Ancient Grain Salad with Honey Lime Vinaigrette

by Heather on May 18, 2011

I know I bake some pretty ridiculous things for this blog.  And let’s just say that my waistline has more than paid its dues for said baking.

We actually do eat pretty healthfully though.  Sometimes.  Most of the time.  At times.  Occasionally.


Here’s the big not-so-secret:  I actually love vegetables and really only like fruit when it’s baked into sugary buttery oblivion with things like chocolate and glazes.  Actually, let me rephrase:  I love fruit when it’s at its peak season, has no external defects, and yet is firm and juicy enough to match my ever-growing criteria for it.  Otherwise bake me a pie and call it quits.

Veggies on the other hand…serve ‘em up!  I love grain salads and pasta salads with tons of vegetables basking in carb-loaded glory, especially when it involves a great dressing.  In fact I would venture to say that I crave them, especially come summertime when the thought of making homemade mac and cheese in our tiny non-air-conditioned kitchen makes me break out into crazy nervous sweats.  Standing over a hot stove is comforting and everything, but it seems as though comfort flies out the window when it comes to sweating in my food.

Call me crazy.  Or don’t.  Whatever.


  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup ancient grains (I love farro, barley, and spelt berries…this one is make with spelt berries)
  • 1 cup sliced carrots
  • 1/2 onion, grated
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 cups fresh spinach
  • 1 cup white beans (I made it with Great Northern beans, but chickpeas would be fantastic), cooked or canned/drained
  • 1/4 cup olive oil + 2 Tbsp, divided
  • 2 Tbsp lime juice
  • 1 Tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Follow the package instructions on the grain of your choice and boil til al dente (for the spelt berries it took about 30 minutes).  Drain and set aside.  In a saute pan heat the 2 Tbsp of olive oil over medium low heat.  Saute the carrots for about 3 minutes, then add the onion and garlic.  Add the spinach and let wilt.  Add the beans and fold them in gently.  Remove from heat and fold in the grains.  Set aside.  In a small bowl whisk together the lime juice, mustard, and honey.  Keep whisking and stream in the remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Pour over hot grain mixture and stir together.  Sprinkle with pecans.  Serve hot, room temperature, or cold…just make sure you serve it!

Speaking of crazy, I ate this for breakfast today too.  Turns out that kind of crazy is pretty fun ;)

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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Lauren at Keep It Sweet May 18, 2011

I love this! Looks like a perfect dish to make and pack for lunch every day:-) The honey lime vinaigrette sounds wonderful, too!


2 Estela @ Weekly Bite May 18, 2011

I love the colors in this dish! Looks delicious :)


3 Tiff @ Love, Sweat, and Beers May 18, 2011

Lovely pictures! (as usual :) )


4 Jessica @ Dairy Free Betty May 18, 2011

This sounds SO SO GOOD!! It’s the exact type of recipe that I like!!
Adding it to my pintrest and my “to makes!”


5 Lesley Lifting Life May 18, 2011

Ha, I would definitely eat that for breakfast too ;) It looks delicious!


6 megan @ whatmegansmaking May 18, 2011

This sounds wonderful! I really want to try it!


7 Heather @ Dietitian on the Run May 18, 2011

I’d eat that for breakfast before I’d drink a green smoothie ;) haha… Just sayin’. It’s all about presentation, and that LOOKS (and undoubtedly tastes) so delicious!!


8 Tasha @ Voracious May 18, 2011

Ooooh so bright and gorgeous! What a pretty plate of food. I really like the sound of that honey lime vinaigrette, it’s just right for summer I think.


9 Alison @ Ingredients, Inc. May 18, 2011

fabulous! Love this one


10 Salah@myhealthiestlifestyle May 18, 2011

this salad looks sooooo good!!!


11 Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking May 18, 2011

What a wonderful salad! I love the flavors that you used here. It looks so delicious and fresh and wholesome. Great job, Heather! You have a beautiful blog and I’m so glad to have found it! :)


12 stacy May 18, 2011

This looks so tasty! I think I will try to work into our menu for Meatless Mondays.


13 Cookin' Canuck May 18, 2011

We are always looking for new whole grains dishes and this one is going on the list. Great flavors!


14 Lindsay @ Pinch of Yum May 19, 2011

This is beautiful! Maybe I’m just missing it in the ingredients, but what are the little red things in the salad? Dried cherries, maybe?


15 sara May 30, 2011

This looks fantastic! A great idea for hot weather – I agree, don’t want to be standing over a hot stove!!


16 Heidi @ Food Doodles May 30, 2011

That looks so good! Bookmarking this one for sure :D


17 Mary @ Delightful Bitefuls May 31, 2011

OMG! YUM! Making this tomorrow night!!!

Mary xo
Delightful Bitefuls


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