Spanish Bean Salad & the benefits of cayenne pepper

by Julie on March 12, 2010

This recipe gets me soooo jazzed cuz it’s one of those ones that you can enjoy for a couple days and never tire of.  It makes a nice generous portion for a group or for a few meals.  What I also get excited about is the fact that my 4 year old daughter, Amelia, has decided she loves it–that’s huge for her!  She can be a little choosy when it comes to meals so you can image how elated I am, being a health fanatic, that I have found a recipe that is nutritious and tasty even for a pre-schooler!  She & I call it “our bean salad” since her brothers aren’t so fond of it.  Eventually we’ll convince them to taste it again, but til then, all the more for us!

I like to use a variety of colourful firm veggies that will hold up in a dressing for 2-3 days since sometimes it lasts this long before we devour it all.  Anything that you might like to add such as cucumber, tomato or avocado should be added to your plate only at serving time as it will not hold up.  I have used jicama before and it’s lovely in this salad when in season.

Do you have a favourite bean variety that you love?  One of my faves is the cannellini bean.  I could eat it any which way.  For this salad I often use what ever is in the pantry but for a nice mix today we have chick peas, pinto beans, and of course cannellini beans.  Kidney beans are Amelia’s favourite and blackeyed peas are tasty and look pretty too!  So be creative here and play with the colours, tastes and textures.  And if you really want to boost the omegas add the flax and the hemp oil and shhhh…. no one will even notice!

Here’s the how to…..

Spanish Bean Salad

      1 (15 ounce) can pinto beans, rinsed & drained1 (15 ounce) can chick peas, rinsed & drained


      1 (15 ounce) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed


      1 red bell pepper, chopped


      2 carrots peeled & chopped


      2 stalks celery, chopped


      2 green onions chopped-optional


      1/2 cup olive oil


      2 tbsp flax oil-optional


      1 tbsp hemp oil-optional


      2 tablespoons fresh lime juice


      2 tbsp lemon juice


      2 tbsp agave syrup


      1/2 tablespoon celtic salt or sea salt


      1 – 2 cloves minced garlic


      1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro


      1/2 tablespoon ground cumin


      1 tsp ground black pepper


      1 teaspoon chili powder


    cayenne pepper to season at serving time


1. In a large bowl, combine beans, chopped veggies, green onions.
2. In a large measuring cup, whisk together remaining ingredients.
3. Pour dressing over vegetables and gently combine without mashing the beans.
4. Serve over fresh greens.
5. Allow diners to season with cayenne pepper to their liking.
Serves 6-8 for lunch or dinner

I’ve been reading about the benefits of cayenne pepper, the Cardiovascular Fruit and it is practically a miracle spice.  The benefit it provides for our blood circulation is fascinating.   What I love about it is that it cleans the blood which is of great importance in avoiding diseases of most kinds especially cancer.  It is incredibly high in potassium which is necessary for healthy heart function and it has been known to stop a heart attack in 3 minutes or less (administer repeatedly during the attack until it stops, 1 tsp in hot water).  Cayenne pepper aids in assimilation of nutrients in our food, elimination, rebuilds the tissues in the stomach, can heal stomach & intestinal ulcers and lower cholesterol.  The medicinal uses are endless.  It is recommended that one take it with water as a shot–I use 1 oz of alkaline water mixed with 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper and swig it back. Yikes….. I know, but it’s worth it.  Start with 1x per day for a few days and work up to 3xs per day and then increase to 1/2 tsp.  But go easy.  After a few times you will become accustomed to the heat and it will just feel like a warm glow.  Be sure to buy the highest concentrated quality since the grocery store variety is much weaker– look for up to 90% cayenne in the health food store.  Cayenne capsules work too if you just can’t swig it but a little less effective, but always with food.  For further info check out this cayenne pepper guide.

I have this thing for hand  painted Mexican pottery and I collect it each time we visit.  This is my most fave piece that I just brought back this year from Nuevo Vallarta.  The scalloped edge made me crazy–had to have it for this recipe!  I also found a vase that I just couldn’t live without!  Do you have any hand painted pieces that you use often for serving?  Makes the meal taste even yummier when it’s so nicely presented in a favourite dish, don’t you think?

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{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

Leslie March 12, 2010 at 5:13 pm

Love the serving dish Julie-I agree it helps when your food is presented beautifully, even the simplest things taste so much better! This salad looks really yummy and I know my kids will eat it because they love beans! I will makes this soon.

Nancy March 25, 2010 at 1:21 am

I can’t wait to try this! I’m new to your blog, but I just love what you are doing. You should introduce yourself to Melissa from “Melissa Loves” blog – she is going on a health kick and I’m sure she’d love your blog as much as I do!

Julie March 25, 2010 at 10:18 am

Thanx for stopping by Nancy! I really hope to inspire healthy eating and I am glad you love the site!

