Grain salads are the perfect fall transition food. I’m not quite ready for soups and stews for lunch, but a salad full of raw veggies and lettuce isn’t as appealing as the weather tries to cool off. Mixing the end of summer produce with warm grains and beans adds a layer of comfort and homeyness to the standard salad.
This dish is bright with lemon and crunchy cucumbers, yet is warm and hearty thanks to the quinoa and chickpeas. A simple, modern comfort lunch.
Green Bean and Quinoa Salad
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- 1 c green beans, diced
- 1/4 c green onion, diced
- 1/2 c cucumber, diced
- 1/2 c cooked chickpeas
- 1 c cooked quinoa
- 1/2 c fresh corn
- 2 c arugula
- 2 T hemp oil
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 1 T dried parsley
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- Fill a saucepan with water and bring to a boil. Add green beans and cook for a couple of minutes, until bright green. Remove green beans and rinse under cold water.
- Combine green beans, green onion, cucumber, chickpeas, quinoa, corn, and arugula in a large bowl. Add hemp oil, lemon juice, parsley, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine.
- Plate and serve.
Per serving: 358 kcal, 48 g carbs, 17 g fat, 11 g protein, 1150 mg sodium, 5 g sugar
This week’s recipes were a bit tricky to put together. The number of items that you can blend up in a smoothie get a little interesting, especially when my goal is to get at least two into each recipe. For today’s smoothie, I decided to start a little bold and mix bright, juicy watermelon with bold, intense arugula. Don’t let the green scare you! This is a frosty cool drink on a hot day or after a sweaty workout. The lime and mint balance out the peppery arugula, and the fruit gives it sweetness. A perfect treat for an afternoon pick me up.
Watermelon Mojito Smoothie
- 1/2 c arugula
- 2 T mint leaves
- 2 limes, juiced
- 1 T chia seeds
- 1 T agave nectar
- 1 c chopped watermelon, frozen
- 1/2 banana, frozen
- 1 1/2 c water
- Add all ingredients in order to a high-speed blender. Blend on high until smooth and frosty.
- Pour into a tall glass and enjoy!
Coconut water would also work well here for a little extra hydration. Be generous with the mint and lime if you’re scared of the arugula.
Per serving: 258 kcal, 54 g carbs, 4 g fat, 5 g protein, 13 mg sodium, 34 g sugar
After long weeks of eating out while traveling, all I seem to want is fresh, raw food when I am home. We’ve gone through a lot of salad greens and fresh spring produce this week. My favorite meal from this week was this delicious salad. Crisp, roasted asparagus and juicy, ripe strawberries on top of spinach and spicy arugula. Yum!
Asparagus and Strawberry Salad
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- 2 c asparagus, ends removed and diced in half
- 1/2 c chickpeas (plain or roasted)
- 1 c broccoli slaw (optional)
- 6 ripe strawberries
- 2 c arugula
- 2 c baby spinach
- 4 T balsamic vinegar
- 2 T extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp agave nectar
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Rinse arugula and spinach and divide into two salad bowls
- Optional: Toss chickpeas with a dash of cinnamon, and a teaspoon of olive oil and apple cider vinegar. Roast at 350 for 30 minutes or until crispy and golden.
- Slice strawberries and add to salad, along with chickpeas and slaw (optional, but it adds a nice crunch)
- Drizzle olive oil, salt, and pepper over asparagus. Roast at 350 for 8-10 minutes.
- Make dressing by whisking together oil, vinegar, mustard, agave, salt and pepper.
- Add warm asparagus to salad and toss with dressing to coat.
Quick Tip: I’ve discovered a super easy tossed salad for potlucks or a side to dinner is spring greens or spinach tossed with a bag of broccoli slaw. Its like getting a package of pre-made iceberg lettuce salad mix, but heartier and full of more nutrition. I now always keep a bag on hand to add crunch and extra veggies to our daily salads.