Beautiful Salad

This is a recipe that is full of flavor, fiber and protein. It combines three whole grains that are gluten free. The whole grains are combinations of quinoa, millet and buckwheat. While buckwheat has the name of “wheat” in it, it is gluten free. The earthy grains are rich in a nutty flavor, yet the citrus in the dish tones down the earthy flavor, creating a very light salad.  This Beautiful Salad will create a healthy glow to the skin with the addition of olive oil, salmon and avocado.  Drizzle extra dressing over the salmon or chicken to boost the lemon flavor.

1 cup cooked millet
1 cup cooked quinoa
1 cup cooked buckwheat
5 stalks of fresh asparagus
2 carrots peeled
1 cup spring peas (frozen and thawed)
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 bunch of flat leaf parsley, chopped
Zest of one lemon with 3 T of fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
1 chicken breast, cooked and chopped
1 package of butter lettuce leafs for garnish
12 cherry tomatoes and 2 whole avocados divided and sliced for garnish
Salt and pepper to taste

Optional protein if used as a main course
12-16 oz poached skinned salmon filets divided into 6 portions (approximately 2 oz each) or 3 grilled chicken breasts, chilled, sliced and divided equally.

For extra dressing
1/4 cup of olive oil
Zest of one lemon
1 Tbsp Agave Nectar
3 Tbsp Rice wine vinegar

Prepare the grains as per package directions. Cool and set aside. Parboil the asparagus and carrots for 1 minute. Plunge in ice water to stop the cooking process. Chop the carrots and asparagus into ½-inch pieces
In a large bowl, combine the grains, asparagus, carrots, peas, bell pepper, parsley, lemon zest and lemon juice. Add the olive oil. Season.  Return to the refrigerator to chill. Serve over lettuce greens with cherry tomatoes and avocado for garnish.  Add the protein if used as a main course.  Drizzle extra sauce if needed, especially over the avocados to keep them from turning brown.

Serving size: 3/4 cup.  Analysis is for the base salad only and does not include garnish.

Number of servings: 6

Nutrition Facts: Calories: 266, Total Fat: 11 grams, Saturated Fat: 2 grams, Trans Fat: 0 grams, Cholesterol: 16 mg, Sodium: 86 mg, Carbohydrates: 32 grams, Fiber: 6 grams, Protein: 12 grams