Thursday, April 23, 2009

Grain and Bean Salads To GO!

Today I have a very simple grain and bean salad recipe for you. Something you can easily whip up if you have leftover grains and beans. My children love this salad. Today I made it for Tom and packed it up for him to take on a two day trip to Seattle.

If you have been following my last few posts, you'll know that I have been totally consumed taking care of all four of my children whom have had the chicken pox. Luckily now they will have lifetime immunity! The end of this week marks 5 whole continuous weeks of dealing with this. Now we are on the home stretch. My last child, 16 month old Ben, has them this week. He had a 105.3 fever the other night, the highest I have ever seen a fever before.

Thank goodness for breast milk, which was his only food for almost 2 days. He was not interested in food or water and I would imagine would have been very dehydrated if it weren't for mama's milk. Now today, he is beginning to get his little Benny spunk back and has been busily playing outside for most of the day.

With that spunk comes a little curiosity. Today while I was picking overwintered kale from our garden, Ben and his twin brother, Sam, ran over to help. They picked a few leaves and then decided to go through our newly planted garden and take out all of the little yellow plant name tags. Oh well, Tom and I can recognize the difference between kale and collards or arugula and spinach!

The kale that I picked, along with a few chives, was for a simple rice and garbanzo bean salad that I made for Tom before he left for a weekend trip to Seattle. Packed in a to-go container, this meal is ideal for lunches away from home.

I hesitated posting something like this because it is so simple, but sometimes the simplest things are the best. Interested in more whole grain recipes? Then click here.

Rice and Garbanzo Bean Salad with Kale

This super nutritious salad is even better on the second day after the kale has been softened from the olive oil and lemon juice! View my quick tutorial on cooking beans if you need a refresher.

4 cups cooked long grain brown rice (I used Jasmine)
1 to 2 cups cooked garbanzo beans
2 cups chopped raw kale
2 large carrots, diced
handful of chopped fresh chives or green onions
handful of fresh basil leaves, chiffonade
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 lemon, juiced
Herbamare or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Place all ingredients into a large bowl and toss together. Taste and adjust salt and pepper if needed. I made this today with the rice slightly warm, but not too hot.

If you do not have precooked rice on hand then cook 1.5 cups of rice with just under 3 cups of water and it will equal about 4 cups cooked.

Of course this recipe can easily be made without a recipe which is how I like to cook. Today I decided to measure as I was adding ingredients to the bowl for those of you who like to have more specifics.

I hope you enjoy! Please share your favorite grain and bean combinations if you are willing. Thanks! :)

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About the Author

Alissa Segersten holds a Bachelor's of Science in Nutrition from Bastyr University. She is the founder of Whole Life Nutrition, the mother of five children, a whole foods cooking instructor, professional recipe developer, and cookbook author. She is passionate about helping others find a diet that will truly nourish them, and offers elimination diet recipes, healthy gluten-free recipes, paleo and vegan recipes, as well as tips for feeding your family a nourishing, whole foods diet. Alissa is the author of two very popular gluten-free, whole foods cookbooks and guidebooks: The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook and Nourishing Meals. She is also the co-author of The Elimination Diet book. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram!


  1. Please, Ali, never apologize for "simple". Especially, for things that travel well. The challenge to eat away from home when gluten challenged (along with other food intolerances) makes on the look-out for any and all good ideas.
    Thank you!

  2. Oh no! Poor Ben! I hope you guys are over your chicken pox soon and everyone feels good. Enjoy the sunshine at least. All the best to you all.

  3. Thanks for more delicious ideas to add to our vegan kitchen. This one will be on our "must do" list for the weekend. It will make a perfect lunch to take to work next week.

  4. Yea! Something to do with with left over chickpeas! And portable, too! And thanks for the general ingredients/measurements - it's a good place to get started on a new idea.

  5. Sounds fresh! Thanks for sharing your simple recipe. I love gleaning new ideas for healthy meals here. Your quinoa and black bean salad is a staple in our house!!!

  6. Ahh, a great way to use up my kale in the fridge. I'll bet this would be yummy using quinoa instead of rice and I have a can of garbanzos floating around in my pantry that I can use.

    Thanks! ~J

  7. Thanks for your comments!

    sicl4015 - I am glad I created something useful to you. I appreciate your comment.

    Pavlina - Thanks - we have been soaking up the sun! Isn't it lovely!

    David D. - Let us know how it turned out!

    Carbon Master - Yes this is a great way to use up chickpeas. I like to make a large pot and then freeze the beans in 4-cup containers.

    ForTheLoveOfFood - I glad this blog inspires you! Thanks for your comment - we love quinoa and black beans too!

    Jacqueline - I am glad you mentioned quinoa here - I am sure it would work great here. Let us know how it turns out if you get a chance.

    -Ali :)

  8. The term salad when used alone applies to green leaves or stalks that are eaten uncooked. An extension of the term salad, as now more generally used throughout the world, applies to a salad plant, with or without other foods, and a dressing.

  9. When I first saw the picture I said, "YUM!" Thank you. Glad to hear your little one is on the mend. Ohh, and yes-yay for mama;s milk.

  10. Ali, I don't even know you and as I read this recipes (all your recipes) I said out load "Ali, I love you". I am so grateful you share your innate knowing and wisdom around food and it's preparation (that is how I feel, you have a gift, an intuitive knowing). Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  11. Always share simple recipes, Ali, please. We need to see simple recipes that others make because it shows us other possibilities. Even if we've made something before, we may forget about it for a while. And, a recipe like this one shows how easy it is to eat gluten free. :-)

    Glad your little guy is healing. My son had high fevers like that. We learned many methods to bring them down, but they were always scary. He even had febrile seizures twice.


  12. so happy to have found you Ali!

    I have tried a couple of your recipes and they are all really good!

  13. This is one of my favorites! Made it this afternoon and can't quit eating from the big bowl! : ) I feel WORLDS better thanks to your book and elimination diet. THANK YOU!

  14. My husband and i love this salad. We had it with grilled salmon. It was a great! meal..Thank you for sharing with us. Sabrina,Eldon..

  15. I made your rice and garbanzo bean salad recipe. I divided it and filled 5 small Mason jars with it for lunch to bring to work. It was outstanding! I was pleasantly sated, yet not stuffed. 😊 Everyone I had lunch with was curious, and I think, a bit jealous. So, of course, I had to share your site with them. Thank you! Kassy

  16. I loved this recipe!! I divided it into 5 portions that fit into small Mason jars and took it to work for lunch each day. It was pleasantly satisfying, and tied me over until dinner. Thank you!

  17. I'm not fond of carrots in salad, so I'm going to try diced raw sweet potato next time. Oh, and I used sprouted brown rice.


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Thanks and Happy Cooking! ~Ali :)