Best Ever Mediterranean Salad

{By Ellery Sadler}

Ok, before I share this recipe with you I have to tell you of the crazy thing that has happened in my life.

Now, as my friends and family will tell you, I have a very (and I mean very) big sweet tooth/junk food tooth – if there is such a thing … Anyway, my wonderful health conscious mom asked me to read a relatively fat book called Reversing Heart Disease by Dr. Dean Ornish. She asked me to read it in August. A few weeks went by and I read basically any other book I could get my hands on – carefully avoiding that one.

It sat on the shelf and stared at me every time I passed by, so at last I picked it up.

To my great relief half of this thick book was recipes! (I absolutely love to cook, so this was beginning to look fun.) I read the book and it completely changed my perspective on health and food and cooking. For years my mom has told me about the importance of eating healthy, she’s had be read books on it and even watch documentaries about it as well. But it wasn’t until I read this book that it actually sank in. I highly recommend you read it. It will literally change the way you view food/your health/and your eating habits. The book is (much to my surprise) really interesting and easy to read! (Disclaimer: I do not support or endorse all views expressed in this book).

After reading it, I have been on a search for healthy dishes that still have bold flavors, good texture, are fun to make and delicious to eat. This is one of my favorites! A big thing that Dr. Ornish talks about in his book is being really careful about how much fat you eat. For a person my size I need about 21 grams of fat per day. Just to give you an idea of what that means – 1 tablespoon of olive oil has 14 grams of fat in it …. Butter is even worse. So, this dish has no oil in it. (It does have a little bit of goat cheese in it which you can take out if you want to. It isn’t much fat per serving though.)

This healthy and satisfying dish can be used as a side or main course, according to your preference. I really like letting the ingredients speak for themselves, so the dressing is light and refreshing.

One thing I am committed to on my hunt for healthy dishes is not compromising flavor.

This dish has bold flavors and beautiful colors – so as Julia Child would say: Bon Appetite!

Mediterranean Salad (serves 6)

  • 1 ½ Cups of Italian 5 Grain Mix (this can be bought at Costco, but you could substitute with quinoa, rice, barley, or couscous)
  • ½ Cup diced sun dried tomatoes
  • ½ Cup crumbled goat cheese (feta or whatever you like)
  • 1 sweet onion diced small
  • 1 Red bell pepper diced small
  • 2 cups of thinly slices spinach (you can do this by rolling a couple spinach leaves together and then just slicing it with your knife)
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Red Wine Vinegar
  • Lemon
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

First of all cook your grain, pour it into a colander, and run cold water over it. While you are cooking the grain put all the other ingredient in a bowl and drizzle with both vinegars and a squeeze of lemon juice. (You can use as much or as little vinegar as you like, more will obviously make the flavor stronger.) Be sure to gently fluff these ingredients as you don’t want to bruise the spinach. Then pour in your grain in and fluff again. Salt and pepper to taste, and enjoy!