Grain Salads: Think Outside the Salad Bowl

Grain salads are a hearty way to get a serving of whole grain goodness and a couple of servings of vegetables.  The beauty of these is that you can make them on the weekends and then repurpose them (i.e. serve them a couple of different ways throughout the week).  They are also more filling than a regular salad of just leafy greens.  Make on the weekends and they will keep well through the week.

Below are some recipes and video demos:

Asian Quinoa Slaw

2 to 2.5 cups cooked quinoa (frozen and thawed or cook your own)

2 cups red cabbage, chopped (you can buy pre-chopped)

1.5 cups green cabbage, chopped

1 cup chopped or grated carrots

3/4 cup frozen shelled edamame, thawed

1 bunch cilantro chopped

2 Tbl sesame seeds

2 cups tangerines or mandarin pieces

(buy unsweetened or in juice)

Juice from 1 lime

Grated or chopped ginger

1/2 to 1 cup of ginger dressing

(or other vinegar-based dressing)

Mix and serve

Repurpose (as pictured)

serve as a lettuce wrap topped with skillet seared tofu (I dry sauté with some light tamari sauce) and peanut sauce.

Peanut Sauce:

1-2 Tbl peanut butter, 1-2 Tbl rice vinegar, some warm water (2-3 Tbl to desired consistency),

red pepper flakes or curry paste (dash), chopped garlic, grated ginger.  Mix well.  Yumm

Beans and Rice Fiesta Salad

2 bags (or 3-4 cups) frozen brown rice, thawed

1 can black (or other) beans, rinsed

1 cup corn

1 onion diced

2 bell peppers

1 cup cilantro

Juice 1 lime

1 cup (or more) favorite salsa

Top with sliced avocado

Sharon's Quinoa Avocado Salad

boil 1 cup of quinoa in 2 cups of water for 15-20 min until quinoa is soft.


Combine with the following:

1/2 cup edamame, thawed

1/2 cup corn, thawed

1/2 to 1 avocado

Juice from 1 lime

Sliced cherry tomatoes

chopped parsley or cilantro (1/2 to 1 bunch)

chopped olives (optional)

salt and pepper to taste

onion or garlic seasoning is good to add as well.

Basic Tabbouleh

1 cup cooked bulgur wheat, quinoa or whole wheat cous, cous.  These all cook up pretty quickly.

1 bunch of chopped parsley (i put it in the food processor, it chops it up pretty quick and pretty finely)

you can also use cilantro as well

1-2 Tbs chopped mint leaves

1/2 can chopped olives (add a bit of the olive juice to the bulgur)

1 large cucumber, chopped

1/2 red onion (or green or yellow)

2 cups chopped tomatoes

juice from 1 large lemon

cool the grain and add in the chopped ingredients, including some of the water from the olive can.

season with your favorite seasonings

Repurpose: this is good in pita bread or as a wrap with hummus and/or tahini sauce (see below) or rolled in lettuce leaves with hummus.

Tahini Sauce

1 clove garlic

1/4 to 1/3 cup nutritional yeast

1/3 cup water

1-2 Tbs light soy sauce or Braggs liquid aminos

1/4 to 1/3 cup tahini paste

2 Tbs oil (optional)

2 Tbs vinegar or lemon juice

1 tsp grated ginger

a few drops of maple syrup (optional)

Put ingredients in a blender. Add additional water 1 Tbs at a time to get the desired consistency.