So, if you are a foodie or someone who just likes to cook and try new recipes, you probably have your fair share of cookbooks, magazine clippings, and recipes scribbled on everything from scrap paper to the back of envelopes. Ooor, maybe that is just me. But, if I just described you in any sort of wonderful way, then we are in the same club together…the recipe collecting club. Now, getting back to the recipe books. How many of you have a certain recipe book that you only make one recipe out of? Yes, you heard that right, ONE recipe. Well, that’s me again. This is where my recipe for Russian Bean Salad steps in. Over the years as I worked to lose weight after having my 4 wonderful children…and then once I hit 50, trying to not gain any more than 10 pounds a year, I often found myself following the Weight Watchers program. Again, let’s get pack to Russian Bean Salad. So, of course being a foodie, but on Weight Watchers, and being a foodie, I would buy every stinking recipe book they had to offer. It was fine that I had to go to Weight Watchers, but there was no way that I was going to miss out on cooking and discovering new recipes. So one day as I was weighing in at a meeting, I saw, sitting on the table next to me, a recipe collection entitled, Around the World, (Recipes from Home and Abroad). I had to buy it. It was calling my name. It was a collection of unique recipes from all over the world and some great traditional make over recipes of American Classics. And that is where Russian Bean Salad became one of my favorite Weight Watchers recipes. So, as you can guess, this recipe ended up being the only one I ever used from that particular cookbook, but I am still glad that I purchased it so many years ago.
Now, mind you, I have been going back and forth to Weight Watchers since I was 12 years old. Yes, you read that right. I was overweight as a child and was very successful with the program way back in 19?? The program has changed over the years, and has been great for thousands, probably millions of people who wanted to lose weight. It sticks to the basics and gives great support through meetings and online access. I personally like that I have always been able to continue to cook great food through the help of their cookbooks. So, Russian Bean Salad has probably been one of my favorite Weight Watchers recipes over the years. One day I will share with you the recipes my mother cooked, (bless her heart), when the program included liver and 3 hot dogs as a meat serving. I still remember the Thanksgiving in, ok, I will say it, 1971 that she made the most amazing glazed carrots and savory green beans, all in line with the WW program. To this day, her love and support was the key to me losing the weight at the age of 12. And poor thing, she was skinny as a stick.
Alright, so back again to the Russian Bean Salad and what makes it so yummy? I think it is just the right combination of fresh flavors that come together in this salad. It is basically beans, peppers, onions, and a little cilantro. But, the kicker is the roasted tomato dressing! You literally roast tomatoes in the oven and combine them with seasonings in the blender and there you have it, an amazing salad creation, thanks to Weight Watchers! So, add this colorful, healthy salad to your fall table. I think it pairs well with any protein and it would be a great side dish at a Tailgate Party or back yard, cool weather barbecue. Enjoy, and you don’t even have to tell anyone it is from Weight Watchers! Happy, healthy cooking from the Memorable Kitchen.
- 2 small tomatoes, each cut into 4 wedges
- Cooking Spray
- ½ teaspoon salt, divided
- ⅛ teaspoon pepper
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons chicken or vegetable broth
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon Dijon mustard
- Dash of sugar
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 cup chopped red onion
- 1 cup chopped yellow bell pepper
- ¼ cup minced cilantro
- 1-19 oz. red kidney beans, drained
- 1-19 oz. cannellini beans or other white beans, drained
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
- Place tomato wedges on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Lightly coat the tomatoes with cooking spray and sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon salt and pepper. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.
- Place tomatoes, remaining ¼ teaspoon salt, vinegar, broth, olive oil, mustard, sugar, and garlic in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth. Pour into a medium bowl.
- Add onion, bell pepper, ¼ cup cilantro, and beans to the tomato mixture. Toss well. Serve chilled or at room temperature.