Salads: Grains and Greens

Plant based salads are more than just lettuce and cucumber. If you are eating a whole foods, plant based way, you may be looking for options that include some carbs! Try my formula for creating hearty meal like salads:)

I think of myself as an intuitive cook. I did not start out this way. My mom was an intuitive cook as well. It really bugged me. Some days there was no rhyme or reason to her dishes. After all, she was a single mom and had little time to devote to a meal, working full and part time. In my early 20’s, I loved Martha Stewart ❤️ and her beautiful food photography, and loved her crisp structure, her variety and the fastidiousness of her recipe collection. Even her 101's were a dream for someone craving tidiness and order amongst the chaos in their life!

I had no idea that when you cook as much as my mom had, and as much as I have too, that some days, you just don't want to follow a recipe.

Let's face it moms, some days/weeks/months you don't just want to even COOK.

After so many years, you know what herbs go with what other foods in many dishes. You get comfy without a measuring cup. (I made scones today from a recipe without measuring most ingredients).

Call me lazy.

I may be food obsessed, but I certainly have days where I just don't have the brainpower to cook. 

It cracks me up though, when my friend asks for a recipe for something, like a vinaigrette. 

"Oh," I answer. "You just mix some balsamic, with some oil, and seasonings, perhaps a little garlic clove, or a little dijon, and you've got some salad dressing."

"Ok, but whats the RECIPE."

Some of my greatest dishes have come from a rummage through my produce bin. I like to add, subtract, or change existing recipes too. And this time of year there is lots of produce to be had. Instagram is a drool-worthy collection of farmer's market photos of colourful peaches and deep green kale. 

Perfect for me, as I ❤️ salads, especially during the peak of summer! Right now my garden overflows with kale, tomatoes, garlic and all kinds of herbs.

I use my herbaceous essential oils for diffusing right now, not cooking, because no matter how pure they are, you can't beat a fresh from the garden bunch of parsley or rosemary!

Greens are something I have always loved, even the bitter variety. My family is so-so on the greens thing, so I incorporate them in easy dishes, that enhance other flavours. I've yet to convince anyone on a plate of steamed rapini, olive oil and garlic!

C'mon! SO delish!

Anyways, I've been putting together some delicious salads based on whole grains like buckwheat, quinoa, barley and greens. Right now I have so much kale, I have been salad inspired! I created a simple formula below to help ease your meals, create fresh flavour and fuel your tomorrow. 

*The pic below contains food suggestions that are allergenic and POTENTIALLY HARMFUL TO SOME, like nuts and barley, which is NOT GLUTEN-FREE. I assume you know your body, and what it can have:)

Whole Food Plant Based Salad Formula

If you consume grains, choose one and cook according to directions. Use one part grain to two parts green. Grains can be things like barley (not gluten-free), kasha, amaranth (ok its a seed), quinoa (another seed), you get the picture.

The combinations are abundant when you add in some extras, like a sweet pepper, a peach, (in my image above, I used a combo of peaches, kale and barley with a simple vinaigrette.) 

Season to taste, or amp it up by adding a legume, some nuts and seeds, and really, you have a meal in a bowl that can last for 2 days in your fridge.


These creations can be a great back to school lunch and can be made ahead the night before. Great for a summer barbecue when you need something that holds up well. Pair your salads with a dressing like my Cranberry Balsamic Vinaigrette or my Avocado “Monster” Mayonnaise.

A salad with some grains, some complex-carby goodness, can feed the Physical Body, just one of  the 8 Bodies that Andrea Lieberstein talks about in her book, Well Nourished, Mindful Practices to Heal Your Relationship with Food, Feed Your Whole Self, and End Overeating (Quarto Publishing, 2017.)  

I'd love to hear what you have made! Head on over to my Facebook Page and post pics of your creations!

Ah summer, so short, but so good!

As always, Eat with Awareness and Thrive,