February 22, 2009

Black Bean and Feta Salad

This recipe was a pleasant surprise on the inside of the lid to my reduced fat ATHENOS Feta crumbles. I'm always looking for a little snack that's high in fiber, low in fat, but is actually TASTY (I am so not a raw carrot stick kind of girl... I gotta have some FLAVA!)

So here is what he recipe calls for:

  • 1 can (15 oz.) Black beans (rinsed and drained)
  • 1.5 cups chopped tomatoes
  • 1.5 cups cooked rice
  • 1 pkg. (3.5 oz.) crumbled reduced fat feta (I guess you HAVE to use ATHENOS to pay homage to where the recipe came from?)
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup italian dressing
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro or parsley.

Here are a few of my tweaks:

  • I used brown rice: it's healthier, and I preferred the light brown color since the feta is already white. Silly I know but I like color in my food. Also - make sure to get minute rice. Just takes too dang long with regular rice....
  • Reduced fat feta is key here - really saves on the calories and fat.
  • I skipped the celery because I didn't have it on hand, and I hate buying a huge bundle unless I know I'll use it all. Definitely include it though to make it even more healthy and filling if you feel like buying!
  • Use fat-free Italian dressing. Let's be honest, with all the other flavors already here you won't notice the taste difference, and it's about 1/3 or the fat.
  • (I actually didn't have Italian on hand so I skipped it too!) I thought it was good with just a little bit of garlic powder, white wine vinegar and a drizzle of olive oil to give it a little bit more kick. Looking back the Italian dressing would probably be the best though, so go ahead and buy a bottle if you don't have it on hand and keep it around for a low-fat marinade for chicken.
  • I also skipped the cilanto or parsley. Just didn't feel like adding it to the grocery list, and let's face it, the name of this blog is not "Fancie Foodie" and that's why. So there. My ignorant palette cannot taste the difference...
Mix it all together and refrigerate and you're done! Makes 5 servings, roughly 3/4 of a cup of the mix each. With fat-free Italian dressing, I would estimate this to be about 4 Weight Watchers points per serving, and around 200 calories. ( See below if you want to see how I calculated it!)

Weight Watchers Conversion -
Generally speakigng there are about 50 calories per WW point, although the program is much more complex, taking grams of fat and dietary fiber into consideration when making the real calculation.
  • 2 Tbsp. of fat free dressing is 1 pt, so at 8 Tbsp.'s worth of dressing (1/2 a cup) that's 4 points' worth of dressing in the whole batch.
  • 1 cup of brown rice is 4 points, so with 1.5 cups in the whole recipe, that's 6 points' coming from the rice.
  • I calculated 3.5 points coming from the 15 oz. can of black beans.
  • And with each serving of reduced fat feta being 2 pts. according to the nutrition facts, and roughly 3 servings in each package, I calculated another 6 points coming from the cheese.
  • The rest of the ingredients are 0 points! (tomatoes, celery, green onions and parsley/cilantro)
At roughly 20 points in the whole batch, 5 servings would total up at about 4 points each! Not bad for a filling snack that gives you some protein and veggies all at the same time.

Let me know if anyone has better ideas for a different variation - Enjoy!


  1. This was delicious! I loved it

  2. This sounds so good...I'm excited to try it! I love that you included WW points here, too. I hate calculating that stuff when I'm cooking at home, so it's nice to have someone do it for me.

  3. you're a black bean and feta salad