Dinner, Food, Lunch

DIY Trader Joe’s Balela Salad + Weekly Meals

Lunch is one of the most challenging meals of the entire day.

People tend to either skip it all together, settle for grabbing some fast food or make their own lunch.

Now let’s be honest here…most people don’t make their own lunches on a daily basis.


Because it’s hard to come up with ideas! Plus, who wants to cook in the middle of the day or has their crap together enough the night before to cook something?

I sure don’t!

Meal prepping on Sunday’s is crucial for me to eat healthy throughout the week and has been especially important lately since I have marathon training, a full time job, my blog and still need a little personal time in there.

So when I discovered Trader Joe’s Balela Salad a couple weeks ago I was instantly obsessed with how easy it was to bring a bag of mixed greens and a container of Balela Salad to work to toss together for the world’s easiest lunch ever.

I wish it was practical for me to buy 7 containers of Trader Joe’s ready made Balela Salad but at about $5 each…no thanks, plus I knew I could make it myself for a lot cheaper and make a much larger amount.

So in true Live Lean Eat Green fashion I started looking up recipes for DIY version’s of this incredible Balela Salad and finally found THE PERFECCT COPYCAT RECIPE!

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Now if you’re wondering what the heck is Balela Salad here’s your answer:

Balela salad is a Middle Eastern chickpea salad that contains chickpeas, black beans, parsley, mint, onion and tomatoes which is tossed with the most incredible spicy, lemony vinaigrette. It is truly the most incredible combination of flavors.

Besides the fact that Balela Salad is delicious it is also very filling which is why it makes such a great lunch option. Both the black beans and chickpeas are packed with protein and fiber to keep you full for hours.

For lunch the past 2 weeks I simply bring a big bag of mixed greens to work at the beginning of the week, measure out about 1 cup of Balela Salad in the morning, put it in a Tupperware and then BOOM lunch is ready in 20 seconds.

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This recipe makes a TON of Balela salad so feel free to half or even quarter it! I make it as is and it feeds both Bryce and I Monday-Friday for lunches.

Seriously, if you’re looking for something new to add to your lunch routine this is a MUST TRY! It’s so easy to throw together and will provide you with healthy, easy lunches throughout the entire week.

Really it’s a win, win, win situation.

Save time, Save Money and Eat Healthy? Yes please!

DIY Trader Joe's Balela Salad
Serves 8
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Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
  1. 4 cans black beans
  2. 4 cans chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
  3. 1 bunch parsley (chopped)
  4. 1/2 cup mint (chopped)
  5. 1/2 red onion* (diced)
  6. 1 cup cherry tomatoes (halved)
  1. 1/2 cup olive oil
  2. 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  3. 1/2 cup lemon juice
  4. 1 jalapeno
  5. 1 clove of garlic
  6. salt, pepper and sumac to taste (if you can't find sumac just use some lemon zest from the lemons you juiced)
  1. Put all dressing ingredients into a food processor or blender and blend very well (set aside)
  2. Combine all salad ingredients in a large bowl then pour the dressing on top and combine again seasoning with salt, pepper and sumac to taste
  3. Cover the bowl and let the salad sit in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour before serving OR transfer into Tupperware and keep in the refrigerator for your lunches for the week!
  1. *If you don't like the very strong taste of red onions dice them up then let them sit in cold water for 10-15 minutes while you prep the rest of the salad. It really helps take away some of the intensity!
Live Lean Eat Green - A Healthy Food & Lifestyle Blog http://liveleaneatgreen.com/

 This recipe is slightly adapted from it’s original source here!

Weekly Meals:

Now let’s get into some dinner ideas for the week! 

My marathon training schedule this month is going to be insane meaning dinners are going to have to be super easy. For example, today I’m doing a 20 mile run so I highly doubt I’m going to have the energy to slave away in the kitchen!

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Your Turn,

Do you typically skip lunch, eat out or make your own?

Have you ever had Balela Salad?

What’s your go-to lunch?



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  • Reply Shaniece May 1, 2016 at 9:25 am

    I usually bring my lunch because if I don’t I will fall into temptation of getting something that is not good for me. My go to lunch is salmon, brow rice with corn. I never had balela salad but I definitely want to try it! Great post 😀
    Shaniece recently posted…3 Tips to Torch Belly FatMy Profile

    • Reply Diana Becker May 1, 2016 at 10:15 pm

      SAME especially at our work haha! I’ll bring you some Balela Salad next time I make it 🙂

  • Reply Kristy @ Southern In Law May 1, 2016 at 1:08 pm

    This looks like such a delicious combination! I love your little onion tip – I never would have thought of that!
    Kristy @ Southern In Law recently posted…Would You Like to Work for Free? (An Open Letter to Marketers and Bloggers)My Profile

    • Reply Diana Becker May 1, 2016 at 10:12 pm

      It’s such a delicious combination very refreshing and satisfying! I’m crazy and love the flavor red onions add to food but hate eating them by themselves ahhh EW! The water trick really helps get rid of that bite and only leaves the yummy flavor- TRY IT!

  • Reply Zena | Zena 'n Zaatar May 5, 2016 at 9:52 pm

    This salad is one of my faves at Trader Joe’s!! I can’t wait to make my own 🙂

    • Reply Diana Becker May 6, 2016 at 10:39 am

      Enjoy 🙂 It’s even better homemade!

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