How to make a healthy snack food: Bean Salad

When I was in high school I spent my summers working on a farm, a flower nursery, and doing landscaping for neighbors. The great thing about the farm was getting to spend hours talking to the other field hands to keep ourselves from getting bored or tired in the hot sun. The flower nursery taught me a lot about ornamental plants I had never thought about much. Landscaping was nice because it was incredibly meditative to work on different projects alone. Really though, the best part was getting to connect with my neighbors. 

There was one couple with a big property who I used to work for every Wednesday doing simple things like dead-heading their flowers, weeding, and just generally keeping the whole space tidy. The best thing about working for them though was that at lunch time they would always invite me in to eat with them. For a half an hour every day I would get a respite from solitude and get to hear their stories. How they met, jobs they have done, places they have been. They also told me about how much the land around them had transformed since they bought the property thirty years prior. Young forests had sprouted up in old fields, and old forests had been cleared for new houses. 

I haven’t seen the couple in years, but a few days ago I was reminded of them when someone mentioned bean salad to me. Bean salad was what they always gave me for lunch, and I hadn’t had it since! Thinking about the crispness of celery, the tartness of the vinegar, and just how refreshing it was after hours in the sun made me feel very nostalgic. Naturally I had to try to replicate that salad! I looked at a few different recipes, but none of them seemed to be the same salad I remembered having.

I tried making it a couple of different ways, and I’m fairly confident I have successfully replicated that perfect bean salad I used to eat so many years ago. It is every bit as refreshing as I remember it! The great thing about it too is that although the recipe makes a fairly decent amount, bean salad stores very well and makes for a great snack during the day. I finished the whole bowl myself in less than three days. As far as the beans go, you can do some mixing and matching, but this combination is my favorite. I also used canned organic beans, but I’m sure it would taste better with fresher beans. I have tried the salad with white vinegar in the dressing and it is okay, but it tastes better with apple cider vinegar.


Salad IngredientsDressing Ingredients
15 oz Black Beans⅓ cup Apple Cider Vinegar
15 oz Kidney Beans1 tsp Salt
15 oz Garbanzo Beans½ tsp Pepper
15 oz Corn⅓ cup Sugar 
2 tsp freshly cut Rosemary3 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 cup chopped Parsley
½ diced Red Onion
3 stalks diced Celery

  1. Finely chop ½ of a red onion and soak it in a bowl of water while you prep the other ingredients.
  2. If you are using canned beans, combine them in a strainer and rinse with water. Add the corn and leave to dry.
  3. Chop up one cups worth of parsley leaves and 2 tbsp of rosemary. Add them to a large bowl.
  4. Chop the three celery stalks as finely as you want. For the bases you may want to slice them in half before chopping so there aren’t big chunks. Add these to the bowl.
  5. Add the beans and corn to the bowl.
  6. Drain the onions and add them to the bowl. Stir the mixture together.
  7. In a separate bowl, add ⅓ cup of Apple Cider Vinegar and 3 tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
  8. Measure out ⅓ cup of sugar, of less if you prefer, ½ tsp of pepper and 1 tsp of salt. Add these to the dressing and whisk together until the sugar has dissolved.
  9. Pour the dressing over the salad, mix it all together, and start eating!

This salad is healthy, refreshing, and makes for a great snack! I have found myself eating it for breakfast, lunch, second lunch, dinner, or as a midnight snack. I am always in the mood for it. This is also a very versatile recipe and you can swap out a lot of different ingredients based on what you have access to. Let me know if you make it yourself and how you like it! You can always message me at Ahitchens, or leave a comment below.