Gluten Free White Bean Chili Salad RecipeSpring break and Easter week means that my home here in Florida is packed to the rafters with people. So many people that we have had to break out the air mattresses and turn offices into bedrooms. With our lovely weather and beautiful beaches, these people are coming and going so much I feel like I need to install a revolving door and hire a doorman. And of course lots of people means I need to stock my fridge with lots of gluten free food. Lots and lots of gluten free food – not to mention some dairy free food, vegetarian food, vegan food, nut free food … you get the idea.
As much as I would love to have my whole clan gathered around a communal dining table for every meal this week, it just ain’t gonna happen. There are places to go, people to see, waves and fish to catch. I know I can wrangle them all up for Easter dinner but beyond that, they are much more interested in grab and go, already prepared food. Since the males in my family can look into a fully packed refrigerator and tell me there is nothing to eat if it isn’t already prepared, I have baked dozens of gluten free muffins, stocked the fridge with roasted chickens, pre-cut fruits and veggies, individual yogurts (both regular and dairy free) and simple one dish meals that can be snagged on the way in or out as the case may be.
This particular salad actually started out to become a big pot of white bean chili. The balmy weather and the lack of patience for reheating by some family members made me switch gears at the end and make a salad instead; all the spicy Southwestern flavors of chili without having to waste precious vacation seconds reheating.
I started with a bag of Hurst Family Harvest White Bean Chili mix (which I love for their high quality beans and all natural, gluten free seasoning packets) added in some red peppers, green onions, olives, cilantro and pickled jalapenos and tossed it all up with a honey lime vinaigrette. Easy peasy to prepare and, as with most composed salads, the flavors just got better and better as it sat in the fridge. A little bit of advanced preparation has paid off with a delicious, flavor and nutrient packed, easy to eat salad that fits all of our combined food intolerances (except for maybe the hubby’s “intolerance” to red bell peppers as evidenced by a little pile of discarded pepper pieces pushed to the side of his plate).
This is a great vegetarian (for vegan use agave instead of honey in the dressing) main dish salad and for those so inclined, a bit of cooked chicken tossed in is a nice addition. I like mine on a bed of lettuce with some chips on the side.
If you have a house full of people, consider stocking your fridge with a few dishes like this and make things a lot easier on yourself. Come to think of it, while I like the IDEA of three sit down meals a day all week, it is kind of exhausting just to contemplate, so I am kind of happy everyone is running in their own directions. And since my work is done, I think I will grab a book and enjoy the quiet while it lasts.
Gluten Free White Bean Chili Salad Recipe
1 bag Hurst Family Harvest Southwestern White Bean Chili
1 red bell pepper, diced
3 green onions, sliced
1 – 4 ounce can sliced black olives
¼ cup pickled jalapeno pepper rings
¼ cup cilantro leaves
1/8 cup fresh lime juice (juice of 1 lime)
3/8 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon honey
Kosher or fine sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
Cover the beans by at least 2 inches of water and soak in the refrigerator overnight or up to 24 hours (I soak mine for 24 hours to get softer beans) and reserve the flavor packet. Drain the beans, rinse and place in a large pot with 6 cups of water and the reserved flavor packet. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour covered. Uncover the pot and continue to cook for another hour or until the beans are tender and most of the water has cooked off. Drain any remaining liquid and let the beans cool. Put the beans in a large mixing bowl, add the red bell peppers, green onions, olives, jalapeno and cilantro leaves.
Combine the lime juice, olive oil and honey with a large pinch of salt and pepper in a small covered jar and shake well to combine. Add to the bean mixture, toss to coat and taste – adjust seasoning with a little more salt and pepper if needed.
Refrigerate salad until serving. Serve on a bed of greens with corn chips on the side if desired.
This Gluten Free White Bean Chili Salad Recipe serves 6 – 8
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