Bean Salad

Oh how I wish I was the type to fall in love with working out. I do it, but I do not love it. I never regret it though – and generally regret not. Funny how easily I forget that part.

I went to a step class tonight with one of the Eyeopener’s Live Right Now workout groups. It was on the other end of the city, and didn’t start until 7:30. I SO BADLY didn’t want to go. I was tired and headachey. My eyeball hurt. I procrastinated until the minute I should have been walking out the door, then couldn’t find my shoes. (They were buried under a pile of reusable grocery bags.) I grabbed my wallet, trying to pretend that it didn’t occur to me that I’d be alone and Peter’s Drive-In is on the way home. I went. I did it. I kept up. Did I feel great afterwards? Only from stopping all that stepping. Am I glad I went? Hell yeah. I didn’t get a hot fudge sundae with whipped cream hold the cherry at the drive thru on the way home. Triumph.

I haven’t been making dinner lately. We were away for a big chunk of last week, on the Rocky Mountaineer from Calgary to Vancouver (I do have more to tell!), then in Banff for the Rocky Mountain Food & Wine Festival. Then dinner club Sunday night, and Sue arrived first thing Monday morning for an intensive two days of editing the first round draft of Spilling the Beans (yes, that’s the official title now), which is slated to be released this fall.

Monday night we went for pizza (I had been on traffic duty on the Homestretch right up until 6), Tuesday night we celebrated with a bottle of Italian bubbly (a brand new one called Secco), tossed some veggies on the grill, cooked leftover chickpeas (from a soaking experiment) in a skillet with garlic, cook a couple eggs in the garlicky oil, and opened a black peppercorn Gouda from Sylvan Star.

Tonight we wound up going for pizza again (a different occasion), and I stuck to one and a half thin-crusted slices and some marinated bean salad. As I saw on twitter about ten minutes ago, Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain. Which can be applied to so much, don’t you think? Or loosely be translated to: Life isn’t about giving up pizza, it’s about learning how to enjoy less of it, with a side of beans. Or some such. And remembering that I really do like beans, especially when I have an appetite. The bean salad we ordered was similar to the one I grew up with – sweet and tangy – we generally add celery seed, fresh green and yellow beans, chopped red peppers and purple onion. A marinated bean salad is a good thing to keep in the fridge for lunches or snacks, and a great thing to bring to a party when you want to contribute something delicious and colourful that won’t wilt or go soggy and actually improves as it sits in the fridge.

It might be a good thing to bring to a potluck, too. How does Saturday, May 28 sound? I’d love it to coincide with the apple tree blooming pink in my back yard, which lasts about a week per year.

Bean Salad


May 18, 2011

  • Makes: Makes lots.


2-3 cups green and yellow beans, trimmed (just the stem ends)

1 19 oz (540 mL) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained

1 19 oz (540 mL) can black-eyed peas or chickpeas, rinsed and drained

1 red, yellow or orange bell pepper, seeded and chopped

2 celery stalks, chopped

half a small red onion, finely chopped

1/2 cup red wine vinegar or white vinegar

1/4 cup sugar or honey

1/4 cup canola oil

1/2 tsp. celery seed

salt and pepper


1Combine all the beans and veg in a large bowl. In a small saucepan, combine the vinegar, sugar, oil, celery seed and salt and pepper to taste. Set it over medium heat and bring the mixture to a simmer. Cook for a few minutes, until the sugar dissolves completely. Set the vinaigrette aside to cool for a few minutes before pouring it over the salad. Toss gently to coat all the beans with dressing.

2Cover and refrigerate overnight to allow the beans to marinate.


About Julie

You May Also Like

32 comments on “Bean Salad

  1. Carolyn
    May 19, 2011 at 4:31 am

    I love the title! Can I pre-order? Stick with the workouts — they do get easier and make a difference.

