Sometimes you crave Mac & Cheese. The good, prostate homemade kind made with bechamel and extra sharp cheddar and topped with buttery breadcrumbs. That’s what I had this weekend. It was delicious and comforting and heavy. (See Epicurious for the recipe.) Other times, look you actually want something a little healthier. Something that doesn’t make you want to curl up on the couch in a food coma for 2 hours. Especially if it’s a weekday lunch and you’ve got at least 5 more hours of work to do.
For me, sales a grain salad is the best kind of lunch. You can make a big batch at the beginning of the week, it doesn’t wilt and it just tastes better the longer it marinades. I like to call this kind of salad Power Salad. It all starts with your favorite grain – anything from quinoa to farro. The key to good grains is toasting them in a dry skillet until they’re just starting to turn golden and become fragrant. Toasting gives them a deeper, nuttier flavor.
Once you’ve cooked your grains, toss them with beans, sturdy vegetables and an herby vinaigrette. This time I used edamame beans and a lemony pesto made with almonds. Mix everything together, refrigerate and you’ve got lunch for the week. Lunch that will make you feel great and not put you in a food coma. I like to save good food comas for the weekend when you can really enjoy them.