What did you eat for lunch in high school? Sloppy Joes? Burgers? Maybe chicken fingers?
True to form, I did not eat such traditional cafeteria foods. I ate three bean salad.
Allow me to explain.
My high school had an exceptionally awesome lunch lady, meaning that she made a lot of things from scratch and kept the salad bar stocked with truly delicious homemade soups and salads. Don’t get me started on her chicken and dumplings soup. (one word: addictive).
It was at that salad bar that I first tried three bean salad—the traditional kind with lots of vinegar and probably too much sugar. I got a craving for that salad today, and I happened to have the main ingredients (i.e., beans!) on hand. I added my own twist with a honey mustard vinaigrette and a pop of color from an unusual type of potato.
Three Bean Salad with Purple Potatoes
- 2 small purple potatoes (8 oz total), cut into bite-sized pieces*
- 12 oz green and wax beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
- pepper, to taste
- 1-15 oz can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1. Place about 1 inch of water in a pot and set over medium-high heat. Allow to bring to a boil, then place a steamer basket** on top. Add potatoes and cover. Cook for 8 minutes or until fork tender.
2. Once potatoes have cooked, remove from steamer basket and set aside. Rinse out steamer basket to remove any starch and purple pigment, and add in green and wax beans. Cook beans for 5-7 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, assemble the vinaigrette in a large mixing bowl. Combine oil, vinegar, honey, mustard, and pepper. Whisk well to emulsify.
4. Add potatoes, green beans, wax beans, and kidney beans into the bowl with dressing. Stir to coat all ingredients. Chill for at least one hour prior to serving.
*You could use any potato you like here—I just like the pop of color that the purple potatoes provide. Sweet potatoes would also be great!
**Boiling the vegetables would be the traditional way of preparing this recipe, but I like to steam them instead to retain as many nutrients as possible. It’s up to you, of course—whatever is easiest for you.
Nutrition per 1/6th recipe (~5 oz): 163 Calories, 5.0g fat, 0.7g saturated fat, 0mg cholesterol, 126mg sodium, 27.0g carbohydrate, 7.3g fiber, 5.9g sugars, 5.9g protein