Beans, beans the magical fruit. The more you eat the more you...
Smile! You smile because beans are amazing. Beans are full of protein and fiber, low in fat, are incredibly versatile, dirt cheap AND they taste great. So many great benefits in such a tiny little package.
The star of this simple, Mediterranean-inspired dish is the great northern bean. Great northern beans are white beans, medium-sized and have a super creamy interior. This salad also includes orzo, sauteed zucchini, green peas, parsley, mint and a tahini vinaigrette.
Nearly every dish is better with some sort of sauce, dressing or vinaigrette to bring all the ingredients together. This salad uses a tahini vinaigrette which adds to the Mediterranean theme of the dish.
Note: If you don't already, start using mason jars to make your homemade dressings and vinaigrettes. It's the easiest, fastest, cleanest and most convenient way to combine, mix and store the dressing in one container.
I rarely go on 'diets', but I do try and stick with a Mediterranean style of eating. This means mostly vegetables, a lot of legumes, some fish and whole grains, occasional meat, dairy and good fats. Where I typically fall short is in the dairy department -- I eat a lot of cheese.
But overall, I feel like the Mediterranean diet is a super sustainable, pleasurable and easy way to eat. This white bean + orzo salad is a perfect example of how easy it can be.
White Bean + Orzo Salad Suggecipe
- orzo pasta - 1/2 bag
- white beans - 2 cans
- zucchini - cut bite-sized
- mint - handful; chopped
- parsley - handful; chopped
- s + p
- tahini vinaigrette
- olive oil, herbes de provence vinegar (or whatever vinegar you have), tahini, honey, lemon juice, dried Italian seasoning, s + p
Add orzo to boiling, salted water and cook for 9 minutes. While orzo is cooking, add zucchini to a skillet with olive oil and s + p. Cook until slightly softened. Make the vinaigrette (below). After 9 minutes, remove orzo from heat and run under cool water to stop cooking. Combine the orzo, beans, zucchini, peas, herbs and vinaigrette. Season with s + p.
For the tahini vinaigrette: Combine equal parts oil and vinegar. Next, drizzle in a couple tablespoons of tahini. Then splash and pinch until it tastes good.
I ate this salad for lunch today and it was really great. The parsley and mint added a ton of fresh flavor while the tahini and beans made the dish creamy and satisfying. It was perfect for a hot, late afternoon.