Tuscan White Bean Salad + How to Cook and Store Dried Beans!

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I love this salad and it is even more amazing after I learned how to cook and store dried beans from Melissa D’Arabian’s book “10 dollar dinners”. Once you do this too you won’t be able to let yourself buy another can of beans for $1.50. (See Below) You can make 4 cans for the same price with dried beans!! This salad is refreshing and the extra protien from the beans and “good” fats from the toasted almonds really make you feel full. If you are the type of person that has to drench your salad in dressing to make it appetizing let me tell you a secret…it wasn’t a good salad to begin with!  If you’ve had a really good farm fresh salad you know what I mean. This salad is a delicious meal on it’s own!

Tip: You can easily toast almonds 2 ways. Throw into a toaster oven for a few minutes or toast in a pan on the stove. (don’t use oil) They will taste a million times more delicious that plain almonds!

Ingredients

Handful of almonds, chopped and toasted

1/2 cup chopped tomato

1/4 cup chopped mozzerella

1/2  cup white beans (I take them out of the freezer and microwave for 30 seconds.)

1/2 cup whole wheat pasta (optional)

3-4 kalamata olives (optional)

4 large basil leaves, torn/chopped

handful of green mild lettuce (ex: green leaf, mesclun mix, mache, romaine)

pepper

Olive oil and Balsamic Vinigar

Layer first 6 ingredients. Sprinkle with freshly cracked peppercorns and a light drizzle of olive oil and balsamic. Enjoy!!

How to cook and store dried beans… and SAVE $$!!

From Melissa D’Arabian’s book: 10 Dollar Dinners

1 – Soak beans overnight

2 – Simmer beans until they are just tender (approx 1 hr)

 3 – When beans are cooled divide them into 4 quart-sized freezer bags. About 1.5 cups for each bag which is the same as a can of beans.

4 – Next time you need beans take them out of the freezer and throw into whatever dish you are making. For quick salads just microwave! No need to rinse beans anymore!!

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