Janine March 28, 2010 at 7:45 am

Yummmm… we love making Mexican bean salad wraps as an alternative once in a while.. but these bright yummy photographs and your recipe, make me want them more often now!

Julie March 28, 2010 at 1:46 pm

You’re right Janine, I feel the same way when I see a mouthwatering photo- like I want to have the dish, Now! I hope to make our readers hungry… for really healthy food! Thanx for your comment:)

Carrie April 10, 2010 at 10:01 am

Hi Julie – I loved viewing your site. Your dedication to helping others live better really comes through. Thank you so much for the recipes. I am heading out to Whole Foods this morning to pick up the ingredients for the broccoli salad and the Spanish bean salad. Can hardly wait.

I’ll be back again,

Julie April 10, 2010 at 6:01 pm

Glad you stopped in Carrie. Let me know how you like the recipes and how the family likes them too! More good things coming up:)

Carrie April 12, 2010 at 6:49 pm

Hi Julie – we loved both the broccoli salad and the bean salad. The bean salad was so fresh and vibrant – the best bean salad I’ve had. Ever. Two out of four of our children loved it too. That’s a home run! I’m excited to make it for friends this week. Can’t wait for more recipes. Carrie

Julie April 15, 2010 at 12:01 pm

Carrie, I am so thrilled to hear this! Yeh, another couple recipes that will work for healthy eating! This is just the kind of feed back I love to hear. My smoothie recipe is next up! Hope you like it.

sara May 4, 2010 at 11:13 am

love anything with lots of beans! This looks perfect and easy to grab leftovers from the fridge when you need a snack.

Julie May 4, 2010 at 1:02 pm

Sara, that’s why this recipe is such a winner. I make it often. Easy, healthy, hearty lunch on the go. Thanx for your comments:)

Donna May 4, 2010 at 4:32 pm

Hi Julie, I make a similar version of your bean salad but I have to say I love this one even more. The agave syrup adds that hint of sweetness and brings out more flavour. Next I’ll try the brocolli salad.

Julie May 4, 2010 at 9:23 pm

Awe, I’m glad you love the recipe. If you try the brocoli salad, go easy on the hemp oil- I got carried away yesterday and it can be over powering, but it is VERY good for you. Thanx for leaving a comment here Donna:)

Eileen Wotherspoon May 17, 2010 at 1:01 pm

I’m just learning about acidic and alkaline foods. I’ve been reading that most beans are acidic – are there any out there that are not?

Julie May 25, 2010 at 10:21 am

Hi Eileen. Most beans are slightly acidic since they are mostly starch thus limiting them to that 20 percent of your diet is recommended. However soy beans (esp. edamame-fresh soy beans) and lentils are mostly protein thus can be enjoyed more often. Choose fresh or dried beans over canned when ever possible and ideally sprouted beans are highly recommended as they are a living plant food that is biogenic–meaning that they can transfer their life energy to you. Seeds (including beans which are seeds) become more alkaline as they sprout and are packed with enzymes. Good luck with your journey and please holler with any other questions. Sorry for responding so late.

VNikol February 14, 2012 at 2:02 pm

I just made this recipe & can’t wait till dinner time since I’m serving it with greens as you suggested. It smelled divine as I was prepping it, so fresh & the dressing really tops it with the perfect bit of flavor. I discovered your site last week & I’m so glad I did. I’m finally changing my diet & all the information you ladies provide is so helpful. Thank you!

Angie April 16, 2013 at 3:29 pm

How long will this last in the fridge?

admin April 24, 2013 at 10:42 pm

I think I’ve gotten 3 days out of it in the fridge but it’s usually gone by then:)

Angie April 25, 2013 at 8:04 am

Thanks for the reply. I only ask because I made some and served it. The , put it in the fridge and had so much going on, I forgot it was out there (in our spare fridge). I was heartbroken when I found it a week later… Love this bean salad!!

Tif May 31, 2013 at 5:57 pm

All of the canned goodies in this recipe. Do you just drain and rinse and they are good to go? or do you need to cook them first??

admin June 11, 2013 at 8:41 am

Tif, yes that’s all you need to do. Ideally one would soak and cook their own beans but this is better than not eating legumes at all:) Enjoy!

Hanna June 28, 2013 at 1:42 pm

the list of ingredients says nothing about chives… how many, please? thanks a lot

admin August 24, 2013 at 10:06 pm

Hi Hanna, sorry it’s green onion. I use them interchangeably some days depending what I have on hand, although chives are a bit milder.

Maria February 11, 2016 at 9:21 pm

I really enjoyed the look of your recipies and I can’t wait to try them out.

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Disclaimer: The content on this site is not written with intentions to substitute professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatments. Our content is for information purposes only and should not be used to diagnose or treat health issues of any sort. Our information and statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Copyright Julie Cove and Yvonne Becker, 2009-2010. Please do not use or copy any information, recipes or photos without permission or without noting its origins on your blog or website.