- In a mason jar, combine ¾ cup olive oil with ¼ cup lemon juice. Add 2 garlic cloves, ¼ tsp pepper, and 1 tsp salt. Shake everything together and store it in the refrigerator until use.
- Drain and rinse the garbanzo beans under running water in a colander. Ensure there is no excess water and then place them in a bowl.
- Slice the cherry tomatoes in half and add them to the bowl.
- Peel and chop the cucumber and slice the red onion. Add both to the bowl.
- Chiffonade the mint leaves by stacking them on top of one another, rolling them up, then making small cuts with a knife. Add it to the bowl.
- Cut the feta cheese into large chunks and add it to the bowl.
- Add 1/3 cup of dressing and mix all of the ingredients together until evenly distributed.
- This recipe contains ingredients from three different food groups (protein, vegetables, and dairy), making it a well-balanced meal
- Each 1/2 cup serving provides 6 grams of plant-based protein, which is equivalent to the protein found in 1 oz. of meat. Plant-based protein is free of cholesterol and saturated (unhealthy) fat, making it a healthier alternative to animal protein sources
- This recipe does not require any heating or cooking methods, making it suitable for all skills levels
- Garbanzo beans are high in fiber (provide 6 grams/half cup), especially soluble fiber which can help: reduce blood sugar, lower cholesterol, increase satiety, and regulate your digestive system. They are also a good source of iron, folate, phosphorus and calcium
- Cucumbers are low in calories and contain Vitamins K, A, and some antioxidants
- Mint contains Vitamin A, which is a powerful antioxidant that helps your body fight infection as well as promotes eye health. Mint is effective for relieving digestive problems such as upset stomach, indigestion, and nausea
- Cherry tomatoes contain several antioxidants including: Vitamin C, lycopene and beta-carotene, which all protect against free radicals, reduce the risk of prostate, lung and stomach cancers, and promote eye health
- Red onion is a great way to add flavor to a dish without adding calories, fat, or sodium. They are a good source of Vitamins C, B-6, and manganese, and small amounts of other nutrients and antioxidants
- If you cannot find low sodium beans, you can always purchase the regular version. When you rinse and drain the can under cold water, you remove any excess sodium
- Garbanzo beans can be swapped out for canned or cooked lentils
- If you are vegan, omit the feta cheese
- It is important to eat a variety of colored vegetables in order to get a variety of nutrients. You can easily swap out any of the vegetables used for others, just make sure that you have multiple colors represented. I recommend bell peppers in place of tomatoes
- Red onions contain a gas that causes eye irritation and tears when cutting. To reduce this, you can chill the onion for 30 minutes and then cup off its top, peel the outer layers and leave the root intact. If you don’t have time to wait 30 minutes, you can set up a desk fan across from your workstation
- You can add whole-wheat pita, whole grain crackers, or a corn tortilla to the meal for extra fiber, whole grains, and representation of a 4th food group
- You can add any herbs or spices to the dressing (i.e. thyme, rosemary, oregano) for added flavor
These recipes were developed and are owned by Melody Sayers, MS, RDN, NASM-CPT. They cannot be published or adapted without permission from the owner. Reposting or sharing must include an acknowledgement of the original recipe owner @elevateyourplate. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to be granted permission access for republishing or adaptation.