Recipe :: Balela Middle Eastern Bean Salad

I’m not one for diets. I prefer to just take a full on healthy approach to eating all the time – well, as much as I can. But with the new year comes resolutions, and for January we’re getting pretty serious about our nutrition around here as we prep for wedding and hit the restart button after all those holiday treats!

One recipe I’ve been wanting to try and recreate for a while is Trader Joe’s Balela Salad.

middle eastern inspired balela bean salad recipe | coco kelley

The mix of beans make for a nice filling protein salad, but the best part is it’s healthy and flavorful. It also keeps really well – in fact, I think it’s better on the second day after the flavors have soaked into the beans and cucumber even more! So you can make a big batch and eat it stuffed into a pita, or over a big bowl of greens, cous cous, or quinoa.

middle eastern inspired balela bean salad recipe | coco kelley

Balela Bean Salad // serves 8

  • 1 can Garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can Black Beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 large Cucumber
  • 2 Roma Tomatoes
  • ¼ cup red onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ¼ cup Parsley
  • 2 tbsp Mint
  • 1 tsp Sumac
  • 1 tbsp White Wine Vinegar
  • 3 tbsp Olive Oil
  • ¼ cup Lemon Juice (typically one lemon)
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

middle eastern inspired balela bean salad recipe | coco kelley

In a large bowl, combine the chopped beans, cucumber, tomato, and onion. You can play with the ratio of ingredients here. I love cucumber, but don’t need much red onion, so I adjusted accordingly.

Finely chop the garlic, mint and parsley, and add to the mix. In a separate small bowl combine the sumac, vinegar, olive oil and lemon juice, whisking together with salt and pepper to taste. Sumac is a spice I had to hunt down at my local grocery – I wouldn’t say you need it for the recipe, but it adds a unique flavor. Now that I have some in my pantry, I’ll be hunting for other dishes to use it in!

middle eastern inspired balela bean salad recipe | coco kelley

While I eat this for a whole meal at lunch, I think it makes for a great side dish for larger meals as well! And, as I mentioned above, there are many ways to switch it up. My favorite is adding a bit of feta or avocado!

middle eastern inspired balela bean salad recipe | coco kelley

What healthy dishes have you been trying out this new year? If you test this one in your own kitchen, be sure to tag us and share on instagram with the hashtag #ckrecipes!

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