by Kris on March 25, 2011 · 5 comments

Last Saturday when I was in the States, I took a much-needed Trader Joe’s trip with my mom. As I was browsing hummus for my trip home, a chickpea salad caught my eye and I picked it up- it was called Balela, a mid-eastern style chickpea salad with black beans, tomatoes, onion and herbs.

The short ingredient list was impressively natural, so I decided to pick it up for my long ride home, figuring it would be a healthy option instead of whatever I could grab on the go at Penn Station. The minute I took a bite of this tangy salad, I was pleasantly surprised.

So of course, the first thing I did when I got home was buy a couple cans of organic chickpeas so I could recreate it myself!

Tangy, flavorful and super filling from all the amazing plant-based protein and fiber, this salad makes a great lunch, side, or even breakfast… no really, it’s so refreshing! Make this for lunch today, you won’t be disappointed!

Mid-eastern style bean and herb salad
Serves 3 as a main, 4-6 as a side

1 can organic chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 cup organic black beans, drained and rinsed
1 medium tomato, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
1/3 cup onion, chopped
1/4 cup parsley, chopped fine
2 tbsp fresh mint, minced
3 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 clove garlic, minced (or garlic powder, to taste)
large pinch sea salt (or to taste)
black pepper and cayenne pepper, to taste

1. Drain and rinse beans, dry well. Toss with all other ingredients. Let sit at least 30 minutes to let flavors meld.

That’s it!

I don’t think you can get any simpler, so you have no excuses- make this today! :)

What is your favorite middle eastern dish? I love, love, LOVE falafel. But my quinoa tabbouleh is pretty good, too ;)


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Heidi @ Food Doodles March 25, 2011 at 10:13 am

That looks really good. I’ve never heard of it before but it looks like a perfect warm weather salad. I love falafel too :)

Jennifer March 25, 2011 at 3:19 pm

Looks so good! I am trying this this weekend!

Kristin March 29, 2011 at 10:12 am

Let me know what you think :)

Beth July 28, 2011 at 6:27 pm

I found this item today at Trader Joe’s and was searching for a recipe. Thank you so much for figuring this out. It is always so much cheaper to make it myself.

Alana May 19, 2012 at 7:26 pm

I shop almost exclusively at TJ’s and worked there briefly doing the food demo. I found this salad a week or so ago, I don’t remember seeing it before so I think it might be new… and thought the same thing you did. I made the beans from scratch today with the intent of making the salad, you get more beans for your buck and they’re not hard to make.

Found your page while searching for a recipe, I’m headed to Trader Joe’s now to gather up the remaining ingredients. Thanks so much for figuring it out and posting on your blog… I’ll be checking you out further.

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