Oh my — This salad was surprisingly filling and refreshing on this warm July day. Sure it took a bit to cook the barley, wild rice, and those lovely french green lentils. This are not your ordinary mushy green lentil. These lentils also known as Le Puy French Lentils are the caviar of lentils in the legume world. These green pearls stay firm after cooking and have a really nice bite to them. Please try them if you haven’t done so already — you won’t be disappointed.
Another ingredient in this salad are butter beans. I had not tried this fabulous velvety bean until a few months ago. I’ve only been able to find it canned so far, but regardless, they are delicious. Apparently this butter bean, is the more mature bean of the lima bean. Who knew? Lima beans are apparently the green unripened butter bean. Butter beans are incredibly rich and buttery (ha! get it? buttery? … Butter bean?) — and of course a great choice in this salad. Please feel free to substitute another favorite bean if you can’t find any butter beans on the shelves of your grocery.
If you take a look at the nutritional facts of this salad at the bottom of the recipe, you’ll see that this grain and lentil salad packs a whopping 16 grams of protein for a serving that offer nearly 400 calories for a hearty lunch or dinner plate. If you’re looking to slim those calorie anymore you could always cut out the toasted walnuts of course — but remember walnuts offer us the much needed Omega 3 ALA which helps to keep our heart healthy. (Remember all that talk about salmon being great for you? — Well, if you’re eating plant based now — Ditch the salmon, Dive into walnuts!) Plus the 12 grams of fiber each serving provides — is enough to make me “regularly” smile too.
Now, the ingredients in this salad dressing are so simple — it’s surprisingly delicious. Orange juice combined with champagne vinegar, maple syrup, grainy dijon mustard, and a small amount of garlic make this dressing almost good enough to drink…. if you umm… like garlic and vinegar in your drinks Fresh orange juice would be ideal, but of course it’s July and fresh oranges are not in season, so I had to resort to the Minute Maid jug in the fridge.
I wasn’t going to put this shot of my ingredients into this posting, but who could resist this photo bomb? This photo just makes me smile, and hey — this is REAL LIFE. I’m trying to share my recipes that I make for my family from my home. I don’t have a fancy photography set up, this time the scene is in our sun porch to our house after a day of playing in the water. (Hence the beach towel and life jacket in the back.) I’m trying to get healthier for this lil guy. Thanks Eddie. Momma loves ya.
You’ll notice I didn’t just dump all of the tasty salad ingredients into a large serving bowl, instead I took the time to align each ingredient neatly on the platter. Sure, it looks gorgeous this way, but there is an additional bonus to this method. I mentioned in an earlier post that my hubby isn’t a fan of red. I’ll explain briefly. For the most part, this means red fruit — strawberries, cherries, raspberries… you get the picture. Also melons, cucumbers, green peppers, raw onions, and I’m sure there are more to add to that list which aren’t red. He’s what we can call a “picky eater.” But on the bright side, this slowly coming around on certain things. His palate will now allow watermelon, grapes, edamame, zucchini, — which they never did before. So back to the “line up” up ingredients — notice the red pepper? He will eat red, yellow, and orange peppers while green peppers are apparently evil to him. So this set up of grains, beans, and veggies lets him pick out the desirable ones over….. red ones. Yes, this can be frustrating sometimes when I want to use delicious ingredients for meals or desserts, but hey he’s willing to try all of my crazy creations, so I can’t complain. Smiling, Can you tell he liked the corn portion of the salad?
- 3 cups barley cooked (About 1.5 cup uncooked)
- 2 cups wild rice cooked (About 1 cup uncooked)
- 2 cups french green lentils (About 1 cup uncooked)
- 1 cup of corn cooked (fresh, or frozen works best)
- ½ red pepper diced.
- 1 cup edamame (shelled)
- ½ cup toasted walnut pieces
- ½ cup parsley chopped
- 1 or 2 green onions for garnish
- 1 cup of orange juice
- 3 tbsp maple syrup
- 3 tbsp champagne vinegar
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard (I used the grainy type)
- ½ clove of garlic minced
- salt and pepper to season
- Cook the grains and lentils according to the packages instructions. Be sure to not over cook the lentils or barley, as you still want them to have a firm texture for the salad and not turn to mush)
- Also, rinse the barley well when it's done cooking to get rid of some of the starch before adding to the bowl.)
- Place all salad ingredients (barley, lentils, wild rice, corn, red peppers, edamame, butter beans, parsley, and toasted walnuts in a bowl.
- For the dressing, place all ingredients into a jar, an stir gently to blend.
- Add the dressing to the entire salad bowl and mix, or let each person add their own dressing to their serving.
- Garnish with green onions, salt and pepper if desired.