I wanted to make something savory with all the blueberries I bought last week at the Farmer’s Market, since I am trying not to eat things with added sugar. Visions of blueberry scones, cobblers, pie and other sweet things are dancing in my head but I resisted temptation (for now) and made a grain salad instead. Turns out this was super satisfying and I didn’t even want dessert after eating a huge bowl of it. Will see how long I last before I succumb to my favorite blueberry scone recipe:)
I was going to make this with red quinoa but I found a bag of Trader Joe’s mixed grains that looked perfect for this salad, so I used that. You could use any grain or combination of grains that appeals to you as long as they take about the same time to cook. After I made it the first time I thought of all sorts of other things that would be great to include so I made it a second time and added a few more things (sugar snap peas and sauteed kale) that really took it to another level. Like most all my recipes, you can add/substitute your own favorite ingredients, but don’t leave out the blueberries and do make the lemon vinaigrette. It balances the sweetness of the fruit.
This is a perfect salad for a warm summer evening and would be a great potluck dish, since the flavors really develop after sitting awhile.
BLUEBERRY MANGO MIXED GRAIN SALAD with LEMON VINAIGRETTE
(makes 2- 3 large servings or 4 -5 smaller side servings)
1 cup quinoa, couscous, bulgar, freekah or other grain of your choice
½ cup orange juice
½ cup water
1 tsp olive oil
¼ tsp. garlic powder
Pinch of salt
½ cup chopped onion (red, preferably)
½ cup diced fresh mango
¾ cup fresh blueberries
1 avocado, diced
*1/3 cup fresh sugar snap peas (sliced into ½ inch pieces) – optional but yummy
*1 cup chopped kale, sauteed briefly in coconut oil – (optional but I added it the second time and recommend it. Blueberries and kale go great together plus it boosts the nutrition level even more)
LEMON VINAIGRETTE: (makes about 1/2 cup)
Juice from ½ lemon
1/3 cup olive oil
1 small clove garlic, peeled & smashed
1-2 tsp. agave or maple syrup
2 TBSP. chopped fresh chives
2 TBSP chopped fresh mint
2 TBSP chopped fresh parsley
- For the salad, bring the water and orange juice to a boil and add your grain(s). Adjust the water amount for whatever grain you choose. Add a tsp. olive oil, the garlic powder & reduce to very low simmer. Put a lid on the pot and let it cook for between 10 -20 minutes, depending on what grain you are using.
- While the grain cooks, chop the onion, dice the fresh mango, avocado and sugar snap peas, set aside.
- Chop the herbs finely and save half for the garnish. Slice the sugar snap peas into 1/2 inch pieces, set aside.
- Chop the kale and saute briefly in coconut oil, set aside.
- For the vinaigrette,whisk the lemon juice, smashed garlic, olive oil and agave or maple syrup until it thickens and emulsifies. Add half the chopped herbs and stir well.
- When grain is cooked place it in a big bowl and let it cool for about 10 -15 minutes until it is fluffy.
- Gently fold in the onion, mango, blueberries, sugar snap peas, kale and avocado.
- Divide into serving bowls, drizzle with Lemon Vinaigrette and toss to coat the grains.
Garnish with freshly chop chives, mint and parsley. ENJOY!