I first came across Balela Salad a few years ago on Pinterest. I was attracted to its bold flavours and that it featured sun-dried or semi-dried tomatoes (in Summer I make huge batches of them when my little veggie garden produces kilos of them!).
I have tweaked it over the years to add in chickpeas and black beans, for added fibre and plant protein, and sometimes I add an extra calcium, protein (and flavour!) boost in the form of feta cheese. I really encourage you to play around with the amounts ad ratios of the different ingredients in this salad until you reach a flavour profile that you find absolutely delicious!
This makes a LOT of salad, and none of the ingredients are "wilty", so it is a great recipe to make for dinner, take to work for lunch the next day (it is delicious in a wrap!), and if there is still any left, serve as a side dish with some lean protein for dinner the following evening.
Because it is such a robust salad, it is great to take to Summer barbecues.
Beany Balela Salad with Feta
1 can chickpeas
1 can black beans
150 - 200g low fat feta cheese, crumbled
1 small red onion, peeled and finely diced
1 small (or 1/2 large) red capsicum (bell pepper), cored and finely diced
1 small (or 1/2 large) green capsicum (bell pepper), cored and finely diced
2 tomatoes, finely diced (or 1/2 to 3/4 punnet cherry tomatoes, cut in half)
1/2 - 3/4 cup of sun-dried (or semi-dried) tomatoes, chopped
1/4 - 1/2 cup pitted black (kalamata) olives sliced
1/4 - 1/2 cup pitted green olives sliced
3 green onions finely sliced
1/4 - 1/2 cup of flat leaf parsley, chopped (about a handful)
2 - 3 tablespoons dill, torn or chopped basil leaves
2 - 3 tablespoons dill, finely chopped dill (this is optional, but I LOVE it!!)
Salt and pepper to taste. NOTE: Because a few of the ingredients are quite salty, make sure you taste your salad before adding in any additional salt.
Lemony ACV Vinaigrette
Juice of one lemon (keep an extra lemon in reserve in case you want an extra lemony boost!)
3 tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
OPTIONAL: I clove garlic, crushed
Lemony ACV Vinaigrette
Place all ingredients in a bowl and whisk to combine
Beany Balela Salad
Place all ingredients in a large salad bowl.
Add Vinaigrette and toss well to combine.