How often have you thought this: I’d love to have a salad for lunch every day… it would feel so good. But I’m always hungry a few hours later!
This, of course, isn’t the healthiest way to eat, as if you get hungry a mere few hours after eating lunch, you’ll end up snacking – and whether that’s healthy or unhealthy food is unknown.
We’re constantly looking for tricks to make our favorite veggie-packed salads more filling. A bed of lettuce and a few tomatoes, we know, isn’t going to do the trick. We need something hearty and filled with protein atop those salads to make them shine and fill us up until the workday is through.
That’s where our favorite salad protein source comes in: the mighty bean. Whether in the form of black, lima, white, brown, red, soy, or another type of bean all together, beans make every salad delightfully filling. Beans are great for you: they’re packed with the perfect blend of protein and fiber to keep you fuller, longer.
Pro tip: most beans are categorized as “incomplete proteins,” meaning they don’t contain all nine essential amino acids that make up a complete protein. Soy beans, animal products, and quinoa are all examples of complete proteins. However, it’s easy to make your bean-topped salad into a protein-rich meal: simply add nuts, seeds, dairy, or grains and you’ve hacked a complete protein!
Beans also contain a wide variety of additional nutrients, including zinc, iron, and magnesium to promote good health, especially for your heart, gut, liver, and glucose levels.
Not sure how to pair your beans within this week’s salad to achieve a delicious and healthy lunch? We’ve compiled some of our favorite, tasty recipes for you to try. Happy chomping!
- Mediterranean Three Bean Quinoa Salad by Two Peas and Their Pod
- White Bean Kale Salad by Minimalist Baker
- Chickpea Salad by Oh She Glows
- Summer Pasta Salad with Dill Vinaigrette by Vegetarian Ventures
- Southwestern Kale Power Salad by Cookie and Kate
What’s your favorite bean salad recipe? Let us know in the comments!