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!