the taste space

Symphonic Mixed Bean Salad (Ready in 5 Minutes!)

Posted in Mains (Vegetarian), Salads by janet @ the taste space on March 21, 2011

Engrish amuses me. My favourite Engrish while I was travelling in Japan was a sign at a construction site next to a water pipe that said: “I trouble it. I fix the sewage trachea.” I know I shouldn’t laugh but I snapped a picture and giggled all night long.

I have done a bit of travelling lately and instead of eating out, I was planning on eating in and bringing some healthy food with me for the trip. I spotted this (since adapted) quick and easy bean salad in The Two Week Wellness Solution and stopped by Friends on the way from home from work to pick up some canned beans. Friends is a curious convenience store packed with Middle Eastern staples like pomegranate molasses, flat bread and of course, beans. I had a few choices but I was in hysterics when I came across Mr Goudas’ 9th Symphony Bean Mix. The label alone made me want to try it out (look at how advertising works!), but in truth, compared to Unico’s bean medley, it included a wider variety of beans, as well as fewer calories and more fiber.

So what did the label say? Well, these symphonic beans tell you to “get ready to listen!” and “eat and music will follow”. Yes, my friends, they are advertising the tooting-potential of eating beans.  Thankfully, I have reached that threshold where the fiber doesn’t make me musical. I am sure my colleagues and friends are thankful for that, too. :)

Ever wondered what produces the gas after eating beans? Beans are filled with complex sugars (oligosaccharides) that we cannot digest. So the bacteria in our colon digest them instead. Unfortunately, one of the byproducts is the associated gas. However, there is something else at play because white and navy beans have a low oligosaccharide level, but have higher rates of flatulence.

But for those that are new to legumes, here are some toot-reducing tips:

1. Soak your beans (overnight is best). Not all beans need to be soaked (ie split peas, lentils, adzuki beans) but soaking helps to leach out the oligosaccharides. Rinse and drain well before cooking to remove the oligosaccharides.

2. Make sure you cook your beans through. No al dente beans, ok? Canned beans should all be cooked through.

3. Start slowly. Gradually add beans into your diet and your body will adjust.

4. If all else fails, consider Beano which breaks down the same oligosaccharides before it gets to the bacteria.

So about the salad, I really liked it. It is not your typically sweet, oily bean salad. It is light and fresh. It travels well, through US customs without problems. If it weren’t for a slightly leaky lid, it would have been fool-proof. No worries since I wrapped it in a plastic bag to spare my clothes. And who thought food porn in a hotel, with their plates, would look so gorgeous? :)


This is my submission to Deb for this week’s Souper Sundays, and to this month’s My Legume Love Affair, hosted by Ammalu’s Kitchen.

Symphonic Mixed Bean Salad (Ready in 5 Minutes!)

1.5 cups cooked or canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
19 oz canned mixed beans (or another bean of choice), drained and rinsed
1 cup shelled edamame (defrost if frozen)
1/3 cup green onions, chopped
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp agave nectar
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
3 tbsp mustard
1/2 tsp salt

1. In a large bowl, mix together the chickpeas, mixed beans and edamame.

2. In a separate small bowl, combine the green onions, cider vinegar, agave nectar, lemon juice, mustard and salt and whisk until well combined.

3. Combine dressing with beans and allow to marinate at least a few hours before serving. Keeps well (over a week) if refrigerated.

Serves 6.

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14 Responses

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  1. Joanne said, on March 21, 2011 at 1:18 PM

    Haha I love your super scientific explanations about tooting and beans. Thankfully, I’ve reached that threshold as well so I can eat beans with no musical problems! This is just the kind of salad that I crave…and one that I would definitely love to have on hand while traveling. You get tons of sustenance and nutrition, along with great flavor!

  2. Priya said, on March 21, 2011 at 3:35 PM

    Nutritious and fabulous looking salad..

  3. Dawn Hutchins said, on March 22, 2011 at 9:10 AM

    I LOVE mixed bean salads. Especially to bring to Pot-Lucks. (And the fact that none of those folks are coming home with me means I don’t have to worry about the repercussions haha).

    • Saveur said, on March 22, 2011 at 5:16 PM

      You are too funny, Dawn! But yeah, bean salads are great for potlucks but most people don’t bring ones that are this healthy. :)

  4. megi said, on March 22, 2011 at 9:21 AM

    What a beautiful and nutritious salad, I love bean salads and beans in general. Your dressing looks great too with a little bit of sweetness from the agave.

  5. mmm love the addition of mustard:

    I just started this healthy food photo sharing site: http://healthfreakfood.com/

    I would love it if you submitted your pretty food photos! :)

  6. Heather @Gluten-Free Cat said, on March 22, 2011 at 5:35 PM

    Ohmygoshhhh…your pictures make my mouth water!!!

  7. DebinHawaii said, on March 27, 2011 at 7:39 PM

    That can is classic. I would buy some just to having sitting around for entertainment. ;-) I love my beans and have no problems with them. ;-) The salad looks like a great alternative to road food. Thanks for sharing it at Souper Sundays.

  8. Shri said, on March 27, 2011 at 9:17 PM

    We have so many variations of bean dishes like these. Most of them are tempered but yes what a lovely idea for a travel-dish!
    I am pretty sure many of us Indians would have carried one version or the other on their ‘travels’!! :-D

  9. Ashley said, on April 14, 2011 at 12:41 AM

    Lol love that you listed some “toot reducing tips”! And the talking beans on the can are awesome. I’m really impressed that you made and packed this salad to bring with you on your trip!!

  10. [...] of meats for guests, whereas I typical reign in the salad department. I have revisited some of my old favourites, and of course, tried out a few new ones that will be shared shortly, including this [...]

  11. [...] It got me thinking: I don’t tend to mix my beans that often.  Although there was that Symphonic Mixed Bean Salad, but those beans came mixed in a [...]

  12. [...] – Moroccan French Lentils – Mediterranean Chickpea Salad – Almost Raw Asian Kale and Edamame Salad – Symphonic Mixed Bean Salad – Lime-Spiked Black Bean and Quinoa Kale Wrap – Garlicky and Lemony Black-Eyed Pea and Kale Salad – [...]

  13. [...] could experience gas after adopting a whole foods plant-based diet. Even after you have tried all the tricks to reduce flatulence from beans, other veggies (or fruit, or wheat or nuts) could be tipping your intestinal flora into [...]


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