Sorghum Black Bean Salad With Spinach and Cilantro

http://greenlitebites.com/2013/10/09/sorghum-black-bean-salad-with-spinach-and-cilantro/
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One of my goals with this blog is to show you how easy it is to make light, tasty meals at home with everyday “normal” ingredients. But I also want to inspire you (and myself) to try new things. That’s what today’s post is all about.

I never, EVER, heard of sorghum before. The only reason it’s in my house is because Bob’s Red Mill send me a sample.

Bobs Red Mill Sorghum

Side note: Somehow I got on their list and every once in awhile they’ll send me something. This is one of those perks of being a blogger — although I’d love it if they were actually willing to work with me, but I digress.

Anyway, back to this sorghum stuff. It’s an Indian and African grain that’s gluten free and you can pop it like popcorn! It has 8 grams of fiber and 5 grams of protein per serving.

Right out of the bag I wasn’t impressed with it because I know it would take a long time to cook and I was right. The bag said 50-60 minutes but it was more like 60-70.

That being said, the result was worth the wait! It was such a chewy, hearty grain and the texture was fantastic. It’s like Israeli couscous had a love child with barley and it must have been a cheap date because a bag of sorghum only goes for $2.79!

I decided to treat it as I would quinoa and make a salad with it and some vegetables I had on hand. It turned out great! Filling, tasty and fun. Next time I’ll reduce the amount of spinach a little but other than that this recipe is a keeper.

Note: If you can’t find sorghum in your area, you can make this salad with quinoa, couscous or brown rice.

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Here’s what I did…

  • 1/2 cup (102g) uncooked sorghum
  • 1 1/2 cups of water
  • 1 15 oz can of black beans, drained and rinsed (~250g)
  • 2 cups (85g) baby spinach, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • ~5 grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup packed chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tbsp honey (21g)
  • 1 tsp hot sauce
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp ground cumin

You have to get the sorghum cooking right aways because it will take some time. Bring the water and the sorghum to a boil in a small pot.

sorghum in the pot.

Then cover and let simmer.

While it’s cooking, prepare your other ingredients.

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For the dressing, whisk the lime juice, honey, hot sauce, salt, and cumin.

After 60 minutes uncover the sorghum.

sorghum cooked

At first I thought it wasn’t done because there was still some liquid left, but I then I tried a grain and it was nice and chewy so I just drained the extra liquid.

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Then I added it to a bowl with the veggies.

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Pour on the dressing and toss!

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I thought the warm sorghum would wilt the spinach more, but it didn’t so next time I may cut it back just a little. I ended up with exactly 6 cups the way the recipe is.

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I was so impressed with this salad that I had to snap another photo when I brought it to my desk to eat. It was so darn pretty!

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I’m so glad I gave sorghum a try. The only negative I see is a long cooking time. Other than that it’s a very versatile grain that can really bulk up a salad or side dish.

Approx Nutritional Information per serving
Servings Amt per Serving
3 2 cups
Calories Fat Fiber WWPs
290 1g 13g old: 5 new:7
Sugar Sat Fat Carbs Protein
8g 0g 60g 13g
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Posted in: Food Photos, Lunch Ideas, Salad Ideas, Vegetarian Ideas
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7 Comments and 3 Replies

  1. Krista S.

    Wow, this is cool! I have only heard of sorghum syrup and I think only in the Little House on the Prairie books I read as a kid. Had no idea it was a grain. I cracked up at your description of it as a love child….too funny. I’ll look for this tomorrow when I’m out getting groceries.

  2. Tiffany

    So glad to see this! I have tried Sorghum based beer before and enjoyed that so I can’t imagine not liking this. I have learned so much from your blog and have shared it with many people! (I’m a hairstylist and server)

  3. Rene

    I love your recipes but can you set it up so it’s optional to print all the pictures? It really uses up the ink even when I print it on draft. I know some sites have the option to delete the parts you don’t want to print. Thanks!!

    1. roni

      What browser are you using because it is set up only to print the top picture. Is that what’s happening?

      I’m not sure how to do the optional/delete print thing. Sorry.

  4. Rene

    I use Firefox. It’s printing the entire post with all the pictures (7 pages for this recipe). I know the Skinnytase site has the option to print/delete pictures, etc. I’m not sure if you can incorporate a similar feature on your site or not. Thanks!

  5. Cindy

    Hi Roni! This looks delicious – You can cut the cook time down by pre-soaking the grains (overnight, or for a few hours) – so start soaking in the morning if you want to make for dinner and it should cut the cook time down by half-ish!

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