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Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Food Tuesday: Balela Salad






















As you know, one of my goals for the month is to eat clean, whole foods. It makes shopping a bit of a chore. I read more labels on Sunday's trip to the grocery store than I care to admit. One good thing did happen as a result, however. As I read certain labels, I thought, "I can make this myself!" And that is exactly what I did. The first of what will likely become several recreated recipes is Balela Salad. I'd never heard of it before but it contained so many things I love (and use as a staple), I had to try it. It came out good and tastes better with each passing day because the flavors have more time to marry. I've had it for dinner with vegan stuffed grape leaves and alone (with a little scoop of hummus to offset heat) for lunch. The best thing about taking time to make it at home? You can control the flavor balance. I don't like too much spice so I dialed down the jalapeno. I love the brightness of lemon, so I added more juice. I also added about a 1/2 teaspoon of cumin. I'm putting the basic recipe I found online (www.thesavory.com). Play with it to suit your needs.

Balela Salad
Ingredients 
4 cans of garbanzo beans
4 cans black beans
1 cup of parsley
1/2 cup mint
1/2 small red onion
1 cup cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 finely chopped jalapeno
1 finely chopped garlic clove
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions
Put all dressing ingredients into a food processor and blend them up.

* I placed everything except the beans in the food processor to "blend them up" and then tossed it together with the beans. I also let it sit for about an hour before eating it. Like I said before, it gets better the longer you let it sit (within health guidelines, of course). Bon appétit!

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