Quick and Satisfying Grain Salads

Healthy eating can be a lot of work, especially at lunchtime when we tend to be busy & distracted.  You’ve probably already discovered that a little planning gives you a huge advantage when lunchtime hunger sneaks into your busy day.  Grain salads are the perfect solution!

The key is pre-cooking your gluten free grains (quinoa, rice, etc.) ahead of time.  We like to make a big batch of quinoa, keep what you’ll use for the next few days in the fridge, then spread out the rest on a baking sheet and stick it in the freezer.  Once frozen, transfer individual servings to bags and leave in your freezer.

Trust me when I say, these are a quick and easy solution to the lunchtime “hanger” strike that comes over our body when we’ve waited too long to nourish it!

Similar to last week’s salad strategy, here’s a quick and easy formula that takes advantage of whatever you’ve got hanging around in the fridge.

wilted kale & quinoa salad / roasted butternut squash & tomato / miso dressing

grains + veggies + protein + dressing/toppings

  • grains:  They can be a great source of protein and minerals.  If you’re looking for gluten-free varieties, some of our favorites are quinoa, amaranth, millet, and rice (white, brown, wild).  Wanna know why they’re so good for you?  Check out this list of benefits.
  • veggies:  Anything goes. Maybe you have some leftover veggies from dinner, or your Farmers Market haul.  Chop and go raw, or (if you’re thinking ahead) toss them with some olive oil and salt & pepper roast a batch to have on hand.
  • protein:  Fresh fish, chicken breast, turkey, even lean steak are all good options. Don’t forget about eggs (hard boiled works well here).
  • dressing/toppings:  coconut oil, olive oil and avocado will add healthy fat and flavor.  Salsa, a squeeze of citrus juice, or a splash of vinegar will add acid.  Nuts or seeds will add crunch. Herbs will add flavor and freshness.

Here are some of our favorite combos:

  • quinoa // arugula, roasted beets & orange segments // salmon //  a drizzle of olive oil, a squeeze of orange & sunflower seeds
  • brown rice // grilled onions & peppers  // chicken // avocado, salsa & cilantro
  • quinoa // bell pepper, cucumber, tomato, capers & kalamata olives // a drizzle of olive oil & a squeeze of lemon

white bean, sweet potato & kale korma / toasted millet pilaf