Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by S&W Beans, however all opinions, experiences and enjoyment of beans and the brand are completely my own!
It's summertime and the eating is easy! When it's hot outside, the last thing you feel like doing is heating up the oven or spending lots of time putting a meal together. Summer means spending time outside in the sun, at the pool or at the park. It means cookouts with delicious aromas coming from your backyard. Because some food choices can get a bit heavy in calories with foods like marbled meats, BBQ ribs, creamy salads and sugary desserts, lighter options can help balance out your meals. Having quick and healthy sides like my White Beans, Greens and Sun Dried Tomato Salad will help keep your calories down and nutrition up all season long!
I love a great cookout with grilled steaks, burgers and hot dogs, but it's difficult for me to totally abandon all of my nutrition knowledge and not include some fruit and vegetables on my plate. This salad with protein-rich beans and antioxidant-rich greens and sun dried tomatoes is a delicious side that I can pull together in a snap and it tastes delicious alongside any grilled meat or fish, or even on its own!
For this recipe, I like switching out the greens from a spring mix to spinach or to a nice crunchy romaine variety. I also love using S&W White Beans, especially because they have a 50% Less Sodium variety of white beans that is an American Heart Association's Certified Heart-Check food! Meeting AHA's strict nutrition criteria, this variety of beans has less than 220 milligrams of sodium and no saturated fat per serving. If I want to remove an EXTRA 40% of sodium off those beans, I simply drain them in a colander and rinse them off with water. So easy! Beans are packed with fiber (6 grams per 1/2 cup) and plant protein (7 grams per 1/2 cup) that not only help protect my heart, but have also been shown to reduce risk of colon, rectal and breast cancers. Did you know that a 2014 study showed that eating a 3/4 cup serving of beans per day significantly reduced levels of "bad" LDL cholesterol? This can help reduce the risk of heart disease by almost 15%! Some medications aren't this effective...plus beans don't carry the side effects of heart meds and we all know that medications don't taste nearly as good as beans! I'm all for eating my way to a healthy heart.
Here's wishing you a fantastic summer season filled with good eats and great health. Enjoy!
**Scroll down to watch me and host Alex Steiniger make this salad on the Tucson Morning Blend show on ABC's KGUN 9!
S&W® White Beans, Greens and Sun Dried Tomato Salad
Recipe by Christy Wilson
Serves: 4, 1 cup servings
Prep time: 15 minutes
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1 1/2 tablespoon sun dried tomato oil with herbs
- 1 clove garlic, minced and smashed into a paste consistency
- 1, 15 ounce can S&W® White Beans, Less Sodium, drained and rinsed
- 1/4 cup oil and herb packed sun dried tomatoes, drained and chopped
- 2 cups spring mix salad greens
- 1/4 cup jarred roasted red bell pepper, sliced
- 1 tablespoon fresh basil, sliced
- 1 tablespoon parmesan cheese, grated
- Fresh ground black pepper
- Drain and rinse canned beans. Set aside.
- Whisk dressing ingredients in a large bowl, then add beans, sun dried tomatoes, salad greens, bell pepper, basil and parmesan cheese.
- Toss to combine and top with fresh ground pepper.