FeaturesJune/July 2014 Issue

Whole-Grain Gluten-Free Summer Salads

Grains and fresh seasonal greens make hearty, healthy salads for those on the gluten-free diet.

Salads are a great go-to dish in the heat. Bright, fresh and fruity flavors at lunch can rejuvenate you mid-day. Salads are a delicious option for a light dinner, as well—eat your fill without feeling weighed down.

Gluten-free whole grains—quinoa, teff, millet and wild rice—star in these summer salads. These fiber-filled grains help stabilize blood sugar levels and keep you satisfied until your next meal. Yes, you can feel full from a well-balanced salad.

Civilizations of years past appreciated the nutrition packed in these hardy grains. These ancient superfoods shine when tossed with salad greens.

  • Quinoa contains a complete protein (hard to find in non-animal sources), plus antioxidants, amino acids and a notable amount of vitamin E. This popular grain pairs well with dark leafy greens like collards and kale, sweet root vegetables, onions and corn.
  • As small as a poppy seed, teff is a high-protein grain that’s a rich source of iron, calcium and zinc. One cup of teff has as much calcium as half a cup of cooked spinach. Teff seeds can be ivory or dark reddish brown. Ivory teff is higher in protein, while dark teff is higher in iron.
  • Millet is a sweet, nutty grain that combines well with vegetables. Grown in the hot, dry climes of India and Africa, millet contains magnesium and powerful antioxidants.
  • Wild rice is incredibly flavorful. It’s high in protein, low in fat and a good source of minerals and vitamin B6. Because wild rice is difficult to grow, it can be expensive and is often combined with white or brown rice in commercial products. However, pure wild rice offers 30 times more antioxidants than white rice, making it worth the extra bucks.
  • Gluten-free brown rice couscous is made from brown rice instead of the customary durum wheat. Rich in fiber and nutrients, this product from Lundberg Family Farms has a wonderful taste and texture.

In the following summer salads (all free of gluten, dairy, soy and nuts), whole-grain goodness combines with crisp, raw vegetables, fresh sweet fruit and dark leafy greens. Throw in some dried cherries, golden raisins or cranberries and add an extra kick of flavor with fresh herbs, such as dill, cilantro and basil. Then toss your salad with heart-healthy extra-virgin olive oil or flaxseed oil and you’ve got a quick meal.

Photo by Amie Valpone

Photo by Amie Valpone

Gluten-Free Golden Raisin Quinoa Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing

SERVES 4

Forget your typical Caesar salad. Romaine lettuce gets a makeover in this fruity meal beefed up with quinoa, a protein powerhouse.

1 cup quinoa, rinsed well
2 cups water
-Pinch of salt
2 large heads of romaine lettuce, chopped
3 stalks of celery, chopped
1 large cucumber, diced
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 medium Fuji apple, diced
cup golden raisins

Poppy Seed Dressing
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
small shallot, minced
cup honey
teaspoon sea salt
teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoons poppy seeds

1. Place quinoa, water and a pinch of salt in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cover. Simmer until tender and water is absorbed, about 15 minutes.

2. In a large bowl, combine romaine lettuce, celery, cucumber, bell pepper, apple and raisins.

3. To make the dressing, whisk together olive oil, vinegar, shallot, honey, sea salt and pepper in a small bowl. Stir in poppy seeds.

4.
Gently combine quinoa and lettuce mixture. Pour dressing over salad and toss to combine. Serve at room temperature.

Each serving contains 467 calories, 16g total fat, 2g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 436mg sodium, 77g carbohydrate, 14g fiber, 35g sugars, 13g protein, 41 Est GL.

Gluten-Free Quinoa Watercress Salad with Pears & Lentils

SERVES 4

A touch of spicy ginger adds a nice zing to this salad made hearty with a double dose of protein from quinoa and lentils. Refreshing mint and sweet pear balance the flavors. Watercress makes this salad super cleansing.

1 cup quinoa, rinsed well
2 cups water, more for lentils
-Pinch of salt
cup dry lentils, rinsed
1 medium pear, thinly sliced
1 large bunch watercress, chopped

Dressing
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
-Juice of 1 medium lemon
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/3 cup finely chopped fresh mint
teaspoon grated fresh ginger
teaspoon sea salt
teaspoon pepper

1. Place quinoa, water and a pinch of salt in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cover. Simmer until tender and water is absorbed, about 15 minutes.

2. Place lentils in a separate small saucepan filled with water. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Check to see if lentils are tender after 15 minutes. Be careful not to overcook them. They should not be too soft. Drain lentils and place them under cold running water to stop the cooking process.

3. While lentils and quinoa are cooking, make the dressing by placing olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, lemon zest, mint, ginger, sea salt and pepper in a small mixing bowl. Whisk to combine.

4. Once lentils and quinoa are slightly cool, place them in a serving bowl. Gently toss with dressing to coat evenly. Add pear slices and watercress. Toss lightly and serve at room temperature.

Each serving contains 392 calories, 17g total fat, 2g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0g cholesterol, 157mg sodium, 51g carbohydrate, 9g fiber, 6g sugars, 12g protein, 27 Est GL.

Gluten-Free Coconut, Sweet Pea & Cilantro Teff Salad

SERVES 4


Teff has a sticky texture with a nutty flavor that goes well with steamed greens. Keep frozen peas in your freezer year-round for recipes like this one. Their sweetness is a wonderful addition to whole-grain salads.

