Sunday, July 21, 2019

Old-Fashioned Too-Many-Beans-To-Count Bean Salad from Guest Victoria Hamilton

We here at Mystery Lovers' Kitchen owe guest Victoria Hamilton a special thank-you for giving us all a cool dish for this blazing hot week!

By: Victoria Hamilton, Author of Muffin But Trouble, Merry Muffin Mystery #6.

When I was a kid there were quite a few things I would not eat; canned peas, onions, anything with onions in it, stewed tomatoes and… onions. I really hated onions. Mom tried EVERYTHING to get me to eat them, including grinding them up to add to meat pies, and giving me my very own onion chopper for me to use, (which I still have and treasure!) thinking I would eat onions if I had a hand in preparing then. I chopped them, but still would not eat them. I sat at the table long after dinner a LOT.

Another of those adult dishes that I could not comprehend was the dreadedly ubiquitous summer picnic dish … Bean Salad. I mean… beans. As a salad. It didn’t make sense. In the '60s we didn’t eat salad unless it was encased in gelatin.

So… I hated it. And now… I love it. Can’t get enough of it. I’ll eat it as a snack. Here, for your delectation, is my Old Fashioned Too-Many-Beans-To-Count Salad. I make it several times over the summer.

Old Fashioned Bean Salad


Cans of beans: Green, Wax (Yellow), (10 ounce cans) a Bean Mix and Chickpeas (Garbanzo Beans) as well as, if you like, Cannellini, or White Kidney Beans. Your choice, but limit it to four small/medium cans of beans total for the amount of dressing this makes. I happen to like Chickpeas, but if you don’t, just use another can of mixed beans.

Sweet Onion like a Vidalia, Spanish or Bermuda: half cup, chopped to your own taste… I like mine finely diced.

Red (or orange, green, yellow) Pepper: half cup, chopped, again, to your taste. I like a fine dice, but you may prefer big happy chunks of pepper!

1/2 cup Celery, chopped.

Scant palm full of Parsley and Basil, chopped. Omit if you’re not fond of herbs.

1/2 cup any clearish light-flavored oil; canola is my choice.

1/2 cup white vinegar: plain, white wine, or apple cider; your taste, your choice. Use plain white vinegar if you’re not sure. I used a blend of white wine vinegar and plain white, because though I love the flavor of white wine vinegar, it has a very specific fruity flavor.

1/2 to 3/4 cup white sugar; I do something in between because 3/4 cup is too much, to me, though most of the recipes I’ve seen call for it.

1/2 tsp black pepper

1/2 tsp celery salt or regular salt


Combine the oil, vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper and whisk until the sugar is completely dissolved. Set aside.

Drain all the beans. I like to chop the green and yellow beans to smaller sizes consistent with the chickpeas, etc.

Dice the onion, celery and peppers and mix completely in a large bowl with the beans.

Cover with the dressing and mix well. Store it in the fridge in a large container. Let it marinate at least 24 hours before trying it. If you taste it too soon you will think it bland; it will be better than it tastes at first… TRUST me! If you think there is too little dressing, you can always make another batch and pour it over. If you don’t, and the dressing doesn’t cover the beans, mix the salad up every day so the beans soak in the flavor.

Then… enjoy! A welcome addition to a barbecue, and you can make it ahead. In fact, it will stay good in your fridge for at least three weeks, a good and good-for-you accompaniment for cold summer meals.

Giveaway: I am giving away one paperback copy of Muffin But Trouble, Book #6 of the newly revived Merry Muffin Mystery series! AND… a cute skull teaspoon to stir your favorite poison! Just leave a message below.

Canadian and US entries welcome.

Check out my Facebook page and follow me for more giveaways: Victoria Hamilton Mystery Author

Check out my website and sign up for my newsletter for book release info and giveaways: Victoria Hamilton Mysteries

About Muffin But Trouble:

In the new Merry Muffin Mystery from the author of Muffin to Fear, baker Merry Wynter must confront a spiritual guru who may be up to something far from heavenly . . .

   With plans for a new performing arts center at Wynter Castle taking up all her time, baker Merry Wynter has been all but unaware of the fringe group compound near her small town— until a street preacher accosts her with taunts of doom and damnation.

   Worried that some of her close friends may have been lured in by the group and its charismatic leader, Merry begins digging into the ministry—and soon suspects they may have ties to the recent death of a young woman and the disappearance of many others.

   With her rebellious teen friend Lizzie at her side, Merry steps in to confront the eerily submissive community and its misguided members, skeptical of their supposed spiritual leanings. When another young woman vanishes and Merry realizes the lives of people close to her are at stake, she will stop at nothing to uncover the group’s sinister secrets before the murderous ministry can strike again . . .

