To Layer or not to Layer: the Uncooked Lunch

Such an inspired title right? I couldn’t exactly come up with the best way to describe this yummy ” Make Ahead Layered Salad with Oil Free Orange Ginger Dressing” recipe that I found on the vegan blog, Oh she glows.  This lovely salad has been my lunch for the week and it is visually pleasing (lots of wonderful colors going on), extremely tasty, and very filling.You can either layer the salad like the recipe calls for or mix it all together like I did. I didn’t layer it because I don’t have any mason jars around the house to put it in. However, Angela from Oh She Glows did and it looked quite pretty:

I think the coolest ting about this recipe is that it enabled me to try wheat berries for the first time. Before I made this dish, I had a vague idea what they were–I at least knew they weren’t truly berries…lol But after doing some research on them, I discovered that they are whole wheat kernels, that are packed with iron, protein, and fiber.

Quinoa, which is a grain on heavy rotation in my house, is the other grain in the recipe. Quinoa is also packed with protein and very easy to cook. If you haven’t tried Quinoa, I highly recommend you do!

As far as veggies, the salad has edamame, green and red peppers and carrots in it. What a wonderful combination they make in this salad!

But the real star of the salad is the Oil Free Orange Ginger Dressing! The salad is not the salad without it! If you have a juicer, I would highly recommend you make your own apple and orange juice for the dressing. There’s nothing like fresh juice!

Here’s my not layered salad. Doesn’t it look good?

I have been excited to pack this in my lunch box every morning. It’s great if you need a lunch that is filling, yet won’t weigh you down or make you sleepy. I definitely will be making this again.

Here’s the recipe:

Make Ahead Layered Salad With Oil-Free Orange Ginger Dressing

Yield: four 500-ml mason jars, with a bit leftover (or one big container full, like me)

for the salad:

  • 1 cup uncooked wheatberries (makes 2 & 1/4 cup cooked)
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa (makes 2.5 cups cooked)
  • 1 cup edamame
  • 1 cup diced carrots (about 2)
  • 1.5 cups diced red pepper (1 large)
  • 1.5 cups diced green pepper (1 large)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
  • Herbamare or kosher salt, to taste

for the dressing (makes four 1/4 cup servings):

  • 2/3 cup 100% pure orange juice (or use freshly squeezed)
  • 1/3 cup 100% pure apple juice
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp fresh minced ginger
  • 1 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • kosher salt, to taste (I used 1/4 tsp)

1. In a medium-sized pot, add quinoa and 1.5 cups water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer, until fluffy, about 15-20 minutes, watching closely so it doesn’t burn. Do the same for the wheatberries, in another pot, but add 2 cups of water and cook until tender and chewy, likely cooking for about 5 mins longer than the quinoa.

2. Meanwhile, chop the vegetables. In a bowl or jar, whisk together the dressing ingredients and set aside.

3. When the grains have cooked, grab your 500-ml mason jars (if layering), and add into each: 1/2 cup wheatberries, 1/4 cup green pepper, 1/4 cup red pepper, 1/2 cup quinoa, 1/4 cup carrots, 2 tbsp parsley, and 1/4 cup edamame per mason jar. You may have to push it down a bit. Repeat as necessary. Makes enough for 4 mason jars, with a bit leftover. Alternatively, you can just mix the salad together into a big bowl along with the dressing. Will keep in the fridge for 5-6 days.

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11 Responses to To Layer or not to Layer: the Uncooked Lunch

  1. cindy says:

    ok, I have to try this. I still haven’t done the cookies, but I will. Thanks for sharing your vegan/vegetarian recipes. I must admit that I am a little intimated with that type of cooking, but would like to do more of it. It helps to read your blog.

    • brandnewphd says:

      Don’t be Cindy! Think of it as fun times:) I definitely think of my kitchen experiments as adventures. I wasn’t sure if I would like the salad, but it looked so different, that my gut told me to try it and I was glad I did. Just start small. You will find yourself branching out to try new things:)

  2. Izzy says:

    I’ve been eyeballing this since I saw it on her blog. I love the look of this salad and have jars just for the occasion! It’s the wheat berries that are throwing me off. Not like I couldn’t just leave them out.

    • brandnewphd says:

      Izzy, the wheat berries through me for a loop as well, but they give the salad a nice texture. You can’t really taste them once you put the dressing on. The only issue I had with the wheat berries, was the length of time you have to cook them for. It took about 45min for them to be completely tender. But it was worth it. Yum!

      • Izzy says:

        Are they as “difficult” to cook as brown rice? I’ve never cooked with them at all, but I get super frustrated when something takes a while to cook and afterwards I find out I’ve ruined them (I have a crappy stove that is very inconsistent).

      • brandnewphd says:

        I didn’t have any issues. I felt that Angela’s instructions were pretty spot on. However, I know you can soak them overnight to make the cooking process faster, but I didn’t need to do that.

  3. Tiffanie says:

    I shared this recipe with my church-mate and friend. We’re going to give it a try!

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