Ever show up to a BBQ or summer get-together & realize there’s not much you can eat? Well- that kind of comes with the turf when you’re eating differently than many others. For me- I’m keto. This means I focus on high fats, proteins, & very low carbs. What’s the best way to make sure you can actually enjoy the event like everyone else? BRING SOMETHING YOU LIKE! I always try to bring something that isn’t just for me either- because mass appeal at picnics is a big deal! This cold summer salad is perfect! Keep reading to throw it together yourself!
So let’s start with some basics. Am I vegetarian? No. But a lot of my friends are! That’s another reason I used fresh mozzarella pearls- they’re easy to pick out for anyone vegan! This particular recipe (as so many of mine are) is meant to be adaptable. If you want to add even more protein- ham or crisped up bacon is also delicious! I opted for Bush’s white beans which contain a ton of protein, fiber, & aren’t too high carb as long as you balance the servings. I pick mine up locally at Walmart. You can also sub in black beans, garbanzo beans, etc if you prefer but white beans are really neutral. Plus I always have them in my pantry & they’re incredibly affordable if you need to make huge batches for events.
- ½ cup Bush's White Beans, drained & rinsed
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
- 2 oz mozzarella pearls, fresh
- 1 cup cucumber, chunks
- ½ cup kalamata olives, pitted
- ½ lemon, juiced & zested
- 3 tablespoons olive oil for drizzling
- fresh mint
- salt & pepper to taste
- Combine first 5 ingredients in a bowl. Mix to combine.
- Add to bowls or serving dish. Top with fresh lemon juice & olive oil to taste.
- Top with zest & fresh mint.
- Serve chilled.
Need some substitution ideas? Fresh mint is definitely one of my favorite parts of this recipe but basil is also excellent! Swap out your regular olive oil for a flavored option. Cucumbers not your thing? Roast up some zuchinni or red bell peppers beforehand & chill them. That gives the salad a nice smoked flavor. Swap out the kalamata olives for more neutral black olives or artichoke hearts for something a bit more neutral.
What are your favorite bean-based recipes? What do you bring to BBQs or picnics when you want to eat healthier? Any favorite recipes to share?