Well, the holidays are among us. Crazy, right? Parties and house guests and attempts at healthy eating between the indulgences are just around the corner! I love any chance to have a filling, vegetarian meal, so while shopping at Trader Joe’s, I ran across these treasures and thought they’d be perfect.
Get their Feta Cheese Spread, Balela Bean Salad, and a baguette, and you have yourself the easiest, freshest little appetizer you ever did have! If you don’t live near a Trader Joe’s, I also wrote a quick little recipe you can use to recreate my new favorite finds. My favorite trick for bruschetta is toasting the buttered bread, then rubbing a sliced-open clove of garlic over the toast, infusing all sorts of yummy garlic oil and flavor into it. I don’t even need anything else to top it, it’s so heavenly on its own!
Again, buy the spread or make it yourself, it’s 3 ingredients. Creamy, feta goodness.
The Mediterranean salad is full of fresh ingredients, and plenty of parsley and mint. I pounded about 5 of these for lunch and was full for the rest of the day.
- baguette (sourdough is a favorite, but any will do)
- 3-4 T soft butter
- 1 garlic clove
- salt and pepper
- 4 oz. feta cheese
- 4 oz. whipped cream cheese
- 1/8 c plain greek yogurt
- 1/8 t red pepper flakes (increase or decrease as desired)
- 1/4 t basil
- 1/4 t oregano
- 2 roma tomatoes
- 1/2 can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1/2 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 T white onion, minced
- 1/2 T olive oil
- 1 T lemon juice
- 1 T freshly chopped parsley
- 1/2 T freshly chopped mint
- 1/4 t salt
- Slice baguette and butter each slice. Broil about 5 minutes, or until golden (toasted on tops but still slightly soft on bottoms). Remove from oven.
- Slice garlic clove in half, and rub the open half over each toasted slice. Sprinkle with kosher salt and freshly-cracked pepper.
- Mix feta, cream cheese, yogurt, red pepper, basil, and oregano together in bowl. Spread over each slice.
- Mix remaining ingredients together (tomatoes, beans, onion, oil, juice, herbs, and salt) and spoon onto each slice. Serve immediately.
Instead of making feta spread and tomato and bean topping, Trader Joe's sells both! You can buy their Feta Cheese Spread and their Balela Bean Salad separately and serve an easy, healthy, vegetarian appetizer (or lunch or dinner).