This Thousand Island Power Salad Bowl with Creamy Mango and Poppy Seed Dressing not only is a veritable nutrition powerhouse, it’s also a total explosion of flavors and textures. Who ever said salads were boring?

This Thousand Island Power Salad Bowl with Creamy Mango and Poppy Seed Dressing not only is a veritable nutrition powerhouse, it's also a total explosion of flavors and textures. Who ever said salads were boring?

I wasn’t too sure what to call this dish exactly… I mean, technically, it IS a salad, but it’s got so much going on, it definitely deserves to be attributed the “power” adjective. And, well, it’s served in a bowl, so… 

But really, whatever its name is, this is definitely is a salad that qualifies as a complete meal, and one that is so loaded with flavors, textures, colors and wholesome goodness that you can feel totally comfortable serving it to potential guests, or even ordering off the menu at the restaurant. Well, as a matter of fact, I have: this is where I got the inspiration for this dish, although I sort took mine to the next level…

I must admit that for a salad, it takes a somewhat long time to make and does require a fair amount of prep, but that’s mainly because you have to cook the wheat berries and bake the sweet potatoes. None of that is really hard work, though, and all of it can be done ahead of time, too. And once that’s out of the way, the rest is just a breeze!. 

What’s more, even if you decided to make it all in one go, it would only take you about the same time that it takes to cook the wheat berries, plus maybe a little more. 

And trust me, the final dish is worth every second spent working on it, and then some! 

To help save time, you’ll want to soak your wheat berries in cold water the previous night, for at least 8 to 12 hours; that way, they will cook a lot faster! 

Then, you want to drain and rinse those wheat berries and place them in a medium saucepan with 3 cups of salted water. Bring that to a boil and then lower the heat to a simmer; cover the pan and simmer until the grains are tender but still pleasantly chewy, which should take about 25 to 30 minutes. It’s totally okay to take the lid off and taste your grains for doneness from time to time… No need to wait until the water is completely absorbed, either. Once the wheat berries are cooked to your liking, simply drain the excess liquid and then set them aside to cool. 

Of course, you can totally cook the wheat berries ahead of time and keep them in the fridge until you are ready to make the salad. They are equally delicious cold. And if you haven’t had time to soak the grains, you can still cook them from dry, but they will take almost twice as long to cook.

And also too, you could use an entirely different grain if you preferred; quinoa, kamut, bulgur, freekeh, couscous or barley, for instance, would all work very well. 

While the wheat berries are cooking, preheat your oven to 450°F and cut the sweet potato into small cubes. Then, arrange the cubes onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet. 

Just as with the wheat berries, you can totally bake the sweet potatoes ahead of time and keep them in the fridge until you are ready to make the salad. They too, are absolutely delicious cold. And while you’re at it, why not take the opportunity to make extra? That way you’ll have cooked cubes of sweet potatoes to enjoy in other dishes throughout the week! 

Bake the cubed sweet potatoes in the preheated oven for about 12 to 15 minutes, or until they’re nice and soft. If you want to, sprinkle them with a little bit of salt as soon as they come out of the oven. 

Now, blanch the broccoli florets in boiling water for about 1 minute, then immediately drain and plunge them into a bath of icy cold water to stop the cooking and seal-in their vibrant green color. 

As you probably guessed, that broccoli too can totally be prepped ahead of time and kept in the fridge until you are ready to use it. And you can make extra of that, too! 

Next, make the dressing: simply place all the ingredients into a large measuring cup or glass container and process with a stick blender until smooth and creamy.

You could also use a small food processor for this, if you didn’t have a stick blender. 

Finally, prep the rest of your ingredients: rinse and drain your mixed beans; rinse and drain your corn kernels, if applicable; shave the red cabbage, chop the cilantro and mint leaves. And there you have it, all the hard work is now done; we can finally put this magnificent dish together! 

