exposure to: impaired brain function, memory and learning, depression, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, breast cancer, and fertility problems……(See entire article on the site.)