Monday, April 2, 2012

Vegan Bean and Grain Salad

This winter I decided to take a few days off from meat. I love vegetables and usually have more veggies with my meal than any other type of food but there generally is some meat in there (even if it is only chicken broth or a slice of bacon for flavor.) I wanted to challenge myself for a week to see if I could eat totally vegan (so no dairy or other animal products). Unfortunately I forgot about plans with some friends that involved helping her make a roast beef with all the fixings so I didn't get to go a week but I did have a great time coming up with this delicious lunch option that is easy to make ahead and can be packed up for work.

I really love eating a fresh healthy salad for lunch but most mornings I am not in the mood to start peeling vegetables and cleaning off lettuce so I had to do some advance planning. But a little time on Sunday made the week go by so easily! I was able to pack up individual servings of the bean and grain salad along with a baggie full of lettuce. When I lunch time arrived mixed all of the ingredients together and added a tiny squirt of balsamic dressing. You can also eat this warm as a side dish to almost any dinner!

(My calculations via Livestrong put this whole recipe at about 1450 calories) 

Vegan Bean and Grain Salad
4 cups cooked rice blend (I used something called Aztec blend from Wegman's that included lentils, quinoa, and rice)
1 14.5 oz can chick peas - drained and rinsed
3 scallions - diced
3 med yellow beets - roasted and cubed (about 1 cup)
2 plum tomato - cubed
1/2 red bell pepper - diced
5 stalks of asparagus (grilled or steamed) - diced
2 c baby spinach
juice of 1 lemon
4 tbsp fresh parsley - minced
salt & pepper to taste 

1) Combine all ingredients and serve