Brown Bag Your Lunch

I am about to graduate from college, May 2019, and I’ve eaten on campus less than ten times. I try to stick to a plant-based diet, and I find it easier and more healthful to pack my own lunch. But there are a lot of other benefits to packing your own lunch. You save money, consume less junk food, you can control your portions, so you don’t over eat, and it’s also a time saver because you don’t waste time walking to the food court or waiting in line. I usually eat in class or in between classes. Preparing a homemade meal doesn’t have to be time consuming or complicated. Here is one of my favorite salads to pack.

Balela Salad

Balela salad is a healthy salad mixing garbanzo beans (chickpeas), black beans, tomatoes, onion, mint and parsley. Its dressed with a spicy lemon dressing. It’s incredibly simple to make and easy to take to school. It’s super flavorful and packed with lots of fiber and nutrients—perfect to power you through the rest of the day.

Balela Salad Recipe:

2 (15 ounce) cans garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained & rinsed

2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, drained & rinsed

1 cup chopped fresh parsley

1 cup chopped fresh mint

One small thinly sliced red onion

1 pint grape tomatoes cut in half

1 large jalapeño pepper roughly chopped

3 cloves of garlic

1/4 cup olive oil

2 lemons juiced

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

Salt & pepper to taste


In a large bowl, mix together the garbanzo beans, black beans, parsley, mint, onion, and grape tomatoes.

Dressing: Place the jalapeño pepper, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, and red wine vinegar into a blender, and blend until thoroughly combined. (I use a NutriBullet. You can use an immersion blender too). Pour the dressing over the salad and toss. Season with salt and pepper.

I always bring a 32oz bottle of water, some fresh fruit, and some nuts with whatever I pack. If you’re looking for a quick on-the-go breakfast check out this Easy Overnight Oats Recipe.

Take the time to take care of yourself this semester!

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