Healthy plate: A simple bean salad that’s both good and good for you

Associated PressSeptember 15, 2010 

Beans are somewhat of a nutritional miracle worker.

Along with being an excellent source of protein, they’re packed with fiber and other plant-based nutrients. Plus, they’re extremely low in fat, can prolong the feeling of fullness after a meal and can help control blood sugar levels.

Many people are hesitant to cook with beans because they think of the dry ones, which can require soaking overnight and, depending on the variety, lengthy cooking on the stove. But canned beans are a convenient must-have for any healthy pantry.

The good news is that unlike many other canned products, beans keep their nutrients during the canning process.

Besides being nutritional dynamite, canned beans are available in numerous shapes, sizes and flavors, making them a favorite among gourmet cooks.

They can usually be found alongside the canned vegetables at the grocer, but be sure to check the ethnic aisle as well for some of the less common varieties.

This summery salad stars black-eyed peas, a bean named for a prominent black spot. Chockfull of fresh tomatoes and parsley, and tossed in a lemony dressing, the dish is reminiscent of a Middle-Eastern tabbouleh salad, but much more satisfying and nutritionally balanced.

Served as a main or side dish, black-eyed peas, tomato and parsley salad is a deliciously cool addition to any summer meal.

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