This salad was born of a need to start re-introducing large quandaries of leafy greens back into my diet. While I never give up on leafy greens altogether sometimes over the course of the winter I get so bogged down with warming soups, and stews that I neglect my salads. By spring I’m really starting to feel the need for green and sometimes it’s a hard cycle to break. I’ve also been trying to find ways to work more beans into my diet, and different kinds of beans. I absolutely love black beans and chickpeas but that’s about it. The other beans for the most part I can take or leave, which makes me a very inconsistent bean eater. Some weeks I eat lots of beans and lentils and some weeks I eat none. In trying to make different kinds of beans a more regular part of my diet I needed to come up with some new and interesting ways of eating them. After my Cannellini Beans and Ramps feast I realized that Cannellini beans were actually quite good if prepared in the right way, and so my desire to use them creatively has been piqued.
On the day that I decided to make this for lunch, I had a couple of beautiful limes sitting around and a lovely avocado just begging to be used. I also happened to be in the mood for something spicy, smokey and vaguely Latin inspired. This is what I came up with and it knocked my socks off. A really great, tasty, hearty lunch that fills you up, and is relatively healthy yet feels like a decadent treat! What more could you ask for, really?
Mesquite and Lime Marinated White Bean and Kale Salad
15oz can Cannellini Beans
Zest and Juice of 1 Lime
1 ½-2 tsp Mesquite Seasoning
4 cloves Garlic Minced
1/4 C Olive Oil
2 Tomatoes diced
1 Avocado diced
Minced Cilantro to taste
1/3 C Sliced Green Onions
2 tbsp Capers
Black Pepper and Sea Salt to taste
1 tsp Agave
3 C Kale chopped in bite-size pieces
- Combine beans, minced garlic, 2 tbsp of lime juice, 1 tbsp of olive oil, half the lime zest and the mesquite seasoning in a small bowl. Marinate in the fridge for 45 minutes to an hour.
- Heat remaining oil in large pan over medium heat. Add the white bean mixture, the diced tomatoes, half the green onions and capers. Season to taste with black pepper, salt and smoked paprika. Saute for 5 minutes.
- Add remaining lime juice, and lime zest, along with agave stir and saute another 2 minutes.
- Divide Kale amongst individual bowls and evenly distribute the white bean mixture over each bowl. Top with remaining green onion, avocado, and cilantro.