If you are using frozen corn kernels, there’s no need to cook the corn first; just rinse it under cold running water until it’s completely thawed and then drain it well. If using canned, drain and rinse it well. If using fresh, use it whichever way you prefer: cooked and cooled, cooked and still warm, or even raw! Just be sure to cut those kernels off the cobs! 

This Thousand Island Power Salad Bowl with Creamy Mango and Poppy Seed Dressing not only is a veritable nutrition powerhouse, it's also a total explosion of flavors and textures. Who ever said salads were boring?

To assemble your salad bowls, place a large handful — about 2 cups — of baby lettuce leaves at the bottom of 4 fairly large bowls. Sprinkle each bowl with equal amounts of cilantro and mint, then top with the cooked wheat berries, sweet potatoes, shaved cabbage, corn kernels, mixed beans and broccoli florets, arranging them in sections around the bowl.

Drizzle generously with the creamy mango poppy seed dressing and dig right in!

Once assembled, the salad bowls — without the dressing — will keep in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours, providing that they are well covered. Just be sure to add that dressing at the last minute! 

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5 from 7 votes

Thousand Island Power Salad Bowl

Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
This Thousand Island Power Salad Bowl with Creamy Mango and Poppy Seed Dressing not only is a veritable nutrition powerhouse, it's also a total explosion of flavors and textures. Who ever said salads were boring?
Servings: 4

Ingredients

For the salad

  • 1 cup wheat berries, soaked overnight
  • 1 large sweet potato, brushed clean or peeled
  • 20 broccoli florets
  • 1 15oz can mixed beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cups corn kernels , frozen, canned or fresh (drain well if applicable)*
  • 2 cups shaved red cabbage
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
  • 8-12 chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 8 cups mixed baby lettuce leaves

For the mango poppy dressing

Instructions

  • Soak the wheat berries for 8 to 12 hours, then drain, rinse and put them in a saucepan with 3 cups of salted water. Bring to a boil then lower the heat to a simmer. Cover and simmer until the grains are tender but still pleasantly chewy, about 25 to 30 minutes. Once cooked, drain off any excess water and set aside to cool.
  • Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 450°F and cut the sweet potato into small cubes. Arrange the cubes onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet and bake for about 12-15 minutes, or until soft. Sprinkle the potatoes with salt as soon as you remove them from the oven, if desired, and set aside.
  • Blanch the broccoli florets in boiling water for about 1 minute, then drain and plunge them into a bath of icy cold water to stop the cooking.
  • Next, prep the rest of your ingredients: rinse and drain your mixed beans; rinse and drain your corn kernels, if applicable; shave the red cabbage, chop the cilantro and mint leaves.
  • Finally, make the dressing: simply place all the ingredients into a large measuring cup or glass container and process with a stick blender until smooth and creamy. You could also use a small food processor for this.
  • To assemble your salad bowls, place a large handful (about 2 cupof baby lettuce leaves at the bottom of 4 fairly large bowls. Sprinkle each bowl with equal amounts of cilantro and mint, then top with the cooked wheat berries, sweet potatoes, shaved cabbage, corn kernels, mixed beans and broccoli florets, arranging them in sections around the bowl.
  • Drizzle generously with the creamy mango poppy seed dressing and dig right in!

Notes

*If using frozen corn kernels, there’s no need to cook the corn first; just rinse it under cold running water until it's completely thawed and then drain it well. If using canned, drain and rinse well. If using fresh, use it whichever way you prefer: cooked and cooled, cooked and still warm, or even raw! Just be sure to cut those kernels off the cobs! 

Nutrition

Calories: 570kcal, Carbohydrates: 94g, Protein: 18g, Fat: 17g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Sodium: 921mg, Potassium: 1001mg, Fiber: 19g, Sugar: 19g, Vitamin A: 8687IU, Vitamin C: 107mg, Calcium: 170mg, Iron: 5mg
Course: Salad
Cuisine: American
Author: Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

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