Summer is salad season, and while leafy green vegetables are always a positive addition to your diet, salads don’t have to be filled with lettuce, spinach, kale, or mixed greens — you can actually skip this produce entirely while still creating a healthy side or main salad. Instead, you’ll be taking on grains to make a salad, and reaping the benefits that whole grains have to offer. To see what you’ll gain when you ditch the greens, check out these 7 recipes.
1. Wild Rice and Edamame Salad
There is not meat in Chow’s wild rice chilled dish, but the wild rice provides the protein you want to keep you full. According to FitDay, one cup contains 6.5 grams of protein, more than what is found in wheat. Consuming wild rice will up your intake of vitamins B1, B2, B3, and B9, along with zinc and magnesium. Nutritious and flavorful, this salad is anything but boring and serves between 6 and 8 people.
- ½ cup blanched slivered almonds
- 2 tablespoons white sesame seeds
- 4 cups cooked wild rice
- 3 medium scallions, thinly sliced (white and light green parts only)
- 2 cups shelled cooked edamame, thawed if frozen
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and small dice
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
- ¼ cup rice vinegar, plus more as needed
- 2 teaspoons honey
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
Directions: Place the almonds in a medium frying pan over medium heat and toast, stirring often, until golden brown (do not let the nuts burn), about 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a large heatproof bowl. Add the sesame seeds to the pan and toast, stirring often, until golden brown, about 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to the bowl with the almonds. Add the rice, scallions, edamame, carrots, and cranberries to the bowl with the almonds and sesame seeds and toss to combine. Whisk the olive oil, sesame oil, rice vinegar, honey, and a pinch each of salt and pepper in a medium bowl until combined. Drizzle over the rice mixture and toss to combine. Taste and season as needed with more salt, pepper, and vinegar. Cover and chill for at least one hour before serving.