Orange Cranberry Whole Grain Salad

Orange Salad

There’s something summery and delicious on my table!

I mixed some of my new favorite tangy salad dressing with a concoction of orange segments, beans and whole grains. Oh my goodness! The result is a fiber-riffic salad that I just couldn’t keep my paws away from. Rye berries provide a satisfying chew and quinoa–a seed, if you really want to be technical about it–pairs with beans to up the protein factor.

A few things to note: I have finally started listening to the blog world and making my whole grains in enormous batches, then freezing them in a single layer on a cookie sheet. For goodness’ sake, If you’re going to go to the trouble of making quinoa, cook the whole package. Bag them up and you have a total lifesaver. You will thank yourself when you have it prepped and ready to throw in recipes down the line, just like I did here.

The whole grains in this salad are utterly interchangeable. You could use all three cups of a single grain if you prefer. If you’re gluten free and would rather use brown rice in the place of rye berries, go for it. You could mix in barley, bulgur, millet or farro (Remember this delicious farro salad? It’s still a favorite!)  Be creative with your whole grains. There are so many wonderful options.

Now then, are you ready to get cooking?

Orange Cranberry Whole Grain Salad

2 cups cooked quinoa (I used a mix of red and white)

1 cup cooked rye berries

1 cup orange segments

1/2 cup garbanzo beans

1/4 cup fresh chives, chopped

1/4 dried cranberries

1/4 cup tropical basil vinaigrette

Optional toppings:

1/4 cup goat cheese crumbles

1/4 cup toasted pine nuts

1/4 cup orange zest

Mix all the salad ingredients together and serve over your favorite greens. Top with goat cheese, pine nuts and orange zest, if desired. Enjoy!

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