Harvest Grains Salad with Chili Lime Dressing

If you follow me on Twitter, you’ve probably seen me tweeting about my new running routine. It feels good to be getting back into running, but I feel like I am really hungry all of the time! My hubby and I eat a lot of salads for lunch, but a plate of greens drizzled with a little bit of vinaigrette just doesn’t cut it… If I eat that for lunch, you’ll most likely see me snacking about 20 minutes afterwards.

So, for my first post in this month’s Kitchen Bootcamp challenge, I thought I’d make a lettuce-less salad… I picked up a bag of the Harvest Grains mix from Trader Joe’s when I was in Cape Cod (we don’t have TJ’s here), and I’ve been meaning to use it ever since. The mix includes Israeli cous cous, red quinoa, orzo, and baby garbanzo beans – a perfect blend for a salad, if you ask me!

I was lucky enough to have the rest of the salad ingredients in my garden… I picked some cucumbers, jalapeño peppers, golden cherry tomatoes, cilantro, and chives and set off making my salad! I whipped up a quick chili lime dressing (similar to a vinaigrette, which is really easy – 1 part vinegar/acid, 3 parts oil) and tossed everything together for a healthy, tasty, and filling lunch!

Harvest Grains Salad with Chili Lime Dressing

For the dressing:

  • 2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and minced
  • 2 limes
  • 1 teaspoon ancho chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt

To finish the salad:

  • 1 3/4 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/4 cups harvest grains blend (or you could use your favorite grain)
  • 1 cup black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup golden cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
  • Cucumbers (optional)

Start by cooking the grains.  Heat the water to a boil in a small sauce pan. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and stir in the harvest grains.  Return to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes.  Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.

While the grains cook, prepare the dressing. In a small mixing bowl, combine the minced jalapeño peppers with the zest and juice from the two limes (this should be about 1/4 cup of lime juice).  Add the ancho chili powder, cumin, and honey.  Whisk together while gradually adding the olive oil to the consistency you like. Season to taste with the salt.

To finish the salad, combine the black beans, cherry tomatoes, cilantro, and chives in a large mixing bowl.  Add the cooled cooked grains and the dressing. Stir to combine.  Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes prior to serving.

The salad is delicious served in edible cucumber “bowls”… Simply halve the cucumbers lengthwise and scoop out the seeds using a fork.  Pile the salad on top and enjoy!

17 Responses to Harvest Grains Salad with Chili Lime Dressing

  1. The dressing sounds delicious. I am not a huge fan of dressing so I am always looking for new ones!

  2. Joy says:

    That looks great. I adore the salad dressing recipe.

  3. What a great idea for the little “bowls”…and that dressing sounds spectacular!

  4. Noelle says:

    This looks so fresh and delicious!

  5. This looks so refreshing! Such a great alternative to the boring lettuce-filled salad. Congrats on your running!

  6. I love the cucumber bowls, what a great idea! Also, congrats on getting back into running!

  7. roxan says:

    This salad sounds delicious! I love how you served them in cucumber boats. So cute

  8. Yum! The chili lime dressing sounds delicious! I love the cucumber boat. And I just happened to have cooked up a pot of black bean yesterday. May have to give this a try! Thanks!

  9. Maria says:

    Love this one Jen!

  10. Mags says:

    This looks absolutely fabulous.

    (and I’m so jealous that you’ve started running!)

  11. michelle@TNS says:

    love the cucumber bowls, and the dressing sounds great. i’ve been struggling to find more good hot-weather dinners – i’m a cold-weather cook – and this is so going on the list.

  12. Eliana says:

    Nothing like running to rev up the appetite. This dish looks like one that would deifnitely satisfy any belly.

  13. I’m jealous you are getting back into running! This looks like the perfect healthy meal to replenish after. xxSAS

  14. What a perfect, fresh light dressing and salad! Excited for this month’s KB challenge!

  15. […] shared three salad/dressing recipes this month… A Harvest Grains Salad with Chili Lime Dressing, an Asian-inspired Peanut Dressing, and a Grilled Eggplant and Squash Caprese Salad made with fresh […]

  16. […] found this recipe online, then shopped Trader Joe’s for their Harvest Grains mix. Yum! I of course changed the […]

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