I’ve partnered with Libby’s Fruits and Vegetables to give away prizes from Williams-Sonoma and Libby’s. Scroll to the bottom of this post to enter!
The key word in this recipe is “Easy.”
Over the last four years of single parenting, there have been many times that I have thought it would be easier to have a partner to share the load. It would be easier, I thought, to have someone around so I could go to book club at night, or someone to take the babysitter home without packing all the sleeping kids into the car, someone to help out financially, someone to talk to at night after the kids go to sleep, someone to take out the trash and help me hook up the air conditioning, someone to share an adult conversation with every day. I didn’t moan and groan about it all the time and for the most part I have felt like a pretty capable, happy, well-adjusted single parent. Yet, I still entertained the the thought, from time to time, that it would be easier with another parent at home.
The big news around here lately is that I got married again in May! I got married, added three more kids to the mix this summer, and immediately realized that it is in fact not easier, not easier at all. I didn’t think a second marriage was going to be a piece of a cake – I was anticipating challenges and I knew it would take some adjusting for everyone. But it is one thing to know it and quite another to live it.
Right now we are still in the middle of what my dad aptly called “our storming phase.” We are combining two different parenting styles: Time Out (Me: NO | Him: YES); Kids dressed nicely and hair brushed before leaving the house (Me: YES | Him: NO); Kids’ Bed Time (Me: 7PM | Him: 9 or 930 or 10 or we’ll just wing it); Midnight visits from a crying 3 year old who wants sanctuary in the master bedroom (Me: Why not? Let’s cuddle | Him: Absolutely Not! Are you Crazy?). We are navigating our way through mealtimes with a peanut allergy, and a gluten intolerance, and a seriously picky eater. We are refereeing sibling squabbles, tackling more laundry than should be legal in one household, negotiating a few kid-free moments every now and then, and trying to maintain a general air of happiness and contentment for at least 30 minutes a day. It isn’t easy.
I can say, however, that it is at least kind of fun. We have some boys now in our formerly girls-only-house and I think everyone agrees that it is exciting. We have pet halloween crabs here now, pocket knives, swords, and some shoe boxes/jars that house a rotation of freshly caught lizards, horny toads, crickets, scorpions, and even a centipede. We are camping out in the backyard, sleeping on the trampoline, catching crawdads at the river, and figuring out how to be a whole new kind of family in the meantime. It’s fun, it’s hard, it’s frustrating, it’s exciting. It is a lot of things, but not easy.
So, when we are invited to a summer party, a backyard barbecue, a neighborhood block party, or we just need a lunch/dinner/snack on the table quickly, I’m thinking it needs to be EASY and this Three Bean Salad fits the bill. It is simple and flexible and addictingly delicious. Six out of the Eight of us here are loving this salad (and I wouldn’t worry about the other two because the only topping they will eat on their pizza is cheese and they tell me blueberries are too “weird” to eat).
I’ve posted the most simple version of this recipe here – the one that gives you permission to dump cans into a big bowl and stir. It is flexible enough though that if you have something like fresh tomatoes from the garden, use them! This salad is simple and tastes fresh (even with the cans, I promise!) like I think a summer salad should taste. I eat it with chips, scooped like a salsa. The little girls here (four of them now!) like to eat it with a spoon instead. This salad is also really good scooped onto crostini or thick slices of crusty artisan bread, which adds a fancy factor that is nice when you’re serving it to guests. And, I can assure you it is easy because the only kind of cooking I’m doing this summer is the easy kind! Enjoy.
Easy Three Bean Salad
1 can Libby’s Organic Black Beans
1 can Libby’s Cut Green Beans
1 can Libby’s Organic Kidney Beans
1 can Libby’s Diced Tomatoes
1/2 cup chopped cucumber
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
1/4 cup diced green onion (white and green parts)
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Drain and rinse beans. Drain tomatoes. In a large bowl combine the beans, cucumber, tomato, and onion. In a small bowl whisk parsley, vinegar, oil, and seasoning. Pour over bean mixture and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Serve with chips, bread, or over lettuce. Serves 6.
- Leave a comment on this blog post and tell me: What are your favorite summer dishes?
- Contest ends Monday, July 29, 2013 at 11:59 P.M. mst.
- Contest open to US states only.
- Winners will be chosen via random.org and have 3 days to respond.
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