I love salad, especially for lunch. BUT…it must be a hearty salad or else I am starving after about 30 minutes. Let’s be honest, eating plain vegetables just doesn’t have a lot of staying power or culinary appeal. This salad is one of my favorite lunch recipes because it fills me up and is delicious. The textural elements work beautifully in this salad – the hearty romaine is a great canvas for the creamy beans, which are offset by the juicy apple and nice crunch of the pecans. The dressing has just enough sweetness, tang, and spice to bring it all together. This salad is full of fiber, protein, and healthy fat…besides, it comes together in no time! Fast food right in your own kitchen!
1/2 cup pecans
2 T. 100% apple juice concentrate, thawed
1 T. extra virgin olive oil
1 T. plus 1 t. apple cider vinegar
1/4 t. dried thyme
1/2 t. Dijon mustard
1 medium clove garlic, finely minced
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 – 15 oz. can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 head Romaine lettuce, torn into bite-sized pieces
1/2 medium Granny Smith apple, diced
In a dry skillet over medium-high heat toast pecans 2 minutes, stirring frequently, until fragrant; cool. For dressing, in a bowl whisk together apple juice concentrate, oil, vinegar, thyme, mustard, garlic, 1/4 t. salt, and pepper. In a bowl toss the beans with 1 teaspoon of the dressing. In a large bowl combine the lettuce with the toasted pecans, diced apple, and dressed beans. Dress individual salad servings with dressing.