400g can cannellini or haricot beans (drained weight 220g/10oz)
150g/5oz cherry tomatoes
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
½ tsp balsamic vinegar
½ clove garlic or ¼ tsp garlic granules
Small handful of fresh basil (or you could use parsley if you prefer)
With all the lovely, warm weather we’ve been having recently, I thought I’d share with you a wonderful recipe for a simple Mediterranean style bean salad. It combines sweet tomatoes with creamy cannellini beans and aromatic basil in a beautiful ‘tricolore’ combination. Serve the salad as an easy accompaniment to grilled chicken or fish, or as a light lunch spooned onto crusty bread, or you can even stuff it into a wholemeal pitta.
Cannellini beans are a good source of fibre, iron, protein and folate – all important nutrients for people with arthritis. Fibre keeps your digestive system healthy and can help keep you feeling fuller for longer.
I’ve tried to ensure that the recipe for this salad uses as little chopping or tricky hand actions as possible. If you have trouble slicing then use whole cherry tomatoes and garlic granules or paste. I’ve used canned beans as they are much easier to prepare than the dried variety but the cans can be tricky to open (there are some cheap and useful tools for opening ring pull cans if you have trouble opening cans).
Slice the cherry tomatoes in half and put them into a bowl. Open the can of beans and rinse them. Drain them well and add them to the chopped tomatoes.
Crush the garlic and slice the basil by snipping it with scissors or rolling the leaves up
together and chopping them. Add both ingredients to the beans and tomatoes. Pour in the balsamic and olive oil and mix well.
Let the salad sit for 20 minutes to help the flavours mingle and then serve.
- Try adding a can of tuna or some cooked couscous to make an easy, all-in-one lunch.
- Use a can of mixed beans for extra texture and variety.
- Stir in a tablespoon of pesto for an easy alternative to the chopped basil.
- Mix in some chopped almonds or pine nuts for a nutty crunch.
- Use coriander instead of basil and add sweetcorn and paprika for a Mexican style bean salad.
|Nutritional values for 1 serving|
|Food Group||Food item|
|PULSES, NUTS & SEEDS||Beans e.g. baked beans, chickpeas, kidney beans etc|
|OILS AND FATS||Olive oil and Margarine|