Monday, May 2, 2011

Energy Boosting Protein Salad

Happy Monday! I hope you had a wonderful weekend. Because I was super productive on Saturday, I decided to take Sunday off of everything. I just wanted a day to relax on the couch and hang out at home. The movie Couples Retreat was playing on TV and now I'm dying for a vacation even more (but not quite the type of vacation that they had ;-)!!  I'm hoping for Vegas in October and a cruise in March 2012, but Derek wants to go out West to visit family in Edmonton, Alberta. I guess we'll see as the time gets closer. Either way, it's time to start saving our pennies, so we can be sure to do something! Don't you love having a holiday to look forward to??

While I was just lounging around, I decided to whip up a salad to take with me to work this week. Somehow I'm overstocked on kidney beans (I don't know where the cans keeps coming from!), so I started searching around and I found a recipe for an Energizing Protein Power Salad at Oh She Glows. It's a little different from what I'd normally make, but I thought I'd give it a try and boy am I glad I did! It is more delicious than I ever imagined. The combo of ingredients is not what I would ever put together myself, but somehow they really, really work together. You have to cook up your grains, so it takes a bit of time to get this all put together, but it is worth it and it will save you time through the week when you don't have to worry about making a lunch each day. And it's no big deal when your living room is right beside the kitchen. I just put my grains on to boil and checked them during commercials ~ I'm such an awesome multi-tasker hehe!!

Energy Boosting Protein Salad
Recipe slightly adapted from Oh She Glows

This is a fabulous recipe to whip up and take with you to work for lunch each day. Angela used raisins and almonds in her salad and I substituted dried cranberries and pumpkin (pepita) seeds. The combo when all of the ingredients are put together is amazing. It's like a "healthy" party in your mouth!

1/2 c. uncooked wheatberries (you can buy these at your local bulk store)
1 c. uncooked quinoa
1 19 oz can red kidney beans
2 tsp  extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 sweet onion, chopped
1 pepper, chopped (I used some yellow & orange pepper)
1/4 c. dried cranberries
1/4 c. raw pumpkin seeds

1/2 c. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp sea salt
black pepper, to taste

Cook your wheatberries and quinoa according to the directions. Once your grains are cooked add them both to a large mixing bowl.



mixed together 

In a large skillet, add your olive oil, garlic and onion. Cook for 5 - 6 minutes until the onions are soft and translucent.

Add in pepper, cranberries and pumpkin seeds. Cook for an additional 5 minutes over medium low heat.

While the veggies are cooking, make your dressing. Add all of the ingredients into your magic bullet. Pulse until well mixed. (You could also put all the ingredients into a bowl and whisk by hand)

Add your veggie mixture to the grains and pour over the dressing. Mix well. Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving. 

Store in an airtight container and eat your heart out all week! 

I love it when I have a lunch ready & waiting for me in the fridge. I refuse to spend $10 a day on lunches, so I try to make one at least 4 days a week. I'm notorious for rushing around making a lunch at 11 p.m. the night before......but not this week ;-)

What was the best part of your past weekend?
Do you have a favourite make-ahead meal?

Have a great day!



  1. This sounds great. I make very similar lunches--grain salads with a mix of veggies, nuts and some kind of vinaigrette. Today I have quinoa with kale, butternut squash and roasted chickpeas. Filling, healthy and cheap...those are my basic requirements!

  2. Yum! Your salad sounds fantastic!!

  3. Yummy! I love finding new ways to use up my quinoa, this looks amazing. And yea I refuse to spend money everyday on lunches when I can just make it myself and it's much healthier. Best part of my weekend was my Saturday night out dancing :D
    I liked Couples Retreat btw, I thought it was so cute

  4. I want to start experimenting with wheat berries! They are the everywhere. Great recipe!

  5. Yummy salad! The best part of my weekend was my lazy Sunday. We did work all day on Saturday and I didn't do a thing on Sunday and loved every minute of it! :-)

  6. This salad is packed with all kinds of nutrition! I bet it's delicious too :), Miriam@Meatless Meals For Meat Eaters