Mixed bean and 5 wholegrain salad

July 28, 2015

Recently I have been seeing more recipes that use whole grains instead of rice or pasta. These have exotic sounding names like quinoa, pearl wheat, wild rice and can turn a simple dish into something that sounds more exotic. These whole grains are an excellent source of protein as well making them ideal for vegetarians. I have wanted to use these grains for some time but not got around to it. Recently I decided to be adventurous and on a sunny day I made a mixed bean and 5 whole grain salad.

mixed bean and 5 whole grain saladUncle Bens made the preparation of the salad easy for me as they have just bought out a new range of rice and grains. These easy to prepare pouches are ready in two minutes in the microwave and can be used as an accompaniment to many meals. There are five flavours, Wholegrain & Quinoa, Pearl Wheat, Quinoa and Wholegrain, Wholegrain & Quinoa Tomato and Basil, 5 Whole Grains and Rice Medley.  I was recently sent these to try along with a recipe leaflet that I used for inspiration for my salad. I modified the recipe slightly in order to use ingredients that I had in the cupboard.

Uncle-BensFor the base of the salad I used the pack of 5 whole grains. This is a mix of wholegrain rice , wild rice, red quinoa, millet and pearl barley lightly flavoured with cumin and soy sauce. This was heated in a microwave for two minutes then poured out into a bowl. In the meantime I cooked some french beans and left them to cool. These were chopped into pieces and added to the salad. I also added some cooked beans, a chopped red pepper and some sweetcorn. I used cannellini beans, soya beans and black eyed beans but any beans could be used.

whole grain and bean saladThe result was tasty but I wanted to add a little bit more flavour to the resulting salad. I decided that a vinaigrette dressing would work perfectly and take the salad to another level. Every time I make vinaigrette dressing I make it differently adding different herbs and spices depending what I have in. The basic recipe uses three tablespoons of oil and two tablespoons of vinegar. I usually use olive oil and balsamic vinegar, but cider and wine vinegars add a different flavour. Pepper, salt, mustard, chopped garlic, herbs and sugar can all be added to vary the taste and flavour. For this salad I added a teaspoon of lime juice and some black pepper to the basic vinaigrette mixture. This added a slightly tropical flavour to the tart dressing which worked well with the beans.

whole grain saladThe resulting salad is lovely eaten on it’s own. It can be packed into a lunch box and taken to work and also used as a side dish to chicken or fish. The grains are a nice alternative to rice making the dish more unusual.

Mixed bean and 5 wholegrain salad recipe

Mixed bean and 5 wholegrain salad recipe

Author Alison


  • Pack Uncle Bens five whole grains
  • 100 g cannellini beans
  • 100 g soya beans
  • 100 g black eyed beans
  • 100 g French beans
  • Red pepper
  • Small tin sweetcorn
  • For the dressing
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • black pepper


  • Cook the french beans and leave to cool. Cut into sections.
  • Cook the other beans according to instructions
  • Heat the Uncle Bens 4 wholegrains in the mircowave for 2 minutes. Tip into a bowl.
  • Add the cooked beans and mix
  • Chop the red pepper into small squares and add with the sweetcorn.
  • Mix the ingredients for the dressing together and pour dressing over the salad according to taste.

For other salad ideas why not try this chicken and bacon tortelloni salad which makes a lovely filling dish.

chicken and bacon saladFor a more exotic salad this seafood salad with a mango lime dressing is lovely and refreshing.

Seafood salad I was sent the Uncle Bens rice and grains in return for an honest review.

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8 responses to “Mixed bean and 5 wholegrain salad”

  1. Corina says:

    I don’t use different whole grains often enough. I have lots of packets of them in the cupboard but it’s so easy to just use something safe and familiar like rice or pasta. This salad sounds really tasty and so healthy too.

  2. Ohh I love this as a side or dinner! The convenience of pre-made rice is even better on these hot summer days when the last thing you want to deal with is the stove!



  3. Love the fact that there are 5 wholegrains, great for getting your fibre in!

  4. Joyce says:

    Thank you for sharing this recipe, look so delicious.

  5. I tried the Uncle Bens brown rice and quinoa mix the other day and I loved it. It was so easy.

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