How to Up Your Salad Game With Whole Grains
Last Updated: Feb 24, 2017
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In a salad rut? Don’t be! Step up your salad game by adding in whole grains. You’ll turn your salads into nutritious, one-plate meals — perfect for lunch or dinner. To speed up the prep time, try boiling the grains in advance. You can also mix and match the grains in these recipes to tailor each salad to your liking.
DAIKON, SALMON AND QUINOA GRAIN SALAD
This light and refreshing salad showcases daikon, a cruciferous vegetable that grows primarily in Southeast and East Asia. Antioxidant-rich daikon can help reduce inflammation, improve digestion and boost the immune system. Here the flavors of crisp daikon pair perfectly with parsley, salmon and carrots.
Related: For the Full Recipe -- Daikon, Salmon and Quinoa Grain Salad
TOFU AND MIXED RICE GRAIN SALAD
This vegetarian salad includes protein-rich tofu served alongside sweet and crunchy carrots, cabbage and celery. For this slaw, almost any grain will taste good. But we used a combination of black rice and short-grain brown rice to create a uniquely delicious pairing. The Asian-inspired dressing features tamari, orange juice, honey and ginger for a light and zesty punch.
Related: For the Full Recipe -- Tofu and Mixed Rice Grain Salad
ARTICHOKE, CHICKEN AND CORN GRAIN SALAD
This salad bursts with sweet corn and artichokes, which are rich in antioxidants and fiber and can help with brain and liver health. The refreshing salad pairs well with a tangy lemon dressing. While this recipe requires baking chicken breast, feel free to use precooked chicken to cut down on time.
Related: For the Full Recipe -- Artichoke, Chicken and Corn Grain Salad
NUTTY ZUCCHINI GRAIN SALAD
This salad features a nice blend of crunchy, omega-rich nuts, which complement the soft millet and raw zucchini. If you end up with leftover avocado dressing, don’t limit it to this single dish. Feel free to drizzle it over other vegetables, such as roasted asparagus.
Related: For the Full Recipe -- Nutty Zucchini Grain Salad
QUINOA AND FRUIT GRAIN SALAD
This salad brims with quinoa, a good source of protein, vitamin E, calcium, iron and other nutrients. The tofu-based dressing adds a hearty boost of protein to give you lasting energy. While this salad is perfect for any time of day, you can enjoy it for brunch served with popovers or other egg creations. It’s delicious when eaten on its own, too.
Related: For the Full Recipe -- Quinoa and Fruit Grain Salad
SOUTHWEST GRAIN SALAD WITH THYME VINAIGRETTE
Who says complex flavors can’t be quick and simple to make? Rice and beans get all dressed up in this composed salad inspired by the southwest. You can even wrap this salad in a large tortilla as a fresh take on a burrito. If you enjoy a bit of kick, toss in roasted peppers or even some cayenne pepper.
Related: For the Full Recipe -- Southwest Grain Salad With Thyme Vinaigrette
PASTA CAPRESE GRAIN SALAD
Fiber-rich whole-grain pasta turns this caprese salad into a complete meal. Add arugula for a nice dose of calcium and vitamins A and C. Fresh basil leaves can help guard against free-radical damage and promote cardiovascular health. Enjoy the colorful salad for lunch, or serve it as a healthy appetizer. If you have leftovers, pair it with another salad for the perfect combination plate.
Related: For the Full Recipe -- Pasta Caprese Grain Salad
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
Have you ever felt like you were in a salad rut? How did you get out of it, and what unique salad ingredients did you use? Which of these grain salads would you try? Share with us in the comments section below!
Related: 10 Warm Salads to Keep You Lean
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