Any Grain Goes Salad

Every time the weather warms up, some version of this salad becomes a staple in my meal rotation. It’s super simple to throw together and extremely easy to change around based on the veggies, beans, and grains you already have in your kitchen, which makes me love it even more. A lot of times I’ll make this exact dish with couscous instead, but this time I went with quinoa so there was a double dose of protein. It would work great with millet, wheat berries, or pretty much any other grain you can think of – literally, any grain goes.

Any Grain Goes Salad

Printable recipe here. Entire recipe (as it is here) yields 7 1-cup servings, at 4 pts+ each. 28 pts+ for full recipe.

To start, prepare 1 cup of whatever dried grain you are working with. Since I went with quinoa this time, I rinsed it, then combined it with 2 cups of water and simmered it for 15-20 minutes until all the water was absorbed.

It’s best to let your grain cool a bit, so you can make it in advance if that’s easier for you. The rest of the recipe is easy peasy, and it really takes no time at all.

I got together all the veggies I wanted to use and got them ready for the salad.

Green pepper, red onion, Italian parsley, English cucumber, tomato, and spinach chiffonade. Here’s a quick video (my FIRST one!!) with a cooking tip on how to cut the spinach:


I also added 1 cup of kidney beans for an extra protein kick and 1/4 cup of golden raisins for a little something sweet.

Combine the quinoa with all your veggies with the beans and raisins, plus:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • generous amount of salt and pepper

Mix it together.

And it’s done! This is a beautiful salad that is easy on the eyes as well as the taste buds.

If you’re not a fan of raisins, you can do craisins, dried apricots, mango or grapes instead, or omit the sweet component completely. You can also use chickpeas, black beans, pinto beans, or any other kind of bean in place of the kidney beans, but I thought those added some nice color to the dish. When you’re picking out your veggies, try to have a few different colors in there, since we eat with our eyes first. And, it’s great to use a fresh herb if you can! I used parsley this time, but you can experiment with basil or anything else you can think of.

This salad gets better with time, which is one of the best things about it. The flavors mesh together overnight and it is very delicious as leftovers. You can combine it with some feta or goat cheese and have it in a wrap, or do like I did last night and mix it with egg and bread crumbs, form it into patties, and cook it in a pan for a delicious veggie burger. Anything goes!

What’s your favorite recipe or food for the spring/summer time?

26 Comments on Any Grain Goes Salad

  1. beyondbananas
    April 21, 2011 at 8:46 am (10 years ago)

    Looks so delicious! Quinoa is definitely my grain of choice.. I love the texture and the nuttiness!

  2. goodtastehealthyme
    April 21, 2011 at 8:56 am (10 years ago)

    Easy peasy recipe! Those are the best kind! Looks delicious! 🙂

  3. Holly @ The Runny Egg
    April 21, 2011 at 8:58 am (10 years ago)

    The salad looks delicious — I love that there are golden raisins in there. Those make any recipe good!

    Favorite recipe for spring summer — any type of veggie or fruit salad. We eat mostly sandwiches and salads in the summer — cool food!

  4. Katie
    April 21, 2011 at 9:26 am (10 years ago)

    Looks delicious! I love cool salads in the summer. So refreshing. And fabulous video!!!

  5. vanessa
    April 21, 2011 at 9:33 am (10 years ago)

    That salad looks so good!

  6. Jennifer
    April 21, 2011 at 9:34 am (10 years ago)

    I make this type of salad all the time, and pretty much always have one in my fridge. It’s so filling and good! I never thought of adding a sweet element, so maybe I’ll try that next.

    I loved the chiffonade tip and will have to try that. Who knew it was so easy?? Well, I guess you did LOL

  7. Jen @
    April 21, 2011 at 9:50 am (10 years ago)

    This looks so hearty and satisfying, yet light and lovely. I think this could be my new favorite spring/summer salad! 🙂

  8. Sydney
    April 21, 2011 at 10:33 am (10 years ago)

    Love it! From my kitchen to yours.. so cute! 🙂

  9. Katy
    April 21, 2011 at 12:25 pm (10 years ago)

    YUMMMY – I can’t wait to try this recipe!!!!!!!!!!

  10. Amanda
    April 21, 2011 at 2:46 pm (10 years ago)

    Yum! Looks delish! Maybe my 2 year old will eat it too! That always makes a dish a winner in my book!

  11. Monica
    April 21, 2011 at 3:09 pm (10 years ago)

    Yum, what a wonderful creation! And it looks perfect to bring to a BBQ!

    My summer go-to meal is burger patties over grilled vegetables.

  12. Jen@jensdaily
    April 22, 2011 at 5:58 am (10 years ago)

    I love this! My summer go to meal is anything grilled, salad and loads of fresh fruit.

  13. Kalli
    April 22, 2011 at 11:11 am (10 years ago)

    oh this is a great salad and i love how you vary the ingredients quite a bit. thank you for sharing it beth!

  14. Can You Stay for Dinner
    April 22, 2011 at 2:54 pm (10 years ago)

    I LOVE salads- hot, cold, grain-based, veggie-packed, you name it. They definitely feel more fulfilling this time of year as the weather turns warm. Quinoa has been my favorite grain lately so I will absolutely try this! Looks awesome Beth!!

  15. amanda june
    April 26, 2011 at 1:32 am (9 years ago)

    Love that video! And your hair is looking fabulous!


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