radiant recipes: balela

hello readers!

well today was rainy and gloomy here in northern california so we spent the day inside, working and cooking hearty food. i wanted to highlight a recipe that i often turn to when a) i don’t have much in terms of groceries b) i don’t want to waste tons of money on creating an expensive dish and/or c) i am too tired to make anything difficult. here comes…balela to save the day!

balela is a middle-eastern bean salad (palestine respresent!) which is easy, quick and super yummy. it takes only minutes to put together and you then wait half an hour for the flavor to deepen. it has tons of protein due to the garbanzos and black beans, lycopene from the tomatoes and healing qualities from the herbs. i sometimes add garam masala or curry to the dish to infuse a little indian flavor but you could add other spice combinations and i am sure it would taste great. also, if you don’t have access to the fresh herbs, omitting them from the recipe is totally fine.

BALELA:  (vegan and gluten-free)

* 1 can of chickpeas/garbanzos

* 1 can of black beans

* 1 can of diced tomatoes, preferably fire-roasted

* extra-virgin olive oil

*  1 lemon

* a few sprigs of parsely

* a few sprigs of mint

* salt and pepper to taste

* other spices such as garam masala, curry, turmeric and/or ginger (optional)

1. drain and rinse the chickpeas and beans thouroughly and pour into large mixing bowl

2. drain tomatoes and add to bowl

3. pour a few tablespoons of olive oil and a few tablespoons of lemon juice into the bowl, adjusting amounts to taste

4. tear the leaves from the herb sprigs, break apart with fingers and add to dish

5 if using, add amounts of other spices to taste

6. toss and mix well and let stand for 30 minutes

and that is it! so simple and so tasty. you can also serve it on a bed of brown rice or quinoa, wrap it up in tortillas or stuff it into a pita. so many options, although it tastes great enough to just enjoy with a spoon!

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