“Just what the doctor ordered,” I said as I dished out a savory salad onto my plate. With white beans, spinach, and a few chopped dates thrown in for good measure, I easily fulfilled one of the four daily servings of potassium-rich food that my cardiologist recommends. Why take supplements when you can eat delicious food?
Cannellini Beans with Wilted Spinach and Bacon
Recipe adapted from Bon Appétit: 12 Easy Ways to Cook a Can of Cannellini Beans
Cannellini beans (canned), rinsed and drained
Onion, thinly sliced
Bacon slices, chopped and cooked
Red pepper flakes
Baby spinach leaves
Fresh lemon juice and zest
1. Cook chopped bacon in a skillet until bacon is brown and crisp. Transfer to paper towel-lined plate to drain.
2. Add sliced onion to fat in skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and golden.
3. Add minced garlic and a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes and cook, stirring occasionally, until fragrant.
4. Add cannellini beans and cook until heated through.
5. Put spinach leaves in a large bowl and using a slotted spoon to drain off the bacon fat, spoon the cannellini bean mixture into the spinach and toss. The spinach will begin to wilt from the heat of the beans.
6. Drizzle with some olive oil and fresh lemon juice, and toss to combine.
7. Add chopped dates and lemon zest, and toss again.
8. Add salt and pepper to taste.
9. Top with bacon.
1. To reduce sodium levels, I used cans of reduced-sodium cannellini beans.
2. I “doubled” the recipe: I used 2 cans of cannellini beans, 1 medium onion, 10 slices of bacon, 2 small garlic cloves, and about 8 ounces of baby spinach leaves. This quantity should yield six servings.
3. The next time I make this salad, I will add more crushed red pepper flakes to give it a little more kick.
4. I chopped about 5-6 pitted dates and added them to the salad. This was not part of the original recipe, but dates are high in potassium and offer a nice sweet counterbalance to the tart freshness of the lemon juice.
5. The lemon zest was not part of the original recipe either, but why waste this most fragrant part of a lemon?
6. To reduce the fat content and make this salad healthier, omit the bacon. Instead, sauté everything in olive oil.