  2. Alexandra Owens
    May 19, 2011 at 6:18 am

    I think your amazing!! Really I truly do! It’s hard to get motivated! I think everyone’s level of ability to complete a cardio workout without throwing up is different. I’m sure you have heard from ever Tom Dick and Harry (and a few more) about what kind of workout you should do BUT just in case you haven’t tried hot yoga before I would totally suggest it 🙂 there are a million places here in Calgary, and I found it a bit easier to start when I was on my no more lumpy areas adventure. I truly believe in the whiole healthy mind = healthy bodies which is howwas able I was able to lose the post baby weight – now that my mind set is a bit better AND I feel much more confident being able to do a proper downward dog we’ve started some intense cardio, but “they say” (who ever they are) that you can lose up to 200 calories in one 75 min hot yoga class. Anyways no more guilt, your beauty inside and outside makes my IPhone glow 🙂

  3. Snarky Sister
    May 19, 2011 at 7:26 am

    I like to hold the whip cream on my sundae at Peter’s. Depending on who you get they put an extra swirl of ice-cream where the whip cream goes. Heaven. That being said congratulations on your restraint!

  4. Kathy
    May 19, 2011 at 7:46 am

    ok that is a really great picture of the bean salad (I like all your pictures, and being an amateur photographer, glean a lot of tips about photography from looking @ your pics.) are you serious about the 28th of May for a backyard BBQ?

  5. JulieVR
    May 19, 2011 at 8:26 am

    Perfectly serious. Been meaning to do this for a long time!

  6. akajb
    May 19, 2011 at 8:43 am

    That bean salad sounds awesome. I’ll have to get some beans at the Farmer’s Market this weekend and test it out.

    I have two quotes (no idea where they’re from) that I keep around:

    If hunger isn’t the problem, then food isn’t the answer
    I always regret not going to the gym, but I never regret going

    If you want to try a fun activity (for me anyway) that will kill your arms, is a huge calorie burn, and you could do with W, go climbing. Most places have an introductory course that will get you caught up. Even if you don’t like heights, you can boulder (which is sideways climbing, and close to ground level).

  7. stacey
    May 19, 2011 at 8:49 am

    I learned at a seminar yesterday that it takes 30 days to change/alter/make a habit…but you have to try and change/alter/make whatever habit you are working on everyday for 30 days, otherwise you have to start all over again. They did this with astronauts somewhere – put upside down helmets on them that made their world look upsidedown…one group got to take them off halfway through, and their world looked upsidedown during the whole experiment…the group that left them on, after 21 days was able to see the world rightsideup and function, and by 30 days it was as if nothing was wrong…

  8. Amanda
    May 19, 2011 at 8:58 am

    I agree with akajb, climbing is awesome. Once you learn to trust the rope, it’s a lot of fun. I’m in the same boat, I’be been going to the gym regularly for about 9 months now, but I still don’t love excercise, I don’t crave it like some people do. I do feel better after working out though, and I too need to remember that. I recently picked up longboarding, right now, I’m covered in mosquito bites, have a scrapped elbow and a bum foot, but I’m still going to keep riding. Now to buy some beans…

  9. Lael
    May 19, 2011 at 9:47 am

    It’ll get better, the motivation and feelings about working out. I am lazy at heart but over the years I’ve discovered I just feel better when I exercise, complaining all the while:) The time to do it, is when you don’t feel like doing it. So keep at it, you will eventually come to some kind of resolution with yourself, I promise!

  10. shira
    May 19, 2011 at 9:50 am

    “Life isn’t about giving up pizza, it’s about learning how to enjoy less of it, with a side of beans.”

    Obviously my new motto. I’m surprised that’s not the title of the book.

  11. H-woman
    May 19, 2011 at 10:29 am

    I love backyard BBQ’s!! Count me in!

    I’ve been having a tough time getting back into healthier eating and activity since the food and wine festival on the weekend, too! A weekend of gluttony in Banff/Canmore was delightful, though.


  12. Vanessa
    May 19, 2011 at 10:53 am

    I hear ya! Working out to me was not fun….until I discovered Zumba. If you love to dance..or even like to dance I suggest you try it! Yes, it’s challenging but it’s definitely not as boring as walking on a stationary treadmill. It’s the best workout and I would never push myself that hard working out in a gym!

  13. Carol
    May 19, 2011 at 10:58 am

    I will be in Consort that weekend, wish I could be there! 🙂

  14. the other Al
    May 19, 2011 at 12:32 pm

    May 28th eh…I think I’m in town!

