Tuscan beans with tomatoes and oregano

This is a refreshing and healthy side or main dish that’s perfect for dining al fresco on a warm evening.

Ingredients

  • 1 can (15½ ounces) low-sodium chickpeas (or garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, rinsed and halved
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh oregano, minced (or 1 teaspoon dried)
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon salt-free seasoning blend
  • 4 whole inner leaves of romaine lettuce, rinsed and dried

Directions

  1. In a large salad bowl, combine beans and tomatoes.
  2. In a small bowl, combine olive oil, vinegar, oregano, pepper, and salt-free seasoning blend.  Using a wire whisk, beat the ingredients until they blend into one thick sauce at the point where the oil and vinegar no longer separate.
  3. Pour the dressing over the beans and tomatoes, and mix gently to coat.
  4. Line four salad bowls with one romaine lettuce leaf each.
  5. Top each leaf with one-fourth of the bean mixture, and serve.

Tip: Serve with a fresh green salad and crusty bread to soak up the dressing.

Nutritional information: 265 calories; 10 g total fat; 1 g saturated fat; 0 mg cholesterol; 116 mg sodium; 10 g total fiber; 12 g protein; 35 g carbohydrates; 731 mg potassium

Note: If you can't find beans labeled “low sodium,” compare the Nutrition Facts panels to find the beans with the lowest amount of sodium. Rinsing can help further reduce the sodium level.

Source: Keep the beat recipes: Deliciously healthy dinners, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute.