Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Spinach Salad Recipe with Marinated Garbanzo Beans and Feta Cheese

Spinach Salad with Garbanzos and FetaWhenever I have a day or two when I've been overindulging on food (like Thanksgiving!) my body will soon start craving some type of salad to get back in balance. Whether that was the reason, or whether it was just that I had leftover spinach from the Thanksgiving Spinach Salad I made at my sister's house, who knows, but I made this salad over the weekend and it really was just what I wanted to eat. I got the idea for combining spinach, chickpeas, and feta cheese from a recipe I saw in The South Beach Diet Parties and Holidays Cookbook. Then I remembered the idea of marinating the garbanzo beans to bump up the flavor a little, which really made this salad great.

I was eating this for my whole dinner, so if you're using it as a side salad you would want to use a less garbanzo beans and feta cheese. I do think there are other ingredients that could be added here if you like this combination and wanted to create some variations. In particular, I think Kalamata olives, artichoke hearts, or marinated mushrooms would all go well with these flavors. If you wanted something on the side, whole-wheat pita bread would be perfect.

Marinating the canned garbanzo beans in vinegar for a couple of hours really makes them have a lot of flavor. I used white balsamic vinegar, which let the natural color of the beans show, but you could use any balsamic vinegar you have on hand.

Spinach Salad with Marinated Garbanzo Beans and Feta Cheese
(Makes 3-4 servings, recipe adapted from The South Beach Diet Parties and Holidays Cookbook.)

1 can garbanzo beans (chickpeas) rinsed well and drained at least 5 minutes, or dry with paper towels
2 T white balsamic vinegar, for marinating beans
6-8 oz. baby spinach leaves
4 oz. crumbled feta cheese

Dressing Ingredients:
2 T white balsamic vinegar (or use any type of balsamic vinegar)
4 T extra virgin olive oil

Rinse garbanzo beans in colander until no more foam appears, then let drain well for at least 5 minutes, or dry with paper towels. Combine garbanzos with 2 T white balsamic vinegar in small container with a tight lid, shake to coat garbanzos with vinegar and let marinate a few hours in the fridge.

For each salad, put 2 big handfuls of spinach in mixing bowl, drizzle on about 1 1/2 T dressing, and stir until spinach is well-coated with dressing. Arrange spinach on serving plate, top with about 1/4 cup marinated garbanzos and 1 oz. crumbled feta.

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South Beach Suggestions:
This salad would be a great lunch or light dinner for any phase of the South Beach Diet. For phase 2 or 3 you could add whole wheat pita bread on the side. As a side salad, this would taste good with something like Very Greek Grilled Chicken or Grilled Chicken with Balsamic Vinegar.

More Great Salads with Garbanzo Beans
(Recipes from other blogs may or may not be South Beach Diet friendly, check ingredients.)
Tomato and Garbanzo Salad
Garbanzo, Tomato, And Cilantro Salad with Lime and Chile Dressing
Carrot, Parsley, and Garbanzo (Chickpea) Salad with Cumin
Garbanzo and Tuna Salad with Parsley and Red Pepper
Garbanzo Salad with Olives and Herbs
Chickpea and Tomato Salad from Simply Recipes
Garbanzo and Tuna Salad from Exploring the Silver Spoon
Chickpea Salad with Lemon and Parmesan from Orangette
Swiss Chard with Peppers and Garbanzos from Dani Spies
Chipotle Chickpea Salad from A Veggie Venturecounter customizable free hit
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More to Chew On:


  1. Great salad idea! I have never marinated garbanzo beans before...but I am sure they are wonderful with balsamic!! Yum!!

  2. Gosh I wish I could have that for lunch right now! Looks beautiful and I'm hungry!

  3. Garbanzo beans are so good, what a great idea to marinate them. This is one super combo salad!

  4. Sounds simple and tasty. I still need to look for some white balsamic vinegar.

  5. Maria, you're back. Hope you had a great Thanksgiving. Love the marinated garbanzos!

    Gaye, thanks.

    Tanna, come to Utah and visit and I will make lunch for you!

    Meeso, thanks. I don't remember where I got the idea, but it's a keeper.

    Kevin, you can use regular balsamic vinegar, but the color of the vinegar turns the garbanzos a little brownish, so this is a bit nicer. I think the white balsamic is a little milder. I will say though, the first bottle I tried I was not happy with at all, but this one is great.

  6. what a lovely recipe, Kalyn! And this is my firt timie seeing white balsamic vinegar. how interesting!

  7. Anh, I think you would love it. It's quite a bit milder than regular balsamic vinegar, and great for things like this where the purple vinegar would stain the beans.

  8. This salad looks good. I have been in such a mood for salads lately after stuffing my face for the last 5 days.

  9. Hi Kalyn,
    I hope everything's well for you. I love your new template. A new gift from your brother ? Nice recipe ; it gives me ideas to use vegan feta...

  10. Oh yum! That's a perfect post-Thanksgiving meal. I'm on the salad/sushi diet for a few days to recover from last week's excessiveness, so this is perfect!

  11. There is nothing in this salad that I don't love! I sometimes buy a wonderful marinated chickpea and basil salad for lunch - really should get round to marinating my own...

  12. I love the marinated garbanzo beans. This looks so tasty. I have to get back salads!!

  13. A lovely salad, with all of my favorite ingredients...don't those spinach leaves look amazing!


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