.Bean Salad with Summer Squash, Corn and a Vegan Yogurt Dressing.
When you think of beans... Is the first thing that pops into your mind, "salad'?
I didn't think so. But, I'm here to show you how amazing and versatile the bean can be!
Although, beans typically round out a traditional diet in the form of chili, burritos, and side dishes, most plant-based eaters will tell you that beans are essential to proper nutrition in that they are fiber rich and an excellent source of protein.
Ok, so let's talk about these exact beans and how I came to have them.
A few weeks ago I found myself in a conversation with Heather Fortes of the fabulous company "Sactown Bites".
Sactown Bites offers fantastic food tours of the Sacramento area, but when COVID-19 hit, Heather had to pivot and started creating beautiful Farm-To-Fork Boxes, that are curated with local products, bringing the food tour to your home.
In this month's box, a gorgeous little bean called "Zuni Gold", is being featured by the farmers at Llano Seco in Chico. Sactown Bites reached out to me to create a recipe with these dried beans and of course, I couldn't pass up an opportunity to work with such a wonderful ingredient!
Please check out both websites for more information:
Most people, myself included, will grab the closest can of beans off the shelf, throw it in a pot, and get to cooking... But, beans, like most quality ingredients, have unique tastes, textures, colors, and health properties that should be explored.
So why do most of us shy away from dried beans? Time.
Yes, working with dried beans does in-fact require some time, but it is time well spent to develop richer flavors, as well as feeding our bodies with better food.
This recipe yields a large portion, it showcases the bean as the star of the dish, and it also sings the song of summer ingredients...
So... What are we waiting for? Let's get cooking!
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.Bean Salad with Summer Squash,Corn
Vegan Yogurt Dressing.
Produce for Salad:
2 yellow squash
1 cup of yellow corn
2 cups of Zuni Gold Beans
3-4 cups of baby arugula
1-3 tablespoons of olive oil
1/2 cup of olive oil
Half of a lemon
Salt and pepper
1 tablespoon of onion powder
2 tablespoons of dijon mustard
2 tablespoons of non-dairy plain yogurt
To begin, cover 2 cups of Zuni gold beans with 4 cups of clean cold water. Bring the water to a rolling boil, then lower the heat to simmer. Cover the pot of beans and simmer on low for roughly 50 minutes. Taste the beans at the 40 minute mark. The beans should begin to soften. Press 1 bean between your fingers to test for doneness.
*Depending on your stovetop, size of pot, etc, it may take a little longer for the beans to cook.
When the beans have finished cooking, remove them from the heat, strain into a colander and set aside to come to room temperature.
Chop the yellow squash and zucchini into 1/2 inch pieces and sauté on medium high heat in olive oil, salt, and pepper.
If you are using frozen corn (which I recommend), rinse 1 cup under warm water then strain. Add the corn to the sauté pan of zucchini and squash, and sauté with another pinch of salt for 3-5 minutes.
The vegetables should be done when they are fork tender and have a slight char on each side. Set vegetables aside to allow them to cool before assembling the salad.
While the vegetables and the beans are cooling, it's time to make the dressing.
In a mason jar, or a medium size bowl, place 2 tablespoons of vegan plain yogurt, 2 tablespoons of dijon mustard, half a lemon (juice only), 3-5 cloves of minced garlic, a half cup of olive oil, and a teaspoon of salt. Whisk together with a fork, or place the lid on the jar and shake for 15 seconds. The dressings should be smooth and creamy. If it is too thick in texture, add a little more olive oil to loosen.
To assemble the salad, toss the beans and sautéed vegetables with the baby arugula. Drizzle the dressing over the top and toss again.
Enjoy this salad as a hearty lunch, or a side dish to a dinner entree.