Beany Balela Salad with Feta

 Beany Balela Salad with Feta

Beany Balela Salad with Feta

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. 

Ingredients

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

Method

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.

Serve and enjoy!

Creamy Kale Salad with Spicy Roasted Chickpeas

 Kale Salad with Spicy Roasted Chickpeas

Kale Salad with Spicy Roasted Chickpeas

 

Ingredients

Kale Salad

1 large bunch curly kale
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar (optional)

Spicy Roasted Chickpeas

1 can chickpeas (or 1 cup dried chickpeas, soaked overnight and cooked for 40 minutes to 1 hour until cooked through)
1 tablespoon olive oil
SPICE MIX: 1/2 - 1 teaspoon each: salt, pepper, cayenne, sweet and/or smokey paprika, chilli powder, garlic powder, onion powder and cumin. Choose as many or as few of these as you like!

Creamy Cashew Mayo

1 cup raw cashew nuts (soaked for 1 hour*)
Juice of 2 lemons
1/2 - 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar (according to taste)
1/2 teaspoon salt
OPTIONAL: 1 clove garlic
Water (the amount of water you add is determined by the consistency you desire. More on that below!)

Method

Spicy Roasted Chickpeas

Drain chickpeas well, arrange on a tea towel (or paper towels) and cover with another tea towel (or paper towels) to dry them.
Place in a large bowl with olive oil and toss well until all chickpeas are coated with olive oil.
Now add in spice mix and toss until all chickpeas are well coated.
Arrange chickpeas on a baking tray lined with baking paper
Bake in a pre-heated oven (180 degrees Celsius) for 40 minutes to 1 hour until well roasted, tossing every 10-15 minutes. How long you need to roast the chickpeas for will depend on your oven.

While chickpeas are roasting, make Massaged Kale Salad and Creamy Cashew Mayo:

Kale Salad

Wash kale, remove stems and discard.
Finely slice the kale into thin ribbons.
Place the finely sliced kale into a large bowl. Add in the olive oil, salt (and vinegar if you are using it) and massage the kale for a few minutes. The kale will release liquid, become a brighter, darker green and soften. This will make it much more pleasant - and less chewy! - too eat.
Set aside and now make the dressing.

Creamy Cashew Mayo

Place all ingredients in a high speed blender. A small blender is best for this recipe. I use my Vitamix S30.
Blend until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning until you are happy with the flavour.

To assemble to salad:

Toss Creamy Cashew Mayo Massaged Kale Salad until it is well-coated.
Arrange on a serving platter.
Top with the spicy roasted chickpeas.

Serve and enjoy!