Serves 2 as a main course

Here's a grain salad formula that invites improvisation to create an endless variety of satisfying one-dish meals that also pack well for lunch. If you're using black beans as the protein source, rinse them until the water runs clear or their liquid will discolor the other ingredients.

A substantial, grain-based salad welcomes a more liberal amount of either vinegar, lemon juice or ume plum vinegar than does a garden salad. It also welcomes experimentation with other ingredients such as cooked sweet corn, alfalfa sprouts, snow peas, fresh herbs,olives or sun-dried tomatoes.

2 cups cooked quinoa, kamut, rice, millet, barley, posole, wild rice or pasta shells

1 cup cooked chicken breast, salmon, tempeh or beans

1 carrot, diced

1 stalk celery or fennel, diced

1 small red or green bell pepper, diced

2 scallions, chopped

Handful of lettuce leaves for each serving

1/3 cup salad dressing of choice

For garnish: toasted chopped nuts, sunflower seeds, egg slices,or grated cheese

Combine the salad ingredients, toss with the dressing and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Serve on a bed of lettuce and top with your choice of garnishes.

[Accompanying article: Cook without Recipes]

(Reprinted with the kind permission of Rebecca Wood, from her wonderful website)


Rebecca Wood, who learned gardening and foraging techniques from her grandparents and studied with leading experts in macrobiotics and traditional Oriental medicine, has taught and written about a sustainable diet since 1970.

Her book, The Splendid Grain, won both a James Beard Award and a Julia Child/IACP Award. Her most recent book, The New Whole Foods Encyclopedia, was a One Spirit Book Club (Quality Paperback Book division) main selection. Rebecca has been an educational consultant to numerous organizations in the natural foods industry and currently offers cooking classes for Eden Foods throughout the Western region. She co-founded and directed the East-West Center in Boulder, Colorado, and has established several cooking schools. She currently teaches cooking classes from her home kitchen in Ashland, Oregon.

Rebecca offers a variety of services. To schedule an appointment, check out Rebecca's wonderful website for more information, articles, recipes and books. Each month new recipes and articles are posted.