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Healthy Grain Salad Bowls in 6 Easy Steps


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My favorite lunch is a grain salad bowl, which is basically a salad, a grain, a bean, and some veggies and sauce all mixed together. If you’ve been following my blog, you know this.

Recipes and combinations for grain salad bowls are endless, so you can mix & match to your hearts’ content! Additionally, it takes less than 10 minutes to put together and requires no pre-prepping. In addition to being nutritionally complete, the meal also provides fiber-packed whole grains and colorful veggies, plant-based protein, and healthy fats!

I thought it was time to share some fun grain salad bowl recipes and combinations with you guys to give you some lunch (or easy dinner) inspiration. In case you need the best salad bowls, we have recommendation for you.

This is my formula for making crave-worthy grain salad bowls, so you can do the same!

Making Grain Salad Bowl Steps

Start with Salad Greens

Fill your bowl (or packable container) with two big handfuls of greens. The greens that I like best are spinach, arugula, and kale – but you can use any lettuce or leafy vegetable.

Add Grains to Your Bowl

Make your salad whole grain-rich by adding half a cup of cooked whole grains. To keep this fast and easy, I use leftover grains from dinner or microwaved brown rice. In addition to brown rice, quinoa, barley, and other whole grains, you can also use them for salads during the week.

Add Beans or Legumes

Half a cup of cooked beans or legumes should be added. The price of dried beans is really low, and canned beans can be rinsed and drained before adding to the pot. I like edamame, chickpeas, black beans, and lentils on this diet. Having beans on hand to give the meal staying power is a great idea, since beans are full of both protein and fiber.

Top Your Salad with Veggies

Salads should be topped with lots of chopped vegetables! Whatever you have on hand will do – cucumbers, tomatoes, carrots, snap peas, peppers, green beans, mushrooms, the list goes on.

Sprinkle on Healthy Fats

The addition of healthy fats to salads can make them more filling and add flavor and texture. Cheese crumbles or gratings or chopped nuts on salad taste great, and avocado goes well with pretty much anything. 

Dress Up Your Grain Salad

Dressing is such a fun way to get creative with your salad flavors. Most days I keep it super simple by drizzling on a homemade vinaigrette (just oil + lemon juice + dijon mustard + balsamic or red wine vinegar), but again, your options are endless here! Try out these ideas:

  • 1 tbsp vinegar, 1 tbsp lemon juice, 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp dijon mustard, 1 clove grated garlic (optional) – shaken up in a small jar
  • a heaping spoonful salsa
  • a heaping spoonful hummus
  • 1 tbsp rice vinega
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 clove grated garlic – shaken up in a small jar (this has a fun Asian flair) Vegan Caesar Dressing

Grain Salad Bowl Recipe Inspiration

To put this into action and give you some ideas, here are a few of my favorite combinations 

With kale and brown rice plus carrots and cucumbers and snap peas plus toasted almonds + rice vinegar/soy sauce/sesame oil/garlic

Spinach, barley, lentils, cucumber, tomato and carrot, plus goat cheese, lemon, olive oil, dijon mustard, garlic

A Salad a Day Keeps Disease and Aging at Bay

Fresh, raw vegetables offer many health benefits besides their natural taste and good texture, as well as their attractive colors and aromatics.

A healthy diet contributes to disease prevention, a healthy weight, and youthful energy – and who wouldn’t appreciate a bit more energy and vitality?

It is easy to make them, especially if you have some tools and utensils on hand that can assist with the preparation of raw food diets.

A spiralizer can make a trendy salad out of any firm vegetable, and is a must-have for any raw foodie.

Salads also look great when presented in a wooden salad bowl or other nice serving dish.

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