Creative Success!

February 29, 2008

Caper + Bean Salad Melt


If you like capers, you will LOVE this bean salad. I took a risk with ingredients on this combo and WOW – great results!! Generally when I’m experimenting in the kitchen I smell the ingredients and the base to see if I think they go together. You guys probably have heard me talk about my super nose and this method usually gets me good results. But today I just couldn’t tell by the smell how the flavor would be on this bean salad, but I was extremely pleased with the results!!

In a bowl I tossed:

  • 1/2 cup cooked pinto-navy beans (you could use canned)
  • 1 medium carrot, chopped
  • 1 tbsp chopped pickled jalapeños

The above ingredients got 1 minute in the microwave to heat them up and soften the carrot.

Then I added:

  • 2 oz low-fat plain yogurt (about 3 tbsp??)
  • 1 generous squirt Gulden’s Zesty Honey Mustard
  • 1 tsp dried dill
  • 1 tbsp capers

I assembled the salad onto a potato bun (you could use an English muffin) and topped with 1 slice muenster cheese. It went into the oven for about 7 minutes at 400* until the cheese was melted and the bun began to brown. SO GOOD!!!!

The capers added a wonderful punch and the yogurt/mustard gave the whole salad a really creamy consistency.  Any of you who love salads heavy on mayonnaise would probably like this. The Gulden’s mustard sweetens up the plain yogurt and takes out the tang. It really did taste kind of mayonnaisy minus the thickness.


Both halves totaled about 450 kcal (you could cut back with less beans and less cheese – my cheese was not low-fat so it was 100 kcal for the slice)

I ate the leftover salad on the side in a bowl:


And also had an orange


And I am TOTALLY guilty of eating in front of the TV today! But at least I lit a candle for good ambiance!


Lunch was about 530 kcal, 16 grams fiber, and 26 grams protein.

I’m not totally full, so I hope this is one of those “slow release” lunches like Wednesday’s hummus sandwich was.

Off to study until late afternoon when I’m walking to the grocery store for 2 dinner ingredients!

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{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Alison February 29, 2008 at 2:25 pm

That looks so delicious! Thanks for the great idea! I might try it with chickpeas instead since I have a can of those.


2 Amandamoo February 29, 2008 at 2:25 pm

Brilliant, just brilliant.


3 jenna February 29, 2008 at 2:28 pm

Yum! I’m always looking for ways to use up extra beans after I open a can. You don’t have any idea how long you can keep opened beans in a tupperware in the fridge before they go bad, do you? I’m thinking a week?!

I love how you walk to the store. I do the same thing when I’m home in Tampa. It just feels so much better (and earthier) to walk to get your food!


4 VeggieGirl February 29, 2008 at 2:29 pm

I LOVE capers, but usually only incorporate them into pasta dishes – your idea is fabulous and innovative!!

Have fun studying and grocery shopping! I just got back from Whole Foods, so I especially wish you a pleasant food-shopping trip (since you know how much I love it, haha).


5 Cathy February 29, 2008 at 2:43 pm

Hey Kath! This recipe sounds awesome! I am definitely going to have to try it! I love your bowls, where are they from? Hope all is well!


6 Cathy February 29, 2008 at 2:44 pm

Weird, I just tried posting and it told me I was a duplicate poster and then erased my post! :( Anyway, I was sayingggg your recipe looks awesome and I will have to try it! Where are your bowls from, I just love them! Hope you are doing well!


7 Cathy February 29, 2008 at 2:45 pm

Ah, it did post my first comment, so now you get to watch me post 3 times like a total moron! Haha!


8 texasfoodie February 29, 2008 at 2:45 pm

If you and the Husband ever get a pet, you should name it Caper. Or Oat-is (like Otis).
Can you tell I’ve got puppy names on the brain?


9 Amy A. February 29, 2008 at 2:48 pm

Jenna and Kath – I’m also a big advocate of walking to get your food (even though I haven’t been able to do it much recently – blame time-crunches and winter!) I’m reminded of my time as an exchange student in Germany. My host dad walked or biked to get the groceries, always – and their grocery store was definitely a good distance away. I just remember him coming back once with a cloth bag brimming with fresh spaghetti (no cardboard packaging!), fresh rolls, scallions, asparagus, bananas, apples, and seltzer water in glass bottles that you bring to the store to have refilled. I was just so taken aback — a bag of groceries for my family back then (in hs) would never have looked like that! I’m going to try to make more grocery trips on foot. It does give a great feeling!


10 Ana February 29, 2008 at 2:48 pm

LOVE mayo! looks delicious! i just wanted to share my amazing friday breakfast (7:45am)!: 2 pieces ezekiel toast, 1 egg, 2 morningstar suasages, an orange, and coffee! it was SO GOOD! and-what a surprise-held me till 12:30!!! when i usually get hungry around 10:30! all that protein was delicious and REALLY held me over! ^_^ all for only 350 calories?!!! SWEET!


