This mediterranean-inspired salad makes for a healthy lunch or dinner thanks to plenty of protein and fiber from baked mint falafel patties and nutrient-packed beets and baby greens. For a kick of flavor add banana peppers and drizzle over tangy tzatziki sauce.
I almost called this recipe “Salad Bar Salad” but it didn’t sound super appetizing. However, the inspiration for this salad comes from when I was working as an inpatient dietitian in Boston. One of the perks of working there was free lunch every day, and while a free hospital lunch may not sound great, I was lucky enough that food was a top priority and the salad bar was almost always well stocked. Occasionally I would get soup or a hot lunch special, but most of the time I went with a mixed greens salad topped with chickpeas, roasted beets, banana peppers, and feta cheese. May sound strange but I found myself craving this salad every day.
As this recipe comes from my kitchen, not a salad bar, I was able to make my go-to salad a bit more interesting by using baked mint falafel patties instead of plain chickpeas and drizzled a homemade tzatziki sauce on top. I ended up not using the feta, as there was plenty enough flavor and creaminess from the other ingredients. As much as I adore feta, it is high in sodium, so I try to use it only when a dish truly needs the flavor-boost.
To make this recipe faster, feel free to use pre-cooked beets from the grocery store and make the falafel and tzatziki ahead of time. Really in a pinch? You could even buy pre-made falafel and tzatziki, but I highly recommend making these from scratch as you can save yourself a lot of unnecessary salt and saturated fat. Plus I like being in control of exactly how my ingredients taste. For recipes, check out my Zesty Greek Turkey Burgers for the tzatziki sauce and my Baked Mint Falafel for the falafel patties.
Do you have a go-to salad bar combination? I’d love to hear!
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Oooh I just roasted a ton of beets that I got in my CSA and this sounds like the perfect recipe to use them in!
Beets & falafel sound perfect together! Even eating 99% plant based, I’ve never made my own falafel!
I was always nervous to try, but just like with hummus I realized it’s super easy! I bet you could come up with some really great falafel flavor combos!