  15. Kathy
    May 19, 2011 at 12:37 pm

    For us, I know that the 28th is the tail end of a very busy week of fun and not so fun things but I’d so like to be there. If I can get over my social anxiety, my anxiety of what to bring to a famous cook’s BBQ, and my/our fatigue levels aren’t too bad, we’ll be there. I know that’s a lot of qualifiers. I presume you will be letting people know the 411 via email (address, time etc.) I’m sure if we bring a bottle of wine, that will address both of my anxieties at once, esp. if sufficient quantities are consumed :0

  16. Erica B.
    May 19, 2011 at 1:03 pm

    The 28th?? Say it isn’t so! We already scheduled T’s Birthday party for the 28th. If anyone has figured out how to be in two places at once (Sylvan Lake & Calgary) let me know. I look forward to reading all about the festivities.

    Congratulations to you & Sue on the progress with the book! Love “Spilling the Beans”!

  17. rose
    May 19, 2011 at 2:15 pm

    Hi Julie

    I’ve made the Magic Salad recipe twice now and we are loving it. It’s quite adaptable and last night we had blue cheese instead of the feta and used green onion since I had no leeks. Still great!
    I would love to come to the Potluck!! You’ve got me so interested in Calgary and I enjoy your blog so much I think I’ll fly out from Vancouver. Gotta check a few things first…..

  18. Colleen
    May 19, 2011 at 3:10 pm

    I have to say I really enjoy working out although it takes me about six weeks to really get into it. Just had my second baby three weeks ago so I have only ventured out on a few walks so far until my six week follow up. I would love to be a part of the potluck, I already know what I want to bring.

  19. Joanne
    May 19, 2011 at 3:40 pm

    Rats, I’ll be in an all-day class on the 28th, but look forward to the write-up.

  20. Lori
    May 19, 2011 at 5:02 pm

    I’d love to attend a potluck on that day but have tickets to Cavalia in the evening. Have it early in the day, please!

  21. Sheanne
    May 19, 2011 at 7:41 pm

    I have been following your blog for a couple of weeks now after stumbling upon it via another food blog. This is my first comment and it is just to say thank you for the inspiration and for the fabulous recipes. Each one I have tried has been a hit! And while I am certain it has been said, your writing makes me feel like I am in a kitchen sipping wine with a good friend! As for this salad… Friday late night supper!

  22. Stacy
    May 19, 2011 at 7:47 pm

    Pot lucks are my favorite! Lots of selection and not a lot of work for one person. I miss the ones we had as a kid!

  23. Rebecca
    May 20, 2011 at 7:19 am

    I would love nothing more than to come to a BBQ at your place (to meet you and all your wonderful readers) but I’m away in the Okanagan for a girls’ weekend. Biking, eating, and drinking red wine – good times! If you have the BBQ next weekend, have fun and if not, I’ll try my darndest to make the next one.

  24. Jennifer
    May 20, 2011 at 10:41 am

    I made the bean salad last night for tonights dinner. I’m Vegan, so sugar and honey are out. Instead, I used brown rice syrup, but a little more than the recipe calls for. The few mouthfuls I “sampled” last night were great!

  25. Karen
    May 20, 2011 at 11:00 am

    I would love love love to come to a potluck at yours.

  26. Fiona
    May 20, 2011 at 11:14 am

    A potluck on the 28th would be fun!

    I’ve heard really good things about Zumba, Vanessa. Mostly from my other half and a group of sixth graders. If you can get them to like dancing, you can probably get anyone to enjoy it.

  27. glenda
    May 20, 2011 at 5:06 pm

    Oh shoot! I think the 28th might involve a wedding in my world. How fun that would have been! (but I agree with Kathy – what would I bring to your house…one of your own recipes?)
    and Julie, I am so with you on the exercising. I have been going to the gymn for several years and I still do not love it, it is still an effort most days,and I have to constantly talk myself out of the various excuses for not going. But I always feel good when I am finished and I know it is good for me…..so I keep on!

  28. Robyn in Mountain (Ontario that is)
    May 21, 2011 at 9:18 am

    I never thought I’d say this, but that is a beautiful bean salad. Gonna give it a try. Would love to come to your barbecue — wish you were closer.

  29. Donna
    May 21, 2011 at 9:24 am

    The backyard potluck sounds great. What to bring…what to bring…?

  30. Jenn
    May 22, 2011 at 1:31 pm

    I’m also excited about a potluck at your house, but already filled with anxiety about what I could possibly bring 🙂

  31. Vincci
    May 24, 2011 at 11:23 pm

    Where? Would love to come!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.