Ladies and gentlemen, I bring you: a healthy Middle Eastern dish!

I’ve been addicted to Trader Joe’s Balela Salad (Middle Eastern chickpea & black bean salad) for a while now. Balela is savory and tangy with a gratifying bite. Plus, thanks to the amazing plant-based protein and fiber, it’s quite filling. I’m pretty sure you guys are going to be hooked like I am!

It’s amazing on it’s own, but if you are following the Rabbit Food Pyramid, you can add some lettuce and tuck it into a whole wheat pita pocket, or serve over a bed of lettuce and quinoa!

Love my new bunny bowl that Brett gave me for Christmas! It’s so photogenic : )


Balela Salad
Serves 1
1/2 cup chickpeas, cooked (I use Eden Organic – No Salt Added Chickpeas)
1/4 cup black beans, cooked (I use 365 Organic No Salt Added Black Beans)
1/4 cup chopped fresh tomato
3 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 cloves garlic
2 Tbsp cup chopped red onion
2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1 Tbsp chopped fresh mint
Pinch of cayenne
Salt & Pepper to taste

Rinse and strain cooked chickpeas and black beans. Chop, tomato, garlic, red onion, parsley, and mint. Combine together with the chickpeas, beans, lemon juice, olive oil, and apple cider vinegar. Add cayenne, salt and pepper to taste. Store in a covered container in the refrigerator.
Note: This dish is best after the chickpeas have marinated for several hours of overnight.
Make your meal RFFMBT Pyramid approved:
Serve over a bed of lettuce and quinoa
Add lettuce and tuck it all into a whole grain pita pocket!

The Rabbit Food Pyramid Breakdown
Produce: tomato, garlic, red onion, parsley, mint (1 cup of lettuce if desired)
Whole Grain: None (1/2 cup of cooked quinoa – or 1/2 whole wheat pita pocket if desired)
Protein: chickpeas & black beans
Plant Based Fat: olive oil
Free Extras: lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, cayenne, salt & pepper

… I love rabbit food!

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7 Responses so far.

  1. YUM!! This salad looks so delicious and filling! (Not to mention how cute the bowl is!) Plus, the idea to put it in a pita pocket would make it really filling, perfect for hungry boys!

    Lisa @ The Skinny on Health

    Response from Lisa @ The Skinny on Health
  2. This looks so good! We just got a Trader Joe’s in Buffalo, NY and everyone’s so excited! I thought I’d share with you that Barnes and Nobles has cookbooks specifically for Trader Joe’s, so you can get all the ingredients there. Three of the ones I liked were…

    Cooking with Trader Joe’s Cookbook: Skinny Dish
    Cooking with Trader Joe’s Cookbook: Lighten Up
    Cooking with Trader Joe’s Cookbook: Vegetarian

    But there’s more where that came from! I love your blog and hope you have a great day! :)

    Response from Jess K
  3. This looks delicious! I always drool over the to-go section at Trader Joe’s when I’m grocery shopping. Everything just looks so yummy!

    I love that this salad is packed with good protein and nutrients! Perfect for vegetarians and vegans.

    Response from D @ The Kosher Cave Girl
  4. You’re kidding me! I LOVE balela. It’s the best on the go lunch and it’s SO healthy. Thank you so much for sharing the recipe!

    Response from Kelly
  5. I love all your chickpea recipieer ^^ Btw thought you should know that à Dutch diet pill producer is using your before and after pictures in web banners. I cant link iT via tablet, but if you drop me à line via mail or tumblr i could do so for you later. Greetings! Xo GiVi

    Response from GiVi
  6. This is by far the best Balela salad recipe online. I made it almost exactly as the recipe states, except I added more (Italian flat leaf) parsley because I love parsley, and it is absolutely amazing. The grape tomatoes and dressing blended with jalapenos were clutch.

    Response from Tiffany
  7. YUM! I am completely addicted to the TJ’s version–can’t wait to try your recipe. Thanks!

    Response from Amanda