Honey Walnut Power Salad

Honey Walnut Power SaladPinit

Almonds and a Diet Coke. That was my sad lunch today.

As someone who feels that lunch is one of the highlights of the day (sandwiched between chocolate snacks and bedtime), having a bad lunch is more than just a little depressing.

To all you out there who can just “forget” to eat lunch, I can’t sympathize. To forget to eat lunch would be like forgetting about that big pile of miscellaneous garage sale stuff sitting in our living room. AS IF.


One of the most glamorous things about a teacher’s job is eating in a teacher’s lounge. Imagine a rainbow of educational goodies on every wall, the sweet music of lunchroom chaos every time the door opens, and the overabundance of smallish plastic sporks, which, by the way, are really good at making you look like you don’t know how to eat.

This is why lunch – the actual lunch – better be seriously good.

When I saw Sara’s yummy salad a few weeks ago, I knew it was the ultimate epitome of lunch. So I made it, and made it again, and made it yet again using a tiny bit more grains for my big lunch appetite.  I love it. Love love love.

It’s portable, it’s healthy, it’s pretty, and it’s loaded with texture and flavor. The bulgur and edamame anchor the whole deal; the grapes, walnuts, caramelized onions, honey, and blue cheese are the crowning glory that makes it all come together. The fresh handful of spinach at the end keeps things feeling fresh and green. I like to feel fresh and green.

Don’t eat almonds and Diet Coke for lunch.

A sweet, nutty, powerhouse salad is calling.

Honey Walnut Power Salad

5.0 from 9 reviews
Honey Walnut Power Salad
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • ½ large yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups seedless red grapes, washed and cut in half
  • 2 cups edamame (I did a quick steam-in-the-bag variety)
  • 1 cup uncooked bulgur or other grain
  • ¾ cup walnuts
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ¼ cup water
  • fresh baby spinach
  • crumbled blue cheese
  • salt to taste
  1. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over low heat. Add onions and saute on low for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onions are soft, golden brown, and almost sweet tasting.
  2. While onions are still cooking, pour bulgur and 2 cups water into a saucepan; bring to a boil and cook for 15 minutes, until most of the moisture has absorbed and the grains are soft enough to eat. Let cool for 15 minutes.
  3. When onions are done, stir into the bulgur so the butter is absorbed by the grains. Season with salt.
  4. Combine grapes and edamame in a large mixing bowl. Add cooled bulgur and walnuts. Whisk water and honey; pour over mixture and stir well. Add fresh baby spinach and crumbled blue cheese just before serving.
Makes about 8 cups, so each serving is 1 heaping cup.


I am going to be taking some time off from ye ole Pinch of Yum next week. Don’t worry – everything’s fine. I just need a few days to do things like put my feet up and eat cookies.


Have a great week you crazy food lovers!

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  1. Loving this salad and the “bulk” of it! My dinner last night was popcorn and an apple. That’s sad, too.

  2. Awww! Thanks! I’m smiling ear to ear. Have a lovely week off! I’m definitely going to bulk up my salad taking inspiration from you too!

  3. This seriously rocks my world. I’m like you….there is no way I would EVER forget about lunch – or any meal for that matter. I can’t even imagine forgetting!!

  4. I have NEVER understood forgetting to eat any meal… that is just crazy talk. Love the look of this salad!

  5. In my life, I don’t think I’ve ever forgotten to eat a meal, EVER! My tummy reminds me, and I love food way to freaking much to just ‘forget.’ This salad is sooooo up my alley, like, I might need to make it today!

  6. This looks so perfect and fresh and full of texture – definitely making this for lunch soon!

  7. I’m looking for more low-carb meals. Is that possible? Especially for dinner, any suggestions?

  8. Lizabeth K. says:

    This looks SOOOO much better than my salad that I have packed today: spinach and chicken. Mmmmmm….. :( I might have been pouting as I made it after I read this!!

  9. I love grapes in my salad! This is a definitely a pile of greens that would keep me interested!

  10. Looks soooo good!

  11. Awesome looking salad. Love the grapes in it. And I agree bad lunches, or bad meals in general, so anti-climatic. Hate it when that happens!

  12. Your salad has power written all over it….errr…and in it! This is a great lunch recipe – tons of flavor with salty, sweet and nutty elements. I could see how skipping a salad like this for almonds and diet coke would be disappointing, but look how well you redeemed yourself! Great recipe!

  13. I need this salad.
    I am also one of those people who could never “forget” a meal….never!

  14. I’ve been waiting for a salad recipe to catch my eye…this is it!

  15. If I brought this for my work lunch, I’d be employee of the month :)

  16. Walnuts are one of my favorites! Looks delicious!

  17. This looks awesome… mouth-watering!!! Definitely on the list of recipes for MAY 2012!!

  18. Kim Steinmetz says:

    This is just pure beauty. I’m wondering–since it makes 8 cups…could you make the bulgur part and keep it in the fridge for a couple of days, just taking out what you need for lunch and adding the fresh spinach and blue cheese? I’ve never used bulgur before, but I really want to try this recipe.

  19. This looks incredibly yummy!!!

  20. I love this salad! Knowing that I have a “good” lunch for the afternoon is sometimes all that gets me through the morning! This must make it into my routine! Enjoy your break :)

  21. That looks fantastic. I know it tastes amazing! Thanks for sharing it.

  22. Lindsay, almonds & a diet coke sound like a very sad lunch! this powerhouse salad looks AMAZING! Enjoy your week off – much deserved :)

  23. Looks delicious! Salads are one of our favorite go-to meals, especially sweet and savory ones like this one :) (That’s not to say we don’t indulge in popcorn dinner from time to time…)

  24. I love edamame. I love grapes. I love bulgur. I have never thought of putting them together. Brilliant! I can’t wait to make this. Thanks so much!

