happy-bean-salad_phillips3Did you know… garbanzo beans, commonly known as chickpeas, were one of the earliest
harvested legumes? These beans are high in protein, dietary fiber and are commonly used in Middle Eastern dishes. Since these beans are so versatile, nutritious and delicious, Happy Bean Salad was trialed at Phillips, Faison, and Dilworth on Wednesday, February 8th. The Happy Bean Salad introduces a new, made from scratch, plant-based source of protein to the lunch line.With only 4 simple ingredients: garbanzo beans, Italian dressing and diced red onion and green peppers; it is one of our favorites!

The food service management team traveled to Phillips

Yasir Manson (left), George Wilson

K-5 to see for ourselves how receptive the students were to the new Happy Bean salad. With the help of Ms. Williams and Ms. Mag, the Food Service staff at Phillips, nearly 50 students tried the bean salad. Students were encouraged to try the new salad even though it was new to some. While some students weren’t sold on the Happy Bean salad right away, according to a 2010 study, researchers found that some children needed to be exposed to a new food 8 or 9 times before developing a taste for the food. With this in mind, and encouragement from peers, we are certain that many students will come to love the new salad.

Overall, students at Phillips enjoyed the Happy Bean Salad and were excited to know that the protein packed salad would help them to build strong muscles!

Jamir Upshaw (K)
Dessa Sabbath (K), Amelia Peterson (K) background

Give the recipe below a try at home!


  1. 1 standard can of garbanzo beans
  2. ½ cup zesty Italian dressing
  3. ¼ cup diced red onion
  4. ¼ cup diced green peppers


  1. Open can of beans; using a colander drain beans from can
  2. Using a medium to large bowl, fill with water. Place all of the garbanzo beans in the bowl and allow the beans to soak for about 10-15 minutes. The garbanzo bean shells will begin to rise to the surface. Mix beans with a spoon if needed.
  3. While the beans are soaking, dice onions and green peppers.
  4. Using a large spoon, remove bean shells from the surface of the water and rinse the beans thoroughly.
  5. Using a medium to large mixing bowl, add the beans, Italian dressing, onions and peppers and mix with a rubber or wooden spoon.
  6. Chill in refrigerator for 1-3 hours or serve immediately

For extra flavor, add fresh cilantro, diced cucumbers and halved cherry tomatoes.


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