11 BethT February 29, 2008 at 3:09 pm

This recipe reminds me of a “mock tuna salad” I have made using chickpeas. Beans make an excellent sub for tuna, chicken, etc in mayo-ey salads!


12 Romina February 29, 2008 at 3:13 pm

Yummmm!!! That bean salad looks so good. And cheese on top must’ve tasted fabulous. Such a great idea. =)


13 charlotte February 29, 2008 at 3:16 pm

Kath – I love your plate/little bowl set-up (and the meal looks great too). Where’d you get them?


14 Jillian February 29, 2008 at 3:53 pm

Ok am I the only one who has no clue what a caper is???


15 Christianne February 29, 2008 at 3:58 pm

I love, love, love you blog Kath! You are always so creative but still keep it simple which I love! You probably want to do something broader than this but I think you would make an awesome personal chef or caterer or something. I know catering is a lot different from cooking for just one or two people but I think there could be a real market for delicious, healthy event/party foods. I know whenever I look at your blog I always think I wish she could come cook for me! Anyway, have a good Friday! Looking forward to seeing what culinary inspirations you will have for us this weekend!


16 Van February 29, 2008 at 4:07 pm

Haha I just looked it up on wikipedia. I had heard of them, and maybe even eaten them in a restaurants, but had no idea what they were.

So the other day I bought canned salmon, which I thought would be like canned tuna, but it totally grossed me out because it had all the skin and bones! Kath, what kind of salmon did you use for your salmon salad (featured probably a couple of months ago.) I swore it was canned but maybe I’m wrong. Thanks!


17 Tina February 29, 2008 at 4:09 pm

Oooooh, very creative! I love capers! Looks fantastic!


18 Kristin February 29, 2008 at 4:25 pm

Looks delish Kath, I’ll definately be trying this one soon!


19 Betsy February 29, 2008 at 4:38 pm

I once kept beans in the fridge (rinsed, in a tupperware) for 2 weeks and they were fine. However, last night I went to get some beans that I put in the fridge 2 weeks ago and they smelled bad! What a disappointment! So, I guess it’s a case by case basis.

I always smell my ingredients when I’m cooking to see if they’ll taste good together. I can never remember what various herbs and spices actually taste until I smell them, and it hits me right away whether they’ll taste good together. I think I have a super strong nose too!


20 caitlin February 29, 2008 at 4:55 pm

i found this online….

General Food Storage Guidelines:
These guidelines are offered for the best taste, flavor and texture; and consuming product after these time frames is not recommended.

Beer: 4 months (unopened)
Canned foods: 12 months (unopened) 2 to 3 days opened, refrigerated and placed in airtight container.
Cereal: 6-12 months (unopened), 2 to 3 months opened, stored in airtight plastic bag
Chocolate: 1 year from production date (unopened)
Coffee (ground): 2 years (unopened), 2 to 3 weeks opened (in airtight container)
Coffee (beans): 1 year in vacuum sealed bag (unopened), 1 to 2 weeks opened (in airtight container)
Cooking oils: 18 months from production date (unopened), 3 months opened, if stored in a cool, dry place.
Entrees (frozen): 12 months (unopened)
Jellies and jams: 12 months unopened, 3 to 4 months opened, refrigerated
Juice (bottled): 8 months from production date (unopened), 7 days opened
Ketchup: 1 year (unopened), 4 months opened, refrigerated
Mayonnaise: 3 to 5 years (unopened), 2 months opened, refrigerated
Mustard: 2 years (unopened), 6 months opened, refrigerated
Pasta (dried): 6 months in airtight package (place cardboard boxes into zip-lock type bags to avoid insect infestations)
Peanut butter: 2 years (unopened), 3 months opened, refrigerated
Salad dressings: 6 months after “best by” date (unopened), 6 months opened, refrigerated
Soda (diet): 1 to 2 months from “best by” date
Soda (regular): 3 to 4 months from “best by” date
Spices/herbs: 12 to24 months (unopened), 12 months, stored in airtight container
Tuna canned: 1 year from purchase date, 3 days opened, refrigerated, not stored in can
Vegetables (frozen): 12 months (unopened)
Wine (red/white): 3 years from vintage date, 1 week opened, refrigerated and corked

Bacon: 2 weeks unopened, 7 days after opening
Eggs: 4 weeks after pack date, refrigerated
Fresh beef, veal, pork: 3 to 5 days
Ground meat, poultry: 1 to 2 days
Ham, cooked: 7 days unopened, 3 days after opening
Hot dogs: 2 weeks unopened, 7 days after opening
Luncheon meat: 2 weeks unopened
Milk: 7 days after “sell-by” date, 3 to 5 days after opening
Poultry (fresh): 1 to 2 days
Poultry (cooked): 3 to 4 days unopened, 3 to 4 days after opening
Sausage (uncooked): 1 to 2 days
Sausage (cooked): 3 to 4 days unopened, 3 to 4 days after opening

full article:


21 caitlin February 29, 2008 at 4:56 pm

oh and a little trick i use…. i keep a Sharpie marker in my kitchen and write the date i opened the item on the can… it REALLY helps with pasta sauce!


