Buckwheat salad with chickpeas and red peppers
April 13, 2019
Buckwheat salads can be a tasty addition to any plate. They are so easy to make, but many people in the United States are unfamiliar with this grain. It certainly has earned its designation as an “ancient grain.” Humans have been growing it for food for over 8,000 years! It’s a staple of many cuisines and is commonly used from southeastern Asia through eastern Europe.
Despite the name…
Despite “wheat” being part of its name, buckwheat is a gluten-free grain.
Its high fiber content (4.5 grams in one cooked cup) makes it wonderful for your health and the health of your gut microbiome. Despite this, it is a low FODMAP grain. This is one of the reasons I recommend it so highly to people who see me for help in dealing with digestive issues including celiac disease, gluten intolerance, sensitivity to wheat or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
A nutritional powerhouse
In addition to tasting good buckwheat groats are exceptionally nutritious. One cup of cooked buckwheat groats has 6 grams of protein. That’s the same as a whole egg! It’s slightly less than the 8 grams available from a cup of cooked quinoa, but it also has fewer calories. One cup of cooked buckwheat groats has 155 calories compared to the 222 calories found in a cup of cooked quinoa.
Unlike some whole grains, buckwheat has all 9 of the essential amino acids. These are the amino acids that your body is not capable of making, so you must get them from the foods you eat. If you’re trying to eat more of a plant-based diet, incorporating buckwheat is one step you may want to consider.
Making friends with buckwheat
I covered how to cook buckwheat in another post, so let’s get onto one of the easiest ways to enjoy this delightful grain: a buckwheat salad!
I’ll make up a batch of the salad below and then use it as part of several meals during the week. I may have it on a bed of fresh greens or serve it as a side dish. One of my favorite ways is to use it for lunch along with some leftover protein from the night before.
The nutrient facts shown below are calculated using canned beans, but you could cook your own beans. Wondering which is best for you? Read my post and find out!
- 2 cups cooked and rinsed buckwheat groats (also known as "kasha")
- 1.5 cups chickpeas
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (or flavor infused olive oil)
- 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 cup red pepper diced
- 1.5 cups diced cucumber
- ¼ cup chopped scallions (green parts only)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Bring buckwheat and chickpeas to at least room temperature by briefly microwaving if they have been chilled. (This will help the oil to better absorb.)
- Add oil and vinegar.
- Add remaining ingredients and toss. Serve or chill.
I’ll be sharing more of my recipes in the future on this blog, but the best way to make sure you don’t miss them is to sign up to receive emails from me with tips and recipes.
Having personally struggled with weight and gut health issues, I understand how easy it is to think that food is the enemy especially with the changes our bodies undergo as we age. It doesn’t have to be that way!
I love using my extensive education and coach approach to help people realize it is possible to feel better and be healthier while still enjoying their life and food.