Beautifully fresh and colorful, it’s the perfect side dish
There’s something so satisfying about Mediterranean salads. The nice variety of different tastes, colors, and tons of texture are such a refreshing change of pace. Here’s a beautifully fresh and colorful salad packed with delicious flavors and textures, everything you’d expect from a Mediterranean salad. This simple salad comes together quickly and it’s a nutritional cardiovascular powerhouse. Featuring creamy beans, savory kalamata olives, and a splash of sweet citrus, it’s a tantalizing experience your taste buds won’t soon forget.
This gluten-free recipe uses a bright red wine vinegar, fresh lemon juice and olive oil dressing bringing this simple salad to life. If you like, toss in a few crumbles of feta cheese and a sprinkling of sunflower seeds, pine nuts, or pepitas, all nice additions making a flavorful impact.
As many of you may already know, the Mediterranean diet is well-known for protecting and promoting heart health. The liberal use of plant-based foods rich in fiber, antioxidants, phytochemicals, and vitamins and minerals, is what makes this way of eating shine. Filling your plate with foods used in Mediterranean cooking may help reduce plaque formation, blood pressure, inflammation, and formation of clots. Not only is eating Mediterranean-style meals appetizing to your taste buds, but heart-friendly foods are rich in key nutrients such as potassium, magnesium, folate, calcium, and omega-3 fatty acids.
Okay, time to make this recipe for yourself to discover just how good it really is!
Photo by Cheryl Mussatto
Mediterranean Mixed Bean and Citrus Salad – Makes four 2/3 cup servings
Nutrition per serving: Calories – 238; Total Fat – 6 grams; Protein – 11 grams; Carbohydrates – 35 grams; Fiber – 7 grams; Sodium – 45 milligrams
2 small oranges (halo or mandarin), peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
2/3 cup finely chopped red pepper
1/2 cup thinly sliced fresh spinach
1 can (15 to 16 ounces) great northern beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (15 to 16 ounces) red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Juice from 1 medium fresh lemon
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
Optional: Feta cheese, sunflower seeds, pine nuts, or pepitas
1.In medium bowl, mix oranges, bell pepper, spinach, olives, and beans
2.In tightly covered container, shake remaining ingredients until well-blended. Pour over orange mixture, gently toss to mix.
3. If desired, add crumbled feta cheese and/or a sprinkling of sunflower seeds, pine nuts, or pepitas.