There is something about grains and seeds that give salads substance – especially when we’re talking whole grains, such as brown rice, and protein packed seeds, like quinoa. But cooking these raw ingredients to perfection can be a bit of a pain. Enter Seeds of Change. Plunk a packet of their Quinoa, Brown & Red Rice into the microwave, then dump it into the salad bowl. Immediate gratification. (By the way, I’m not a paid sponsor, just another home cook seeking effective short-cuts!)
Fall Veggies & Grains Salad – Savory Low-Cal Vinaigrette
| Serves 4 |
190 calories per serving
- 12 ounces cubed butternut squash
- 2 cups prepared grains and/or seeds such as quinoa, brown rice or a combination*
- 2 ounces baby arugula
- 2 cooked beets, chopped into salad size pieces
- 12 grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
- freshly ground pepper, to taste
*For this recipe I used Seeds of Change Quinoa, Brown & Red Rice, which is available at Whole Foods, Target, Costco, and many other grocery and health food stores.
- 1/4 cup low sodium vegetable broth
- 2 tablespoons pear juice
- 1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 1/3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh minced garlic
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
- Optional – for thicker consistency: 1/2 tablespoon milled flax seed mixed with 1 1/2 tablespoons water
- 1/8 teaspoon salt (a small pinch more if using flax seed thickener
Prepare the dressing: In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk the dressing ingredients together until emulsified. Taste-test the dressing on a piece of arugula. Adjust the salt to taste and set the dressing aside.
Prepare the salad ingredients: Pour two tablespoons of water into a microwave safe dish, add the squash, and cook on a high setting for 5 minutes, or until fork tender. Set aside.
Transfer the prepared grains and/or seeds to a salad bowl. Add the arugula, squash, beets, and tomatoes.
Assemble the salad: Toss the salad with a light but thorough coating of the dressing. Add salt and fresh ground pepper to taste. Serve, and enjoy!