This salad is light, refreshing and highly addictive! I’ve been working to integrate more whole grains in my diet. The best way for me is to make a big batch of something on the weekend so I can eat off of it during the week. I saw the idea for a parsley based salad from budget bytes and really liked the fresh herb as the green in it. Since fall is here in full swing, this is also great because it’s not quite so heavy. Fall often brings warm, comforting, gooey foods and I’m also trying to NOT eat those for every meal. This is perfect. I mixed chicken with it for lunches for a satisfying bite and spruced it up with more vinaigrette when it dried up a bit.
You can mix up your grains on this. From brown rice to quinoa, to bulgar, it’s up to you. You could even make this out of orzo or any kind of fun pasta. Be mindful of the amount of vinaigrette you make, you might want more. My vinaigrette recipe is BASIC (not basic like the college girls are currently using) but basic in the sense that it’s a single batch with some nice flavors but not overly heavy. Spice it up, add more salt and pepper, whatever makes you happy. I like extra garlic and extra mustard, but that’s just my taste preference.
- 1 c. cooked brown rice that’s been cooled
- 1 c. cooked quinoa that’s been cooled
- 1 bunch flat leaf parsley, clean & dry
- 1/2 cup pecans, chopped small
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries (craisins), chopped roughly
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp vegetable or canola oil
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar (apple cider vinegar works too)
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- ½ tbsp Dijon mustard
- ½ tsp sugar
- ½ tsp dried basil
- salt + freshly cracked pepper to taste
- Whisk the dressing ingredients together while the quinoa and brown rice are cooking and cooling so the flavors will marry. Put all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk with a fork or whisk until combined. Set aside.
- Rinse parsley and pat dry with paper towels or dry in a salad spinner. Finely chop the leaves and put in a bowl for mixing.
- Roughly chop the cranberries and pecans. Place in bowl with parsley.
- Top with the cooked and cooled quinoa and brown rice.
- Top with dressing and lightly toss.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.