Back to School Recipes - Bean Salad!

 By Bren Boston, MD

Back to school time means back to packing lunches.  The struggle is real to get temperature stable protein into our kids. 

One way to do this is to pack a container of bean salad, either as a side dish or a main course.  Beans are an excellent source of plant protein, iron, fiber, and antioxidants.  They are inexpensive, filling, and delicious. 

Ideally, you pack a portion of the bean salad the night before into a metal container and let it chill in the fridge overnight.  I like the U Konserve and the Kleen Kanteen brand stainless steel containers.  Don’t forget to pack a spoon to eat the bean salad.  Here are a few of my favorite bean salad recipes:

Lemon Garbanzo Bean Salad

1 can organic garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained

Juice and zest of 1 lemon

1 Tbs olive oil

1 clove garlic minced

Salt and Pepper to taste

In a medium bowl, put the juice and zest of 1 lemon, olive oil, minced garlic, salt and pepper and stir well.  Add the garbanzo beans and toss.  Store in the fridge for up to 3 days.  



Black Bean Salad

1 can organic black beans, rinsed and drained

1 avocado cut into cubes

2 Tbs lime juice

1 Tbs olive oil

¼ tsp Cumin

Salt and Pepper to taste

1 Tbs Chopped fresh cilantro

Whisk the lime juice and olive oil together.  Add in the cumin, salt, pepper, and avocado.  Toss the avocado so it is covered by the lime juice mixture to keep it from browning.  Then fold in the black beans and cilantro.  Use it all in 1 day because the avocado will not keep for more than 1 day.



Cowboy Caviar

1 can black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained

1 can black beans, rinsed and drained

1.5 cups frozen sweet corn (leave it frozen if making it the night before. It will thaw overnight)

1 red or yellow bell pepper, diced

1 small red onion, diced (or less to taste)

1 container cherry tomatoes, quartered (or 3 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced)

1/3 c. olive oil

2 Tbs. lime juice

2 Tbs red wine vinegar

1 tsp granulated sugar

1/2 tsp chili powder

1/2 tsp salt

¼ tsp garlic powder

½ c. chopped fresh cilantro or parsley

Tortilla chips for scooping

Whisk together the olive oil, lime juice, vinegar, sugar, chili powder, salt, and garlic powder.  Add the black beans, black-eyed peas, corn, bell peppers, onion, tomatoes, and cilantro.  Stir to combine.  If making the night before, stir it again in the morning.  Pack the tortilla chips separately and use to scoop the bean mixture.  Also pack a spoon.

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