Energizing Protein Power Salad

by Angela (Oh She Glows) on April 4, 2011


As my mom always says, Good things come to those who wait!


Because Eric was such a good sport about my April Fool’s Prank, I made him a batch of The Ultimate Oatmeal Raisin Cookie (with CHOCOLATE chips!) on Saturday. He claimed that he is ‘bringing every single cookie to work’ and he ‘just might eat all of them before lunchtime.’ ;)


Eric and Steve finished ripping up the top layer of the deck yesterday.


It’s naked!


I’m a bit sad seeing the deck go because I was really attached to it, rotting wood and all.

It was a lovely backdrop for rustic food photos… ;)


[those are Maple Baked Beans in the photo]


Eric’s foot actually fell through a rotted piece of wood yesterday! Thankfully he wasn’t hurt by it, but it gave him a bit of a scare because he had a hard time getting his foot out.


For dinner, I made a huge batch of this protein-packed salad, with lots of leftovers for lunch this week!



Energizing Protein Power Salad

Endlessly adaptable, this salad could work with many items in your pantry! The original recipe called for quinoa, but I had Buckwheat and spelt berries on hand, so I used those. I also added in red kidney beans for extra protein. You can experiment with this salad, changing in any veggies, nuts, or grains you desire. It makes a great packable lunch.

Adapted from Have Cake Will Travel.

Yield: ~6 cups


  • 1/2 cup uncooked spelt berries (or wheatberries)
  • 1 cup Raw Buckwheat groats (or grain like quinoa)
  • 3/4 cup uncooked Red Kidney beans (or other bean like chickpeas, black beans)
  • 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 red onion (or other onion)
  • 1 large yellow, orange, or red pepper (I used mix of yellow and red)
  • 3/4 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup almonds, chopped


Dressing: (see note below)

  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar (optional)
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp garlic powder, to taste
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes, to taste (less if you don’t like spicy foods!)
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp ground cumin, to taste
  • 1/2-3/4 tsp kosher salt, to taste (I used 3/4 tsp)
  • freshly ground black pepper



1. Cook your desired grains and beans according to package directions. You can cook everything the night before so save time. Place in large bowl while you prepare the rest of the recipe.

2. In a large skillet, add 2 tsp of EVOO and your 2 cloves of minced garlic. Cook on low for a couple minutes being sure not to burn. Now add in the chopped onion and cook for another 6-8 minutes until translucent.

3. Add in the chopped pepper, raisins, and almonds and cook for another 5 minutes on low-medium heat. Stir as needed. Meanwhile, prepare the dressing in a small bowl using a whisk to mix. Pour all the dressing into the skillet and stir well.

4. Pour the veggie and dressing mixture into the bowl with the beans and grains. Stir well and serve. Makes about 6 cups. The flavour will develop nicely after about 1 hour, but it can be enjoyed immediately too. Store leftovers in containers in the fridge for quick lunches.

Note: The original recipe called for 1/2 cup of oil. I tried to reduce this while still maintaining a nice dressing flavour, however the lemon was quite pronounced in this dressing. If you would like less lemon, you can reduce it and then sub in more olive oil until you achieve the flavour you prefer.



I suggest cooking the beans/grains the night before to save some prep time. I used Buckwheat, speltberries, and red kidney beans in this recipe, but you can use pretty much any grain or bean that you prefer! Same goes for the veggies too.

After cooking the grains/beans, Mix together in a large bowl and set aside or place in fridge overnight.


In a skillet, cook the garlic, onion, and veggies of your choice. I used yellow and red peppers.


Mix the dressing together and the pour onto the veggie mixture in the skillet.

IMG_3882 IMG_3886

Add the veggie/dressing mixture to the grains & beans and mix well. I added in the raisins and almonds at this point too, but you can also add them directly into the skillet as the veggies cook.


This salad is crunchy, chewy, soft, and just plain old fun to eat. The raisins are also a nice contrast to the tangy lemon-based dressing.

I cut down the oil by over 50% from the original recipe; if you prefer a dressing that isn’t as lemon-based, I suggest you replace some of the lemon juice with more olive oil. Next time I might even try a mixture of lemon juice and balsamic vinegar. Make sure to adjust the dressing to taste and you can even get creative by adding in some fresh herbs! 


By the way, thanks to everyone who gave their input on chiropractors, physical therapists, osteopaths, RMT’s, etc! I had so many helpful comments to read. I think I’m going to try a RMT and possibly an osteopath (if necessary) as my first step with the sciatic nerve issue.

My doctor also gave me a bunch of stretches to do and told me to strengthen my CORE, so it looks like I’m going to have to whip out the plank monster again! Nooooooooo. ;) Anyone want to join me as I tackle the core work again? You can see this page for exercises I will be doing.  

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{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

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Kaitey April 4, 2011 at 6:43 pm

Hi Angela! First of all, thank you for your truly beautiful, awesome self that you share in your blog…I found it a few weeks ago and have been reading it religiously since then, and it is always a source of inspiration and grace. THANK YOU. Today is the first time I’m leaving a comment…just wanted to say I will be joining you with your core work, and those are some really effective exercises you have lined up. I have a half marathon in four weeks, and am truly intimidated by the thought of doing it. I’ve done marathons and halfs before, but I had surgery a few months ago that cut through my abs, so they’re pretty mushy right now and I get tired running for a long time. Knowing that you’ll be doing the core workouts, I’ll be more motivated to stick to mine, too. You go, Girl! (or…You GLOW, Girl!)


