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salad recipe

4 In Salad Recipes/ Vegetarian Meals

Rustic Tuscan Bean Salad Recipe

rustic Tuscan bean salad recipe

This rustic Tuscan bean salad recipe contains an abundance of protein, healthy carbohydrates and fiber…and flavor. Did I mention flavor? Bright, with overtones of onion and basil that will engage your sense in this healthy, wonderful salad. It’s a recipe from the garden worth keeping.

rustic Tuscan bean salad recipe



Rustic Tuscan Bean Salad Recipe

This rustic Tuscan bean salad recipe came to me today after reading through numerous recipes in the Fanny Farmer Cookbook. As you may recall from other recipes I’ve shared, the original cookbook, published in 1896, contains so much common sense cooking wisdom, basic recipes for everything from German potato salad to corn bread, and everything in between that it is my go-to book for all types of recipes.

I found the Tuscan bean salad recipe in the cookbook and adapted it to my own needs and tastes. I’ve cut way back on sugar, so no added sugars. I didn’t have fresh basil on hand as the original recipe called for, so I substituted some dried basil from last year’s garden. I did have fresh parsley, thanks to a wonderful plan purchased last year from my friend Beth’s Long Ears Herb Farm which was so robust and healthy it wintered over in the garden.

You can use canned cannelli (white) beans and canned tuna fish to make the recipe. Canned beans contain a high amount of salt, so it is best to drain and rinse the beans before adding them to the recipe. I pour the can into a colander and rinse them thoroughly under cool running water, stirring with a spoon until all of the liquid from the canned beans has been rinsed off.

For tuna fish, use the driest, flakiest tuna you can find. Water or oil packed doesn’t matter, but you want nice chunky tuna for this recipe.

Tuscan bean salad 1

Recipe for Tuscan Bean Salad: Ingredients

From the garden…

  • 1 small white or yellow onion or about 1/4 cup diced
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped basil
  • 1 cup Romaine or leaf lettuce, rinsed and shredded

From the pantry…

  • 1 can of white beans (about 14 ounces)
  • 2 cans of tuna fish (about 8 ounces total)
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 6 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Crumbled feta cheese (about 2 tablespoons)

Tuscan bean salad


Tuscan Bean Salad Directions

  • Rinse and drain the canned beans under cool, running water. Pour into a bowl.
  • Drain the tuna fish and mix it into the beans.
  • Dice the onion fine. Add to the bowl
  • Dice the herbs. Add to the bowl
  • Mix the vinegar and oil. Pour over salad. Stir gently to combine.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste.

Place the washed, shredded lettuce into a serving bowl. Add one scoop of about 1/2 cup to 1 cup of the Tuscan bean salad recipe over the lettuce. Drizzle with remaining vinegar and oil dressing from the bowl.

Serves 2 large portions of 4 smaller portions.

I hope you enjoyed delightful recipe from the garden. Keep growing, keep creating. Happy gardening!


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2 In Uncategorized

Fresh Food Wednesday: Cranberry Spinach Salad Recipe

Photo by Maena. Used under license.

Cranberry Spinach Salad Recipe

My husband teases me that I’m a dollar store junkie, and it’s true. Once I discovered that the local dollar store had a freezer section and a grocery shelf, well, I was smitten. What’s not to love about a bag of frozen peaches or blueberries (no sugar added!) for $1? Or sea salt, with grinder, for $1?

Sometimes I catch a shipment just right and can stock up on a few healthy items like these. At other times, the store seems to lie in wait, tempting me with Russells Stovers chocolates, Hershey’s and all sorts of junk foods that I now avoid.

Last weekend, I caught a sale on dried cranberries. Cranberries! Yum! I bought a bag, brought it home, looked at my garden and thought, “Spinach salad with cranberries. Yes. Why not?”

And it was FANTASTIC.

I grow spinach in the garden just for the tender leaves to use in salads. I don’t grow a lot – I’ve found that growing spinach to freeze is too labor-intensive, and takes up too much room. But adding a few rows of spinach for salad greens is easy and enables me to diversify my salads inexpensively. The seeds were available for 25 cents at Wal-Mart this spring, and I planted two rows which have yielded innumerable salads. How can you put a price tag on organic spinach like this? Boxes of baby spinach leaves in the organic section of the produce aisle typically cost $1.99 – $3.99, depending on the season. I think I eat that much in a day when I make a salad like this one.

This salad was deceptively simple, deliciously tasty, and a wonderful low-calorie lunch. The feta cheese is optional. I need protein with my salads to feel full and alert in the afternoon, but vegans can easily add walnuts to the salad for their protein and voila – done.

Fresh Food Wednesday: Cranberry Spinach Salad


  • Two cups of rinsed baby spinach leaves
  • One slice of sweet onion, such as a Vidalia onion
  • One tablespoon of dried organic, no sugar added cranberries
  • One tablespoon of walnuts or low fat feta cheese
  • One tablespoon of balsamic vinegar
  • Two teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
Rinse and shred the spinach leaves, placing them in a large bowl. Layer onion on top and sprinkle with dried cranberries and walnuts or feta. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Serve and enjoy.

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