We don't usually appreciate things until they are gone or broken... No, this is not a philosophical post about living life, enjoying every moment etc. I mean, yes, live life to the fullest, of course. I'm not denying that at all. But this is about a more trivial thing, such as a car starter. I didn't appreciate a working car starter until it began to intermittently not working. In fact, I did not even know that there is such a thing as a car starter up until a few weeks ago.
Life with a faulty starter is exciting. You never know if the car is going to start or not. It's like a Russian roulette every time you put the key into ignition. Will it or won't it? Fun! (Not!) After some reflection and a few calls to my mechanic, I figured that the problem happens (intermittently) if the car was driving for 20+ minutes and got hot (like me driving it from work) and then it was stopped for 10-15 minutes (like me running an errand) and then the car got started again (like me finally trying to get home). Then it gets fun!
Eventually I stopped running errands, which doesn't sound that bad except that most of my after work errands usually include going to local grocery store and buying food. Because food is sort of kind of a little bit essential to, you know, being alive!
Not being able to go grocery shopping actually wasn't as bad. We have a lot of leftovers from the Mother's Day brunch and lots in the pantry. This salad is a staple in my little family for when I have no energy to cook. It comes together in a matter of minutes and requires almost no ingredients. It reminds me of an old Russian joke about what can a woman make out of nothing? Out of nothing a woman can make a hat, a drama and a salad.
The roots of this delicious and filling salad are Georgian. In Georgian cuisine (which is very popular in Russia) beans and nuts are essential. There are endless variations on Bean and Nut salads and they are usually called Lobio. I can't say enough good things about this salad! It's super easy to make, you just drain a can of kidney beans, crush some pecans, add some chopped onion and herbs, some lemon, oil and voilà, it's done. It's really filling as beans and nuts provide a lot of protein. It's healthy, it's fresh, it's vegan! It's cheap to make! Shall I go on?
Bean and Pecan Salad
2 large meal size portions or 4 small appetizer portions
Red kidney beans - 1 can (540 ml)
Pecan halves - 1/2 cup
Red onion - 20 g (it's about 1/16 of a large onion)
Dill - about 3 sprigs
Parsley - about 3 sprigs
Lemon juice from 1/4 of lemon
Olive oil - 1 tablespoon
Salt, pepper to taste
- Drain and rinse kidney beans. I use no salt added beans by PC.
- Place the beans into a large bowl and crumble pecans on top. You can chop the nuts as well, but I find that chopping them is quite messy as they usually try to escape, so I just use my hands to break them into smaller pieces.
- Very finely chop the onion, it'll be about 1/4 cup of chopped onion, maybe a little bit less.
- Finely mince dill and parsley. You'll get about 2 tablespoons of each herb.
- Add onion and herbs to the bean and nut mixture.
- Squeeze some lemon juice and add a tablespoon of oil. Add seasoning to taste and mix.
- This goes very well with cilantro, but I know that many people don't eat cilantro and my husband is one of them, so I use other herbs.
- You can use walnuts instead of pecans too. I find that pecans provide a milder flavour than walnuts which I like more.
- I use very little salt in my cooking and I find that lemon juice gives enough flavour and seasoning to the salad. I only used a tiny pinch of salt for this, so I can't say how much would work for you.
- If you are making this in advance or big batch, then dress the salad right before serving as oil and lemon absorb into the beans and nuts and salad gets a bit dry the next day.