A Make-Ahead, Portable Lunch

As a student with a hectic week-day schedule, it’s taken a lot of planning to make sure I pack meals to eat between classes at school.  I’ve scoped out all the public microwaves on campus, but sometimes it’s nice to be able to nibble on your lunch while doing your studying in the library, (in one of the food approved areas, of course!)


I’ve been making this whole grain salad a lot this winter – it’s yummy, it’s filling, and I don’t have to worry about keeping it refrigerated.  This is one of those salads where you don’t really need a recipe, and I make it a little differently each time.

Here’s the basic idea, though:

1/2 cup wheat berries

1/2 cup of barley

1/2 cup of quinoa

1/2 cup of bulgar wheat

…or whatever grains, legumes or beans you have on hand.

I like wheat berries because they have a great chewy texture, but you need to soak them overnight before you cook them, and the cook time can be a good 40 minutes or so.  Quinoa, barley and bulgar wheat take the same time to cook, so I mix them together in a pot with 3 cups of water, and cook for about 20 minutes.

Once your cooked grains have cooled, add some shredded carrots, minced onion, finely chopped kale or brussels sprouts.  When I have some pickled peppers or capers, they taste pretty good in here too.  I like my salad pretty heavy on the grains, so I usually use 1/2 a red onion, one carrot, and a few big leaves of kale.

I  make a really strongly flavoured vinaigrette for this salad, and let the salad kind of marinate in it for a day or two.  The salad keeps tasting better every day!

Mustardy Vinaigrette

1/4 cup white wine vinegar

1/4 cup cider vinegar

1/2 cup vegetable oil

2 tsp sugar

2 tsp ground mustard

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp sumac

1/2 tsp cayenne

Salt and pepper to taste.

What’s YOUR go-to portable lunch idea?  Share your tips in the comments below!

Yours in Food,

Alison

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