Vegan Herbed Black Rice, Black Lentils, and Black Quinoa Pilaf Salad Bowls with Blackberries is a nutritious summer meal.
One of my favorite summer memories growing up is of my sister and I picking wild berries at my grandparents’ house and eating them as fast as we could pick. Mom would always send us out with a few pint-sized containers, stained various shades of purple and red inside with remnants of previous summer’s berries, but we were hard-pressed to fill them up. It doesn’t get any better than eating freshly picked fruit that’s still warm from the sun.
Blackberries in particular are one of my favorite summertime treats, and I don’t see any reason why they should be destined for sweet recipes only. Their sweet/tart flavor lends itself really well to a balanced flavor profile, and their beautiful deep purple color is always a showstopper. They’re a natural addition to things like salad.
A lot of people tell me there’s no way they could just have salad as a full meal because they’d be hungry within just a couple hours. I don’t find this to be the case, mainly because I always incorporate a healthy fat and some kind of protein in my salads. This salad in particular is full of goodies and should keep you satisfied for a while…and it’s vegan!
Here I used Village Harvest Black Rice, Black Lentils, Black Quinoa Organic Antioxidant Blend, which is a nutritious combination of black lentils, black rice, and black quinoa. (Each 1/4-cup serving has 190 calories, 8g protein, and 5g fiber!) I was impressed that Village Harvest products are about more than just rice; they are about discovering new possibilities at home in the kitchen, or in the fields where their grains are grown. In addition to caring for our planet, they believe that sustainability also means caring about their workers; they have pledged 1% of their profits to run programs that give back to the farmers and local communities from which they source their products. They have three blends; in addition to the antioxidant blend, they also have an Organic Ancient Grain Blend and an Organic Protein Blend. Look for these at your local grocery store and if you can’t find them, fill out a product request form for your local store manager.
This salad is light enough to be refreshing for summer, but still filling enough to be a stand-alone meal! What’s your go-so summer salad?
- 2 tablespoons avocado oil
- ½ small-medium white onion, diced
- 1 cup Village Harvest Black Rice, Black Lentils, Black Quinoa Organic Antioxidant Blend
- 2¼ cups (535 ml) water
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
- ¾ teaspoon fine salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1½ tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 pinch each salt and black pepper
- 8 cups baby greens (I used kale)
- ½ small-medium white onion, thinly sliced
- 2 cups fresh blackberries
- ¾ cup pecans, chopped
- 2 sprigs fresh mint leaves, cut into a chiffonade
- For the pilaf, heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until starting to soften, about 3 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the black rice/black lentils/black quinoa blend and toast until it starts to smell nutty, about 2 to 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the water, thyme, salt, and black pepper, and bring up to a boil. Cover the saucepan, turn the heat down to low, and cook until the water is absorbed and the pilaf is tender, about 30 minutes. Remove from heat, let it sit with the lid on for 10 minutes, and then fluff with a fork. Cool to room temperature and then prepare the salad. (Store covered in the fridge for up to 3 days in advance.)
- To assemble the salads, whisk together the vinegar, oil, salt, and black pepper in a large bowl. Add the baby greens and toss to coat.
- Divide the greens between 4 large bowls. Top each with ¼ of the pilaf, onion, blackberries, pecans, and mint.
- Serve immediately.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.