Buckwheat! It makes for an uncomfortable pillow, but a nutrient-packed meal. You might be surprised to learn that it’s actually not related to wheat—indeed, it’s not even a grain at all, but a seed from a plant related to rhubarb. Similar to quinoa, it can be prepared like a grain and ground into flour, so it falls into the category of pseudo-grain.
Because buckwheat is a seed, it has more protein than cereal crops like rice and wheat. And the protein in buckwheat has a unique combination of amino acids that help lower cholesterol and stabilize blood sugar. It’s a gluten-free, low glycemic food that doesn’t get nearly as much love as it should. Go buy some buckwheat, people!
Last month, we shared two ways to have buckwheat for breakfast. Now it’s time to introduce buckwheat to the rest of your day in the form of a beautiful Buckwheat, Green Apple, Cranberry + Avocado Salad from Blissful Basil: Over 100 Plant-Powered Recipes to Unearth Vibrancy, Health, and Happiness. Winter calls for filling, hearty salads—no one wants a big bowl of plain greens when it’s cold out!—and this salad is exactly that.
I can’t even articulate how much I love this cookbook. It’s a really great cookbook! If you’re looking for truly new, innovative recipe ideas that will make you feel fantastic, this is the one. And it’s perfect for January, when you’re feeling pumped to eat healthy—thumbing through this book with its gorgeous, colorful photos, it’s hard not to feel enthusiastic and hopeful and totally ready to get in the kitchen to cook.
Purchase Blissful Basil: Over 100 Plant-Powered Recipes to Unearth Vibrancy, Health, and Happiness on Amazon.com
Buckwheat, Green Apple, Cranberry + Avocado Salad
Yield 4 -6 servings
Reprinted from Blissful Basil by arrangement with BenBella Books. Copyright © 2016, Ashley Melillo.
- 1 cup raw buckwheat groats
- 2 cups filtered water
- 1 medium Granny Smith apple, cored and cut into matchsticks
- 2 cups baby arugula, watercress, or other peppery green, leaves and tender stems only
- 1/3–1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup raw pepitas
Simple Lemon Vinaigrette
- 3–5 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, divided (juice of about 2 lemons)
- 2 tablespoons cold-pressed olive oil
- 1–2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 clove garlic, minced (optional)
- 1/4–1/2 teaspoon sea salt, plus more for seasoning
- Freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning
- 1 medium avocado, halved, pitted, peeled, and sliced
For the Buckwheat Salad
- Add the buckwheat groats to a fine-mesh strainer and thoroughly rinse with cold water.
- In a medium saucepan, combine the rinsed buckwheat and water. Bring to a boil, decrease the heat, and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes, or until tender, stirring occasionally to prevent burning. Strain and rinse with cold water until the water runs clear.
- Transfer the cooked buckwheat to a large, nonreactive (i.e., nonmetallic) serving bowl along with the green apple, arugula, cranberries, and pepitas.
For the Simple Lemon Vinaigrette
- In a small bowl, vigorously whisk together 3 tablespoons of the lemon juice, olive oil, maple syrup, Dijon mustard, garlic (if using), sea salt, and black pepper to taste.
- Pour the vinaigrette over the salad and toss to coat. If desired, add the remaining 2 tablespoons lemon juice to the salad to brighten the flavors, and liberally season with sea salt and black pepper.
- Divide among plates and top with the sliced avocado.