Trader Joes Knockoff: Balela Salad

Trader Joes Knockoff: Vegan Balela Salad 

You have to make the salad for your fridge especially if you have kids!

It doesn’t really matter which grocery store you go to, you’re going to find industrial seed oils like canola oil, safflower, sunflower, corn, cotton seed and soybean oil in so many pre-prepared salads. But the good news is, it’s cheaper and you get a whole lot more if you make it yourself!

When I am making salads at home, I opt for organic extra virgin olive oil from NOW Foods* (code KELLY saves you 20% on your order), avocado oil from Primal Kitchen Foods* (use code KELLYSFAVORITES for 15% off your order of $40 or more), or Zero Acre Farms* (code Kelly gets you free shipping on your order) as my source of healthy fats to dress my salad.

Plus, I love that the beans in this salad are paired with olive oil which slows down the digestion of carbohydrates in the beans, the vinegar and lemon juice supports blood sugar balance, and the fiber-rich tomatoes and cucumbers help elongate the curve too.

It’s also on-the-go friendly because the lemon juice/vinegar acts as a natural preservative. For the adults, it’s great on top of an arugula salad, as a side to your Mediterranean meal or scooped up on a couple of plantain chips.

For the kids, it provides exposure to mint, parsley, tomato, cucumber and beans in a really flavorful bite. Yesterday, Taschen just squished the beans but today he was taking the salad down so just a reminder there is a window for acceptance with kids but exposure, modeling and reintroduction multiple times is key.

  • Prep Time

    5 minutes

  • Total Time

    15 minutes

  • Servings


  • Freezer Friendly



  • 2 cans garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 3 firm Roma tomatoes, seeds removed and diced
  • ½ red onion, diced
  • 1 English cucumber, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon sumac or smoked paprika (optional)
  • Mineral salt & fresh cracked pepper, to taste
  • 3 – 4 tablespoons organic extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large lemon, juiced
  • 1/2-1 tbsp apple cider vinegar


  1. Rinse and dry your beans and add to a large salad bowl.
  2. Dice the cucumber and tomato and add both to the large salad bowl. Tip: Prepare your tomatoes by cutting into 1/4 pieces and gently squeezing out and removing the seeds before dicing into bite-sized pieces. 
  3. Finely chop garlic cloves, red onion, parsley, and mint leaves, and add to the salad.
  4. Squeeze the juice of 1 large lemon and 1 tbsp of apple cider vinegar over the vegetables. Add the zest of the lemon as well, season with salt, pepper, sumac/ paprika, and olive oil. Mix to incorporate.
  5. Then, add the rest of the ingredients and mix to incorporate.