This is nothing very original, but if you haven't tried grains in salad before, it's a good way to get started. I prefer layers to all-mixed-up; then it doesn't look like you just threw leftover rice in the bowl.
Layer (a glass bowl is nice so you can see the layers):
1. Cooked grains, hot or cold (I used two parts short grain brown rice and one part barley, and layered them while they were still warm; you could use pasta instead, but I like small grains (vs. white rice sticking out all over the place))
(I used 1 cup rice, 1/2 cup barley, 1 tbsp. oil, 3 cups water; but only part of that went in the salad!)
2. Chopped or shredded raw vegetables (I used diced zucchini, sliced celery, and finely-sliced carrots (leftover vegetable sticks))
3. Dressing--creamy or vinaigrette style both work all right, but I prefer something resembling chip dip for layering, because it stays put better. I used about a cupful of sour cream, a couple of spoonfuls of white salad-dressing-stuff (some Squirrels prefer it to mayonnaise), and about a quarter cup of bottled teriyaki sauce; but you can use any other sauce, or just a dry seasoning like curry powder. Yogurt can work too instead of sour cream if it's not too runny. Or tofu dip recipes work fine too.
Add in a layer of anything else, plain or exotic, that looks good. Chickpeas, frozen peas (don't have to be cooked), chopped tomatoes, sliced mushrooms, peppers. But the one I made this week wasn't so fancy: just a layer of grains, vegetables, dressing, then the whole thing repeated. Chill well before serving.
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