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Salad with forkI know.  This sounds weird.  Don’t be afraid.

This is my at-home version of a salad at a local organic place next to my yoga studio. It’s got veggies, various grains and rice, and killer dressing.

It’s fresh, light, and you. will. love. it.  Trust me!  You can make all the components and then mix up whatever combo of veggies and rices you like – it’s great to have around for lunches, snacks, light dinners….whatever!

Basically, you cook a few different kind of grains, then chop up some raw veggies.  Then you make a creamy light cilantro dressing that is SO good.  Then you toss it all together with some nuts and cheese and be grateful that you have access to yummy fresh stuff.

Let’s make it!

On this particular day I had 3 kinds of grains, and some random veggies and toppings.  For 4 servings, here’s what you need:

  • 1/2 cup wild rice
  • 1/2 cup barley
  • 1/2 cup brown rice
  • 3 scallions
  • 1/2 bell pepper, color your choice
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1/2 cup almonds, toasted
  • 1/2 cup feta or other crumbly cheese
  • 1 cup lettuce
  • 1 small head endive

For the dressing:

  • 1/2 cup each parsley and cilantro
  • 1 small or 1/2 large leaf lettuce (don’t ask)
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 small clove garlic
  • salt
  • juice of 1/2 of a lemon

So basically, you can use any grains you like.

Brown rice

I like the combo I had here, but quinoa, farro, spouted rice, or even couscous would be wonderful here!


Cook the grains separately per the package directions.  You can do this way in advance and keep them at room temperature or in the fridge for a few days – it’s totally delicious even if the rice isn’t freshly made!

Start Brown Rice

    Wild rice takes a long time to cook.  Be aware that some of these grains aren’t 12-minute cookers.

Wild Rice

I cooked my rices in water, but you could use vegetable stock for even more flavor!  Totally up to you.

Let barley cook until done

I put 1/2 teaspoon of salt in each grain as I was cooking it, then added more later.

Dressing ingredients

While the rices are cooking, make the dressing!  Add the herbs, lettuce, cream, garlic, and lemon juice to a blender or food processor, then squirt in the honey.

Add honey to dressing ingredients

Blend the dressing until it’s super creamy, then taste.  I like the sweet aspect of this dressing with the sharpenss of the herbs.  Don’t freak out about the lettuce – it adds some water and a really light fresh flavor – TRUST ME and use it!  Taste the veggies and add some salt or more lemon juice if you’d like!  If the dressing is very thick add water 1 teaspoon at a time and re-blend to thin it out.

Blend dressing until creamy

Then, prep the veggies.

Any veggies you like

Toast any nuts you’re using, and grab the cheese.

Crumbly cheese

For the endive, I cut the end off, then cut the head in half, then cut the halves into little half-moon strips.  Cute!

Chop endive

Cut the peppers into little chunks.

Chop sweet peppers

And thinly slice the scallion.

Slice onions

For any veggies you use, cut it super small!  I had pre-cut bagged lettuce, but just tear or cut any lettuce you’re using into little bits.  That way, the salad will blend together really well.

I set all the veggies on a plate…

Chopped veggies

…and then decided I wanted to add almonds and tomatoes, so I did that too.

Ingredients with almonds

Now, we have cooked grains, prepped veggies, and a yummy dressing!

To assemble, put a small portion of grains and any veggies you’d like in a bowl.

Add any ingredients you like to mix

Then pour on a little dressing, and stir everything together.

Add dressing to mixing bowl

That’s it!  I added some coarse salt and pepper to mine.

Salad tossed all together

And of course, extra cheese and nuts because  I didn’t want this to be TOO healthy.

Top of plated salad

Try this soon, friends!  You can customize it any way you want, and it’s a treat twist on a traditional chopped salad.  Trust me.  Enjoy!

Topped with cheese and almonds

Salad with fork

This is so yummy that I included it in this week’s Weekend Potluck.  It’s this cute thing where blogs from EVERYWHERE can submit recipes to share with others – it’s so fun to check out new things!

It’s run by: