Healthy Recipe of the Week: Mediterranean Garbanzo Salad
So there’s this can of garbanzo beans in my cupboard that’s been flirting with me for a few weeks now. Every few days it would catch my attention again, but I would get distracted by other things in my kitchen and worked with those instead. Lacking the energy or inspiration to do much of anything during such a sad week, I finally put this can to good use and turned it into a nice, easy salad that would bail me out of a couple of lunches or light dinner.
Aside from the simple-to-prepare and time-saving factors, a good bean salad is an easy way to have a pretty balanced one-dish meal. Packed with protein and fiber, legumes are great nutritional multitaskers. Add some chopped vegetables and a tasty dressing and you have either a fabulous lunch or a great side to complement those summer dishes that will soon be appearing on everyone’s tables. Like rice salads, they help you use up any leftover veggies so you don’t end up having to waste anything you don’t have to.
But my current favorite thing about bean salads – or just beans in general – is how international you can get with them just by changing up the other ingredients. From Indian to Mexican to everything in between, there are endless ways to spice up some legumes. This time around I thought I’d go the Mediterranean route, especially because I had just scored that giant cucumber and gorgeous tomatoes at La Superior during my last shopping trip. With some sliced red onions and a simple lemon & olive oil dressing, this turned out to be light & refreshing but definitely satisfying. Of course, you can’t do “Mediterranean” anything without some crumbled feta cheese, so some of that was thrown in as well. When all was said & done, I had enough food for a couple great meals and the whole recipe cost just around $3 to make. This recipe is easily doubled and would be perfect for summer potlucks & picnics, too. Let’s check it out!
Mediterranean Garbanzo Salad (makes 2-3 servings; total cost per serving: ~$1.50)
- 1 14 oz. can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
- ½ medium cucumber, chopped
- 1 medium tomato, diced
- ½ medium red onion, thinly sliced into 1” pieces
- ¼ c crumbled low-fat feta cheese
- 2 T olive oil
- 3 T freshly squeezed lemon juice
- ¼ t dried oregano
- Salt & pepper to taste
Place all the veggies into a large bowl and toss together. Briskly whisk together the dressing ingredients, add to the beans & veggies, and toss together until completely coated. For maximum flavor, I strongly suggest letting this marinate a couple of hours if you have the time. When ready to serve, add the crumbled feta & toss together (or you can just crumble it on top as a garnish if you prefer). Serve by itself or as a side, top with freshly ground black pepper, and enjoy!
Guest blogger Kimberly Morales is yet another Bay Area transplant whose heart does miss the Bay. I am a card-carrying Midtowner (I know there are no real cards but there really ought to be). I figured it was the closest I could come to everything I loved about the Bay Area while still enjoying things like 90-degree weather and balmy summer nights. I work as Assistant Client Rights Advocate at Disability Rights California and I’m a soprano in the Cathedral Choir of the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament downtown. Lately most people know me as the “Girl” behind the blog, Poor Girl Eats Well, in which I post original recipes & tips on how to have tasty, nutritious foods on a teeny tiny budget. I am happily single (boyfriends eat too much; being single makes my food last longer), working on my first book, and am the proud mom of the 3 best cats in the world.