Meet the Author:


  1. I love the recipe. I used to make a three bean salad, but yours is much more fun and creative! I love this series, and I'm glad it's back! Thank you for this chance! areewekidding(at)yahoo(dot)com

  2. The bean salad sounds delicious! I’m so happy there is a new Muffin book. I’ve missed Merry and the gang. cking78503(at)aol(dot)com

  3. I had to laugh when you mentioned the things you wouldn't eat as a kid. I was the same way. Thanks for the contest. ckmbeg (at) gmail (dot) com

  4. Great salad for the hot days of summer. Love this series. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  5. I still will not eat onions at all ever. I eat most everything else and this salad would be ideal. Thanks for this giveaway. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

  6. My husband loves bean salads. I’ll make this for him

  7. Thank you so much for all you do. :) ~~ minibuttercookie(at)yahoo(dot)com

  8. Not a fan of chickpeas. The rest sounds good.

  9. Looking forward to trying your recipe for Bean Salad and reading the new Muffin book! Thank you for the chance to win. ioncookbooks(at)yahoo(dot)com

  10. Love bean salad. Thanks for having this great giveaway.

    xzjh04(at) gmail(dot) com

  11. Great series! Thanks for the chance to win! Heidi prockish2013 @

  12. good post 😊 would you like to follow each other? if the answer is yes, please follow me on my blog & i'll follow you back.

  13. I love this recipe. Thanks for sharing it and giving us a chance to win your new book. doward1952(at)yahoo(dot)com

  14. I do love bean salad. I'll eat beans almost any way.


  15. Great post.. Bean salad looks good. Tina grandmatinaof2 at

  16. I love the recipe and bean

  17. My husband would love this recipe. I’ll have to make it for him. Thanks

  18. My husband would love this bean salad and I'm looking forward to reading this.
    eswright18 at gmail dot com

  19. Look forward to trying l need a salad for a event coming up

  20. I don't think I've ever had bean salad before.
    kvmatlock (at) Gmail (dot) com

  21. This recipe is perfect, thanks. My mom used to make 3-bean salad which I thought was ridiculous, right? And now when I want to buy it, it has garbanzo beans, which I don't like. So I'll definitely be making this. My grandfather said he hated onion, but never noticed when my grandmother used onion powder ;-). Thanks for the giveaway, looking forwarding to the new book and FB posts.

  22. It's been a long time since I've made this salad. Gotten lazy and buy it canned. However, you've inspired me! Would love to win the book. Sounds fun.

  23. Lately I've been making lots of salads and cold things to beat the summer heat, and this is just perfect. Thanks for the reminder to add this to my rotation! Looking forward to the latest book. lola777_22 at hotmail dot com

  24. Taylor R. WilliamsJuly 21, 2019 at 2:48 PM

    Sounds like a great series - thanks for the chance to win. trwilliams69(at)msn(dot)com

  25. Excited to read this book!! mcastor07 (at) gmail (dot) com

  26. Love bean salad - thanks for the recipe!

    jtcgc at yahoo dot com

  27. Thanks for the recipe and the reminder! I used to make a three bean salad recipe in a New Orleans cookbook. Now I want to compare that one and yours. I have to see what's in the cupboard.

  28. A yummy & pretty salad.
    Jana - turtle6422 at gmail dot com

  29. I'm looking forward to reading this and getting back into the series! jeaniedannheim(at)ymail (dot)com

  30. Love the salad, good to know it will last several weeks. Looking forward to the book!

  31. Thanks for the yummy recipe and chance to Win!
    faithdcreech at gmail dot com

  32. Oh this book sounds good. Thanks for this wonderful cool salad.
    quilting dash lady at comcast dot net

  33. The salad sounds delish! Thank you.
    bearsgal dot sweet1964 at yahoo dot com

  34. The salad sounds good. It has been super hot this week. So glad to see a new book in the series.

  35. Love the recipe and the book sounds great! Legallyblonde1961 at yahoo dot com

  36. Sounds perfect for a hot day. Thanks for the chance to win. kayt18 (at) comcast (dot) net

  37. I used to make this for my late Daddy. He even liked me to put tomatoes in his. I think he could have eaten it every single day. It is so good! bentleyboy22(at)comcast(dot)net

  38. Love adding beans to green salads! Thanks for offering this chance. lindaherold999(at)gmail(dot)com

  39. I haven't had bean salad in one seems to eat but you, like you, did not appeal as a child! One thing unrelated to bean salad that I absolutley hated was cauliflower. Many times it was am out and out battle. Then as a stubborn know it all teen, I was miffed at my mom as she wanted me to eat a proper breakfast and not just a piece,of toast..and insulted that among my friends, I was the only one who carried lunch to I refused. Mom wisely let me suff