Dalai Lina April 4, 2011 at 7:18 pm

Yummy. Can you taste the cumin? I love cumin but thought it might be lost since you described it as lemony.

Keep up the glow! Amazing stuff.


Hannah April 4, 2011 at 7:55 pm

I love the equation of this: two salty cookies = entire batch of delicious cookies. Yep, you’re an awesome wife!


Maryea {Happy Healthy Mama} April 4, 2011 at 8:15 pm

What a beautiful salad! I love protein-packed salads for lunch.


alli April 4, 2011 at 8:53 pm

i’ve never commented before, but i like to stop by often. i love your blog and delicious recipes! i was happy to see i have all of the ingredients for this. i just made it for dinner and it was fabulous!
(i used pearl barley, quinoa, lentils and black beans)
thanks again!


Kelly @ Laughter, Strength, and Food April 4, 2011 at 10:01 pm

That salad looks amazing! The best part is how versatile it is! I am making it tonight so I have lunch for the rest of the week! :-)


Tara April 4, 2011 at 10:52 pm

yummmm! this is going on my “to make” list :)


[email protected] April 4, 2011 at 11:34 pm

This looks great. Soaking wheatberries for something else, but maybe have to switch and make this instead.


Vanessa @ Project Zen April 5, 2011 at 12:01 am

I looked up some nutritional information on quinoa and it says that it contains all of the amino acids and it relaxes blood vessels (should be great – I’ve been getting tension headaches every now and then and even last massage therapist mentioned how tight I was in the neck and shoulder area – oooh boy!) – plus it’s a good source of iron, copper and tryptophan (which is an essential mineral for easing stress and promoting relaxation and sleep)

that said, I am bookmarking this recipe! :)


Vanessa @ Project Zen April 5, 2011 at 12:09 am

Excuse me, that should really say… *and even *MY last massage therapist.

Sorry for this typo! :(


Marit April 5, 2011 at 4:00 am

I’ll be joining you for the corework.
My belly is kinda flabby so i’ve been doing 30-50 bum-lifts, (3 reps) and planks and hip-rolls plus a bit of yoga, pilates and concious posture exercises for a couple of weeks just to be able to bare my belly this summer without looking like the michelin-man…
I’m not aiming for the flat-abs, just a bit more humane and visually pleasing look…

Good job on the decking. you can get a really good sholder and back cardio-session out of nailing the new one in place… :)


tweal April 5, 2011 at 6:52 am

That looks like a pretty fresh and yummy salad, perfect for brightening up this dreary ‘spring’ weather. Can’t wait to see the finished deck!


Christine April 5, 2011 at 8:21 am

That salad looks yummy! I’ve been looking for a good recipe to introduce my family to whole grains and this could be the one!

I’m IN for the core work! I recently lost some weight with diet and aerobic exercise but I skipped out on the strength training. I need to do *something* to tone up the remaining flab! :-) I’ve been doing an ab workout from the Parade magazine which has been working well but it’s good to shake things up.


Cait's Plate April 5, 2011 at 8:27 am

Those cookies do look pretty amazing. I just made cookies last night RIGHT before I read this post. I wish I had seen it earlier because I definitely would’ve scrapped mine for yours!

Though I have a cookie-loving boy in the house as well so I’m sure he won’t mind if I add these to the stash :)


Sam @ the neurotic yogini April 5, 2011 at 12:19 pm

I’m down to tackle the core! I need to work on that area.. besides, it’s almost bikini season!


Sam April 5, 2011 at 12:21 pm

Hi Angela!
I just wanted to stop in and say thank you for writing such a wonderful and positive website! I hope your back gets to feeling better soon :)


Peggy April 6, 2011 at 7:28 am

This salad looks awesome! I love all of the colors going on!


Fresh and Foodie April 6, 2011 at 11:01 am

This salad looks like the perfect lunch. Packed with protein for energy (which I definitely need at work!) and easily transportabale. Nice!


Emma April 8, 2011 at 6:24 am

This is fantastic! I made some for a picnic. Thanks for the idea :)


Michelle April 9, 2011 at 2:38 pm

Angela, I wanted to let you know that I made this recipe today and it is amazing. Thank you so much for sharing. I was not sure I was going to like it when I was putting it all together, but after tasting it–YUM. The dressing has a nice kick and the raisins give it just a little sweetness without the sugar. Have been looking for healthier meals and this hit the spot.


alicia guzman July 25, 2012 at 12:33 pm

i did this salad last night and it was delicious. :)


marlene December 14, 2012 at 2:06 pm

i make this salad ALL the time. I use quinoa only. It is incredibly yummy and filling..great lunch! hopefully you’ll revisit this recipe again soon and change it up a bit ;) it’s great!!


Elena Perez March 24, 2013 at 10:51 am

This salad was the first one I’ve tried on Angela’s web-site! Tastes so good! We enjoy it each time I make it.


Ella May 9, 2014 at 11:54 pm

This is SO good and INCREDIBLY fast since I precooked the grains and used canned beans. Will most definitely be making this and variations of it a staple. Thanks so much for the recipe, lovely!


resep masakan indonesia March 11, 2016 at 12:52 pm

Thanks so much for the recipe, lovely! it was delicious. :)


Dawn May 23, 2016 at 9:05 pm

The protein power salad is delicious! How do you think of so many good flavors that blend together?? Thanks again!


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