Enjoy Grain-y Day salads

The end of January is almost here and I've been surprised to see how well I've stuck to a few of my New Year's resolutions. One of which is to include lots of healthy pulses and grains and even more vegetables into my diet. I've found it's actually an easy resolution to keep, as I've been making recipes that are so delicious, it's no effort at all to adhere to.
Certainly we all know that vegetables are important to have in our diet, yet grains and pulses can sometimes be overlooked. They pack so much nutrition into tiny packages, and I've been feeling really fantastic as I've eaten my way through bags of quinoa and lentils.
These are three recipes that I'm making quite a lot of at the moment. Each one is distinctively nutritious. They're the kind of salads that work a treat when eaten on their own, or to accompany a delicious roast chicken. Taken to work or college in a lunch box, these dishes will keep your energy levels up all afternoon and help you fight that mid-afternoon snoozy slump.
The pearl barley recipe featured opposite is a lovely way to eat what is, perhaps, a slightly forgotten grain. I sometimes eat this dish as it is, for a light lunch on its own, or to accompany roast lamb or chicken. It also makes a great base to which you can add many things such as roasted vegetables, pesto or chopped greens. A cheese such as feta, goat's cheese or mozzarella would be an excellent addition as well.
The quinoa salad, opposite, is a recipe from my sister-in-law Penny, who is a fantastic cook. It uses quinoa, the increasingly popular pseudo-grain (this is the name for foods that are cooked and eaten like grains and have a similar nutrient profile) from the Andes in South America.
The lentil salad is the sort of recipe that I adore cooking. Some time in the oven coaxes out the sweetness from vegetables, then I add some soft lentils and some deeply savoury goat's cheese. I often make enough to have for lunch and supper the next day!

Salad Recipes:

Shaneod Jan 26, 2015 News