  25. This salad looks amazing! I can admit I have had terribly sad lunches as well, usually when I am very busy. The grapes and the bulgur seem like such yummy additions here!

  26. When spring and springtime temperatures hit I switch from PB&J sandwiches for portable lunches to something cool and light in a tupperware container. I recently made a rice, roasted cauliflower, and edamame salad and now I am on an edamame kick. This looks absolutely amazing! I will definitely be thinking of making this…maybe with some kale too. Yum!

  27. danielle says:


  28. I finally bought the bulgur today! I can’t wait to make this tasty looking salad this weekend!

  29. I love a good salad. I mean a real GOOD salad. This is that salad. I am so hooked on walnuts right now. I think they may be my favorite salad nut. This is one bowlful of absolute goodness.

  30. Virginia says:

    Made this tonight and it was fantastic!!! My husband loves all sorts of interesting salads and he was very impressed. I don’t like blue cheese and used feta on my serving and still loved it. Will definitely be making it again and adding it to my “keeper” file! Thanks for sharing!!!

  31. I am devouring this salad as I type…I couldn’t wait to comment its that’s good. I was so happy to have a good lunch to look forward to today. It make’s such an immense difference in my mood when I’m not dreading a pathetic lunch or worse yet – skipping it. This salad was simple to put together but the combination of flavors and textures are complex. I’ve actually never tried bulgur before and it has a really nice feature…not too soft, not too hard and just a hint of wheat flavor. Not something I would think to add to my salad – great idea. I will be eating this all week long!! Thank you not only for the recipe but the re-inspiration. I was in a lunchtime salad rut and this picked me right back up.

  32. Ooooh wow this looks fantastic! I’m a newbie to your site. Your photos really do make your blog (and recipes) as I feel like I can smell the food right through the screen! Must try one day. Thanks!

  33. Wow, does that look seriously good! Grapes, walnuts, and blue cheese are such a good combo Loved your riff about the lunchroom and the spork– and I’m with you, I never forget a meal. Big piles of stuff, yes, meals, no.

  34. Very delicious–and simple!

  35. Could you use feta instead of blue cheese?

  36. Found you on stumbleupon and love what I see. Thank you for some great ideas, I will enjoy checking out your website more often!

  37. Allison says:

    Just found this on Pinterest and oh my goodness yum!! Instead of the honey alone I tossed it in Martha’s honey-balsamic vinaigrette. Already packed and portioned out for lunch everyday this week! This is definitely a new favorite in my lunch rotation :)

  38. I made this salad for lunch today. The first bite I thought “hmmm, not too sure about this one.” So I took another bite, then another and on and on and then it was all gone and I was sad.

    Really delicious plus I have more for the rest of the week and I am happy again!

  39. How well does this keep? Do you just pack a cup of the grains/edamame mixture and add the spinach and cheese at the table? How do the nuts stand up to the fridge all week?

    • I kept everything together in the fridge for a few days except the cheese and spinach. I packed the cheese and spinach separately in a little baggie for my lunch and just added it to the main stuff right before I ate it. :) I also freshened it up with another drizzle of honey. It didn’t last more than 2-3 days but that was because we ate all of it so fast! It’s best fresh, but I had no problem with it 2-3 days later from the fridge.

  40. Julie Olson says:

    I made this salad and brought it to a potluck. It was very, VERY popular. I WILL make it again in the future.

  41. My boyfriend and I loved this salad! I added chicken to make the salad more filling, but the bulgur filled me up quickly. Great flavorful meal!

  42. Darlin,
    Substitue that butter for some EVOO and this salad is a runner’s delight! Send it to Runner’s Word Mag and you will have a winner! Love it!

  43. Trudy Coombs says:

    Can you use Quinoa? Thank you for this recipe…. Will make it today for this weeks lunches.

  44. Love this recipe! I feel your diet coke and almonds lunch. Last week I forgot my lunch – which was no biggie, because I could just pick something up, then remembered I didn’t bring my wallet to work either! I had 2 slices of dry toast for lunch!

    I have almost everything for this salad!

  45. This looks absolutely delicious. I am always looking for healthy and fresh salad recipes because I am basically eating salads all day long ;). I just found your blog and will definitely look through it a long while longer! Would love to get in contact, maybe you would be interested in working together with us (we are an online magazine for women called sisterMAG :)

    Anyway! Have a wonderful weekend. Yours, Thea

  46. I came here through a search result about your site’s finances — just saying. that was my source of traffic :) really great! I like this site.

    One suggestion on the recipe though – maybe just add the water to the onions? No sense in pulling out a second pan…

  47. Hi,

    What a great salad, I can’t even remember how I got to your website (I think was trawling superfoods recipes), but I can tell you I will be making this salad this weekend..what a combination and I have actually have walnuts, edamame (not readily available in Australia) and bulgar in the kitchen. Wouldn’t have thought to put them all together…


  48. This looks crazy good! Definitely using this once school starts back, I always get serious doses of food-envy in the staffroom! Just a question, could you make up the whole thing and just take a scoop (obviously adding the leaves and such then) for eight days? Would it keep that long?

    • I think eight days might be pushing it but definitely a few days would work! Also, the base mix would probably last longer without the cheese in there, too.

  49. Guuuurrrllll, you are a salad genius! Finally made this for dinner tonight after pinning it months ago. Why did I wait so long?! It was so crazy good. The different textures, the sweet/savory, oh I could just go on. I cannot wait to eat another one tomorrow!

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