22 Christin February 29, 2008 at 6:00 pm

Good to know, good to know caitlin…thanks for posting that info :)


23 Christin February 29, 2008 at 6:09 pm

Hi everyone! This may be a dumb question, but can you eat the actual seed of the pomegranate, or do you just eat the “meat” and spit out the seed? when I was little my mom told me not to eat the seed itself, but I see people putting pomegranate seeds on all kinds of things, so now I am wondering if you really can, and I was raised weird??


24 Jane February 29, 2008 at 6:14 pm

Hi Kath,

First time caller, fan for a couple of weeks. Not only are you a foodie and blogger, but you’re also a kickass photographer! Your dishes look delicious, healthy, and satisfying.

“My way” of making breakfast porridge for the past couple of years appears to be almost identical to yours, but you’ve inspired me to substitute my usual tablespoon of peanut butter with the almond butter you showcase in your blog. Just bought a jar, crossing my fingers that it’s yummy!!



25 Clara February 29, 2008 at 6:44 pm

I’m with you Jillian – what’s a caper?? haha

anyways, the lunch looks delicious =]


26 Brynn February 29, 2008 at 7:28 pm

Hi Christin-
As far as I know, most people eat only the seeds and throw away the rest of the pomegranate. I’ve never tried the fleshy part but I don’t imagine it tastes very good. Maybe I’m wrong but definitely eat the seeds! yummm :)


27 Brianne February 29, 2008 at 7:31 pm

Christin- the seeds are the edible part… the “meat” is gross! Kath has a video post on pomegranates as well. =)


28 Ryane February 29, 2008 at 8:02 pm

Hey Christin – I think I know what you mean by the “seed” part of the pomegranate, and yes you can eat it! I once did that too the first time I bought one. I would bite one, suck the juice and spit the little pit! hahaha, but it’s okay to eat those now… I know that!!


29 kay February 29, 2008 at 8:43 pm

Everything looks delish! The photos that you take are awsome too :) I heard the term “food porn”recently while watching foodnetwork. I thought it was funny; I guess I am addicted to food porn!! Do you buy your Ezekiel bread frozen or fresh? I can only find frozen…

How is the husband liking his new job? I hope he is liking it. I am trying to change jobs myself… life!


30 Alicia February 29, 2008 at 10:50 pm

I love the way you present your food, Kath. Like you, I am affected by presentation and I’m just a visual person. Some folks don’t bother about how their food is served but I believe it affects the food enjoyment. 😛


31 Kath March 1, 2008 at 7:13 am

I think a week to 10 days for the beans is fine. Mine are going on a week today and are still great. You could also make half a bag – that would be the perfect amount for 1-2 dinner recipes and a few lunch portions for 1 person.

Cathy + Charlotte,
The bowls are from Crate and Barrel. LOOOOVE that store!! We just got one in Charlotte last year, but you could shop online or catalog too.

Ot-is. LOVE IT!!

I love walking to the grocery store – it makes me feel like my food is fresher since it’s getting some fresh air with me :)

Christianne ,
Thanks for the recommendation! I have so many ideas of what I want to do with my R.D. and the cooking side is definitely in the mix. I don’t think I’d do catering because I don’t want to have to work nights and weekends, but the personal chef idea is a great one. The husband would probably want to join me!

Re. Capers,
I think they taste JUST like the way a permanent marker smells!!!! The next time you have one, think about it. It’s so true. But I love them anyways!

Our canned salmon from the grocery store came in the vacuum packets and had no skin/bones. The kind we have from Costco is just labeled “Pink salmon” on the can. I know they do can some with skin and bones, but I’m not sure what to look for on the label to make sure you don’t get one of those kinds. Try the pink salmon next time – maybe it was another species?

Christin ,
If you’re talking about that little tiny thing in the center of each aril that has a grassy taste, then I definitely eat it! I kind of like the crunch. It would be too much work to spit it out, plus I’m sure those are good fiber!

Glad you like the photography!! Have fun with that almond butter :) I have come to LOVE it over PB in oats because it’s slightly sweet.

I LOVE food photography too – sometimes I get so mad if the lighting is bad and I can’t get a pretty photo!!

We buy our Ezekiel bread frozen at Harris Teeter and fresh at EarthFare, which just thaws out the frozen and refrigerates it. Then we store it in the fridge.



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