bean salad

Mediterranean Bean Salad contains filling ingredients like beans and couscous.

FARGO — I have a favorite pair of socks. When I saw them at Fargo's Zandbroz Variety a couple of years ago, I knew I had to get them.

They read: "Sometimes salad makes me sad."

Truer words have never been spoken. I wish I liked salad. I really do. I wish when I'd go out to eat with friends that I could be one of those grown-up women who orders salad and iced tea.

But the truth is, I'm more likely to order a burrito and a beer. Bummer.

But this week on "The Scoop with Tracy Briggs," I've found a salad that might just change my mind. It's a Mediterranean Bean Salad that is both filling and delicious. It uses some of the Greek olive oil we told you about last week on "The Scoop."

One of the reasons I don't love salad is because it never seems like a full meal. Even when I add a protein like chicken or steak, I feel like it's still only a side dish.

But because this Mediterranean Bean Salad uses three types of beans and whole wheat couscous, it's heartier than most salads. And the olive oil along with the balsamic vinegar gives it an even richer flavor.

Best of all, it's a good example of what you should eat on a Mediterranean diet, which U.S. News and World Report recently ranked as the best overall diet to follow in 2019. The diet emphasizes eating fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, seeds and fish with liberal use of olive oil. Benefits include weight loss, better heart and brain health as well as diabetes prevention and control.

It only took us about 10 minutes to make and yielded at least 10 servings. Unlike a lot of leafy green salads that get soggy if kept for more than one day, this salad was as good on Day 3 as it was the day we made it.

Will I give up my burritos and beer? Not likely.

But every once in a while, it'll be nice to whip up a salad for my family that doesn't make me sad.

Mediterranean Bean Salad

Serves: 10


3 cups whole wheat couscous, prepared according to package instructions

1 cup dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1 cup cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

1 cup garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed

1 cups kale, washed, stemmed and finely shredded

1 cup cucumbers, washed, peeled (if thick skinned) and sliced into half-moons

1 cup cherry tomatoes, washed, sliced in half

1⁄2 cup red onion, thinly sliced

1⁄4 cup parsley, washed, chopped

1⁄4 cup mint, washed, chopped

1⁄4 cup basil, washed, chopped

3⁄4 cup Kalamata olives

1 cup feta cheese


1/3 cup balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 cup olive oil

Salt and freshly ground pepper


In a large bowl, combine the couscous, beans, kale, cucumbers, tomatoes, onion and herbs. Toss gently.

In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, mustard, and garlic. Add the oil in a slow steady stream, whisking constantly. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Add dressing to combined ingredients and toss gently. Top with cheese and olives.

Recipe courtesy: The Bean Institute.

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