1 cup teff
3 cups water
3 cups mixed salad greens
1 cup arugula
1 large carrot, julienned
1 small red onion, diced
1 cups frozen peas, defrosted
1/3 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro

Dressing
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon unsweetened coconut flakes
teaspoon sea salt
teaspoon pepper

1. Combine teff and water in a large pot over medium-high heat. When water boils, reduce to low heat, cover and cook another 20 minutes. If there is still water on top of the teff after it’s done cooking, remove from heat and set aside, covered, about 10 minutes until water is absorbed.

2. In a large bowl, combine salad greens, arugula, carrots, red onion, peas and cilantro.

3. To make the dressing, whisk together olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, coconut flakes, sea salt and pepper in a small bowl.

4. Pour dressing over salad and fold gently to coat evenly. Serve at room temperature.

Each serving contains 343 calories, 12g total fat, 2g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 222 mg sodium, 51g carbohydrate, 9g fiber, 5g sugars, 11g protein, 27 Est GL.

Photo by Amie Valpone

Photo by Amie Valpone

Gluten-Free Brown Rice Couscous Salad with Orange Basil Dressing

SERVES 4

This vibrant gluten-free pasta salad is dressed with a unique combination of hot pepper, fresh herbs and bright citrus. It’s a great addition to an al fresco meal.

2 quarts water
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 cups gluten-free brown rice couscous
1 large zucchini, diced
1 small orange, peeled and segmented
small red onion, diced
1/3 cup raisins
2 teaspoons roasted pumpkin seeds
teaspoon orange zest, for garnish

Orange Basil Dressing
cup olive oil
3 tablespoons flax oil
-Juice of 1 large orange
cup finely chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
teaspoon crushed red pepper
teaspoon sea salt
teaspoon black pepper

1. In a large saucepan, bring water and 1 teaspoon sea salt to a boil. Add brown rice couscous and cook until tender, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain.

2. In a large serving bowl, combine zucchini, orange, red onion, raisins and pumpkin seeds.

3. To make the dressing, whisk together olive oil, flax oil, orange juice, basil, maple syrup, crushed red pepper, teaspoon sea salt and black pepper in a small bowl.

4. Add cooked and drained couscous to zucchini mixture.

5. Pour dressing over salad and toss to combine. Garnish with orange zest and serve at room temperature.

Each serving contains 553 calories, 6g total fat, 3g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 744mg sodium, 73g carbohydrate, 6g fiber, 17g sugars, 11g protein, 45 Est GL.

Gluten-Free Avocado, Kale & Wild Rice Salad with Mustard Seed Dressing

SERVES 4

This salad satisfies several cravings at once, meeting your needs for something spicy, savory, sweet, nutty, creamy and crunchy. A definite crowd pleaser, it pairs nicely with chicken or grilled fish.

1 cup raw wild rice
4 cups water
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 large bunch of kale, chopped
1 ripe avocado, peeled, pitted and diced
4 medium radishes, diced
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
2 tablespoons sunflower seeds, for garnish

Mustard Seed Dressing
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon yellow mustard seed
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon chickpea miso
teaspoon sea salt
teaspoon pepper

1. Place wild rice in a large pot with 4 cups water and 1 teaspoon sea salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 50 to 60 minutes or until rice is very tender. Drain and return rice to pot. Cover and set aside for 10 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, combine kale, avocado, radishes and cherry tomatoes in a large bowl.

3. To make the dressing, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, yellow mustard seed, honey, miso, teaspoon sea salt and pepper.

4.
Add cooled rice to the kale mixture. Gently toss with Mustard Seed Dressing. Garnish with sunflower seeds and serve at room temperature.

Each serving contains 411 calories, 22g total fat, 3g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 860mg sodium, 48g carbohydrate, 9g fiber, 5g sugars, 12g protein, 25 Est GL.

Photo by Amie Valpone

Photo by Amie Valpone

Gluten-Free Lemon, Fennel & Swiss Chard Millet Salad

SERVES 4

Earthy, warm and floral spices come to the forefront in this simple salad that combines mildly sweet basil with pungent red onion. Use rainbow Swiss chard for an additional pop of color.

1 cup dry millet, soaked overnight, drained and rinsed
2 cups gluten-free vegetable broth
1 large fennel bulb, halved, cored and thinly sliced
1 bunch of Swiss chard or rainbow Swiss chard, chopped
1/3 cup finely chopped fresh basil
small red onion, thinly sliced

Dressing
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon ground flax seed
1 teaspoon ground coriander
teaspoon ground cumin
teaspoon sea salt
teaspoon pepper

1. Toast millet in a heavy saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring frequently,
about 5 minutes. You'll start to smell a toasty aroma and the millet will begin to make a popping noise.

2. Remove pan from heat and add vegetable broth. Then return pan to heat and bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes. Turn off heat and let sit for another 5 minutes, covered. Fluff with a fork and set aside to cool.

3. Once millet is cool, combine it with fennel, Swiss chard, basil and red onion.

4. To make the dressing, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, ground flax seed, coriander, cumin, sea salt and pepper in a small bowl.

5. Pour dressing over millet mixture and gently toss to coat. Serve at room temperature.

Each serving contains 322 calories, 13g total fat, 2g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 268mg sodium, 45g carbohydrate, 8g fiber, 1g sugars, 7g protein, 24 Est GL.

Personal chef and professional recipe developer Amie Valpone is creator of
thehealthyapple.com.

Comments (1)

These sound delicious! I'll have to give that couscous salad a try really soon.

Posted by: Mary MM | June 6, 2014 8:40 AM    Report this comment

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