Don’t Throw Out Those Old Beans, Try This Salad Recipe Instead
Image Credit: Beans can be added to any salad to give them an interesting twist. Image Credits: Pexels

Don’t know about you, but this certainly happens with me. I pick up nearly a kilo of beans of different varieties whenever I go to the vegetable market. The reason is not just that varieties like French beans and broad beans are always in season and cheap. It’s also that as vegetables, they are packed with dietary fibre, plant proteins, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. More than that, beans, be they of any variety, can be adapted into some of the yummiest dishes, whether it’s a simple veg pulao or a chowmein.

But what do you do when the beans you enthusiastically bought lay forgotten in a corner of your vegetable basket or refrigerator, only to mature and grow old beyond general use due to neglect? You read this, of course!

The trick behind using up old beans is something my mother taught me. Sure, the long, stringy exterior that looked so beautiful when julienned and added to stir-fried dishes are now fibrous and beyond use. Cooking them at this point will only lead to a chewy, inedible mess! So, what you do instead is nick the beans around the end, open the shell, and take out all the fat and juicy beans from the pods. You can also utilize the stringy bean pods as fodder or compost—thereby using up the entire thing instead of letting it go to waste.

Now, if you’re wondering what to do with the de-shelled beans, here’s a simple idea: Place them in a pot of water, add salt and boil them till they turn tender. Drain the beans and set aside. 

To be very honest, I like to simply add a knob of butter or cheese, season the beans with salt and pepper, and have them straight out of a bowl as a simple, heart-warming and filling snack. If you want to do more, here’s a simple salad recipe for you to try.


½ cup shelled beans, boiled

¼ cup spinach leaves, steamed

½ cup avocados, chopped

½ cup red onions, sliced

½ cup red cabbage, sliced

½ cup English cucumbers, chopped

¼ cup smoked salmon, chopped

½ cup lettuce, chopped

5 tbsp vinaigrette

Toasted sesame seeds, to garnish

Salt and pepper, if needed


1. Place the beans, spinach, avocados, cucumbers, onions and cabbage in a large bowl.

2. Toss the salad lightly, then add the lettuce, salmon and vinaigrette.

3. Gently toss the salad again, top with sesame seeds, adjust the seasoning if needed, then serve.

4. You can also make the salad more filling by adding cooked black rice, barley or croutons.