Here’s a pomegranate whole grain salad that’s as tasty and filling as it is pretty.
I love a beautiful, tasty and filling salad for lunch or dinner. This pomegranate whole grain salad fits the bill, it has it all. And best of all, you can change it up any way you want based on your taste preferences and what’s in your fridge.
I’ll get right to the recipe, but if you want to learn more, keep reading below the recipe for ideas on how to assemble this salad and ingredient variations.
Recipe for Pomegranate Whole Grain Salad
Pomegranate Whole Grain Salad
- 1 cup bulgur
- 1/2 cup red quinoa
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 4 cups mixed dark leafy greens
- 1 cup thinly sliced red cabbage
- 11/2 cups cooked edamame beans
- 1 cup pomegranate seeds
- 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 2 Tbsp roughly chopped fresh parsley
Bulgur & Quinoa
- Rinse bulgur and quinoa well.
- Put in saucepan and pour in 3 cups water with 1/2 tsp salt. Cover and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit, covered for another 5 minutes.
- Rinse with cold water (to cool) and drain well.
- To make vinaigrette combine all ingredients in a jar, sea land shake. Taste and adjust as desired. Serve on the side.
- Toss it all together in a large bowl or arrange on large platter. To arrange on platter, place kale on platter, add whole grain in center, add squash and red cabbage around grains. Garnish with pepitas, cranberries and feta cheese.
- To arrange on a platter, place greens evenly on bottom of platter. Add whole grains in center, leaving an outer layer of greens exposed. Place red cabbage on top of exposed greens. Add edamame beans on top of the edge between grains and greens. Add pomegranates next to edamame leaving whole grains exposed in the middle. Add ring of feta cheese. Garnish with fresh parsley if desired.
- Can be prepared in advance.
- Store un-dressed leftovers in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Ingredients for Pomegranate Whole Grain Salad
The Whole Grains
In this version, I chose a blend of bulgur and red quinoa. These two grains cook up in about the same time, so they pair up nicely for cooking in one pot. Rinsing, measuring and cooking took under 30 minutes. Pretty impressive for whole grain goodness.
Of course you can swap in whatever whole grains you have on hand – wheat, rye, naked oats, hulled oats, hulled barley, buckwheat, brown or red rice, wild rice, freekeh, farro, etc.
Go for dark leafy greens to get the biggest bang for your health conscious buck! I often buy the pre-washed containers that have some sort of mix of kale, spinach, chard, bok choy, arugula, beet greens, tatsoi, mustard greens, broccoli rab (rapini), collard greens, etc. These are the greens that offer up the most protein, calcium, iron, folate, Vitamin K, etc. that we all need.
I also love these dark leafy greens because they can also be used in hot dishes. That means when they start looking less fresh, I can easily add them to soups, stews, curries, pizza, omelettes, etc. Less food waste works for me.
There are a couple of plant-based protein sources in this salad. Can you identify them?
The bright green beans are edamame beans. These are the beans from young, immature soy bean plants. For one cup of edamame you get about 18 grams of protein. These little guys are one of the few plant sources of complete protein – not that you need to worry about that if you’re eating a varied diet.
The whole grains in this salad also add protein to this salad. Both bulgur and quinoa add protein, with quinoa being another source of all 9 essential amino acids.
Oh and let’s not forget about those dark leafy greens and the feta! They too add to the overall protein content in this salad.
So there’s no need to worry about missing out on protein in this salad. In fact, Registered Dietitians and well respected food experts agree that our concern about protein far outweighs the reality – the reality that most of us get plenty of protein. Here’s what Marion Nestle, author and professor emeritus of nutrition, food studies and public health at New York University says, “People are very concerned about protein, but it’s a nonissue, it’s in grains, it’s in vegetables, it’s everywhere. It will find you. If you are getting enough calories, then you are getting enough protein”.
And then there are the add-ons that make this salad unique. They bring more colour, flavour and texture. I change the add-ons based on what’s in season, what’s in my fridge and what will look pretty. This week, I happen to have red cabbage, feta cheese and pomegranates. I love those little red jewels for their texture, burst of juicyness and obviously their colour.
I will often add: cheese, nuts, seeds, dried fruit, fresh fruit (apples, citrus, pears, berries, etc.), fresh herbs.
What are some of your favorite add-ons?
If you’re interested in more whole grain salads, here are some others on this website. You can easily switch the whole grain in any of these recipes. For gluten free options consider hulled oats, quinoa, red rice, wild rice or buckwheat.
Are you ready to try this salad? Leave a comment and of course, if you make it, share a photo on Instagram and tag @getgettys so I can see it and like it!
Sign up to get articles by Getty delivered to your inbox. You’ll get recipes, practical tips and great food information like this. Getty is a Professional Home Economist, speaker and writer putting good food on tables and agendas. She is the author of Manitoba’s best-selling Prairie Fruit Cookbook, Founder of Fruit Share, a mom and veggie gardener.