As professionals with busy lives, we may often find ourselves running out the door without plans for a proper nourishing lunch. I know this situation all too well. Usually it results in running out for a bite and spending money on less healthy options, or skipping lunch altogether and being hangry by the end of the day.
This is where meal preparation becomes instrumental in helping you to maintain your healthy lifestyle. Spending some time one day a week making larger batches of the nutritious foods you love can make a huge difference in overcoming the lunch rut.
This bean salad is a perfect make-ahead lunch for those busy mornings when you only have time to grab and go. You can even repurpose this salad and use it as a taco filling, or throw it on a bed of greens if you are feeling fancy. It’s rich in plant-based protein, healthy fats, and fiber.
Three Bean Rainbow Salad
1 15-oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 15-oz can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 15-oz can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
½ red onion, diced
1 bell pepper, diced
1 cup cilantro, chopped
1 avocado, largely diced
For the dressing
¼ cup olive oil
2 limes, juiced
1 garlic clove, minced
½ tsp ground cumin, or more to taste
¼ tsp ground cayenne, or more to taste
½ tsp salt, or more to taste
1 tbsp honey
1. In a large mixing bowl, combine all the beans, the onion, bell pepper, cilantro, and avocado.
2. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lime juice, garlic clove, cumin, cayenne, salt and honey until well combined.
3. Pour the dressing over bean mixture and mix until evenly coated.*
4. Separate and store in airtight containers in the refrigerator and enjoy throughout the week!
*Note: You can also store the dressing in a jar separately and add it to the salad before eating. I personally prefer to dress the whole thing at once as the beans soak up more of the flavor during their refrigeration.
By Reena Panjwani, M.S., R.D. - Expert Dietician