This orange and wheat salad hits the spot in so many ways. A filling, delicious, seasonal and vegan meal in a salad.
It’s tasty – fresh greens, juicy citrus with a fantastic dressing, the crunch of the seeds, the chewiness of the wheat and the sweetness of the cranberries – oh man!
It’s filling – seriously when you add whole grains and seeds to a salad you get the perfect combo of protein, carbs and fat to fill you up.
It’s seasonal – you get the best flavor and colour when you use seasonal produce.
It’s beautiful – just look at it!
It’s vegan – just FYI!
It’s healthy brain food – get your daily dose of dark leafy greens, fruit, whole grains, nuts & seeds and olive oil.
If you’re looking for more ways to incorporate plant-protein based meals into your weekly meal plan, consider this salad. It’s perfect for a filling lunch or a side salad to accompany falafel, grilled cheese, soup, cauliflower buffalo wings, hummus and pita, samosas or whatever.
Ingredients in Orange Wheat Salad
The Greens & Cabbage
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 most of them can also be used in hot dishes. They can withstand the heat so they’re easy to add to soups, stews, curries, pizza, omelets, etc. In our house, that means less food waste, because when the greens start looking less tasty, I can still cook with them and don’t need to toss them because they’re not perfect.
There’s not a ton of purple cabbage in this salad, just enough for an extra splash of colour, crunch and purple antioxidants.
I grew up on a grain farm, we always had wheat, but we NEVER ate it. Weird right?! We only ate store bought wheat products – flour, pasta, baked goods. It never even occurred to me that we could cook wheat and eat it just like rice. Mind blown!
Now I cook wheat or wheat berries as their officially called in the culinary world quite often. I freeze extras so it’s convenient for quick lunches.
Here’s more on How to Cook and Freeze Wheat berries. Just like in the rice family, there are different varieties of wheat like kamut, farro, freekeh, spelt, etc. There are so many varieties, but all are high in fibre, low in calories and packed with vitamins, minerals and even protein.
I love North American orange season and look for ways to incorporate all the different types into my January to March meal planning. In this salad, I chose blood oranges, Cara Cara oranges and classic navel oranges. They give a bright, refreshing flavor to the salad. And that extra bit of Vitamin C mixed in with the dark leafy greens will help our bodies absorb the iron from these plants better. Here’s more on Different Orange Varieties.
Homemade dressings are the best! The oranges in this recipe are the perfect complement to the cranberry orange infused vinegar I have from Christmas time. So good!
Orange and Wheat Salad Recipe
Orange and Wheat Salad
- 3/4 cup raw wheat berries
- 2-3 small oranges, different varieties, peeled and sectioned
- 6 cups dark leafy green mix
- 1 cup sliced red cabbage
- ½ cup toasted pepitas or sunflower seeds
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 2 Tbsp chopped green onions
- 1/4 cup olive or canola oil
- 2 Tbsp white wine vinegar see note
- 1 Tbsp maple syrup
- 1/2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Rinse and drain wheat berries. Place in medium saucepan and cover with 1 to 2 inches of water. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer covered for 50-60 minutes until tender. Drain any remaining water and cool.
- Arrange all prepared ingredients on either a large platter layering each ingredient in an attractive display or simply toss together in a large bowl.
- If displaying on a platter, serve vinaigrette on the side. If tossing in a bowl, mix in vinaigrette.
- Combine all ingredients in a well sealed jar and shake vigorously. Taste and adjust as desired.
- Store leftovers in the fridge for up to 3 days if you used dark leafy greens like kale, chard, beet greens, etc. If you have baby spinach, romaine, leaf lettuce or iceberg lettuce – it's best to eat up!
Replace the wheat with any other large whole grains like farro, rye berries, bulgur (quick cooking), hulled barley, hulled oats or quinoa. *I love using my cranberry orange infused vinegar in this recipe.
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
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 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.