Buckwheat, Apple, Cranberry Avocado Salad

A healthy, hearty, lemon-ey salad from the cookbook Blissful Basil. Vegan and gluten free.

Buckwheat, Apple, Cranberry Avocado Salad in bowls with forks

Oh hi – long time no post. Last week, I was a bit sick and down for the count, to say the least. This week, I’m on a healing bender. I have my blender working overtime with crazy green smoothies made with ginger, turmeric and every herb that I’ve read about that contains immune-building qualities. I’m trying to eat lighter and brighter as well because I really do believe that plants can heal.

Which brings me to this recipe from Blissful Basil, a cookbook that couldn’t have arrived at a better time. If you don’t follow Ashley’s blog of the same name, you must! She has the most gorgeous recipes that you can feel great about eating.

In her book, she shares her story about dealing with anxiety as well as other health issues, and how she came to learn that a plant-based diet was just the thing that made her health thrive. The book is filled with 100 creative veggie recipes like Sloppy Shiitakes (her veggie take on a sloppy Joe), Triple Noodle Power Pad Thai, Vegan Snickerdoodle Cookie Bars, to name a few. (I’ve bookmarked practically the whole book).

Buckwheat, Apple, Cranberry Avocado Salad

But today’s recipe is this simple, delightful, hearty, lemon-y salad that I just love. Despite its name, buckwheat is actually a gluten-free grain. I had never cooked with buckwheat groats and I have to tell you that I’m obsessed. They take only about 10 minutes to make and they’re similar in texture to farro or wheatberries. The hearty, chewy bite is just so wonderful in this salad. This recipe makes for either a great packable lunch or a delicious dinner, if you just add whatever protein you like served on the side.

How pretty is her book cover? Vegan pizza here I come:

The Blissful Basil Cookbook

I also have my eye on these Pulled Hearts of Palm Tamales with Chipotle Cream and Pinapple Pico de Gallo:

The Blissful Basil Cookbook

A Giveaway: Ashley is so kindly offering a copy of the book to give away – leave a comment to enter! A winner will be chosen at random on Friday. (U.S. and Canadian addresses only)

Or click here to get your copy right now!

5.0 from 3 reviews

Buckwheat, Apple, Cranberry Avocado Salad

This recipe is from the Blissful Basilcookbook and is reprinted with permission from the publisher.
Serves: serves 4 to 6
Buckwheat Salad
  • 1 cup raw buckwheat groats
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 medium Granny Smith apple, cut into matchsticks
  • 2 cups baby arugula
  • ⅓ to ½ cup dried cranberries
  • ¼ cup raw pepitas
  • 1 ripe avocado, sliced
Simple Lemon Vinaigrette
  • 3 to 5 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, divided
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  1. Add the buckwheat groats to a fine-mesh strainer and thoroughly rinse with cold water. Un a medium saucepan, combine the rinsed buckwheat and water. Bring to a boil, decrease the heat, and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes, or until tender, stirring occasionally to prevent burning. Stain and rinse with cold water until the water runs clear.
  2. Transfer the cooked buckwheat to a large nonreactive serving bowl along with the apple, greens, cranberries, and pepitas.
  3. Make the dressing: In a small bowl, vigorously whisk together 3 tablespoons of the lemon juice, olive oil, maple syrup, Dijon mustard, garlic, sea salt, and black pepper to taste.
  4. To assemble: Pour the vinaigrette over the salad and toss to coat. If desired, add the remaining 2 tablespoons lemon juice to the salad to brighten the flavors, and liberally season with salt and pepper.
  5. Divide among plates and top with the sliced avocado.



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Rate this recipe (after making it):  

  1. Louise

    Would love this! Looks great 🙂

    • Lynn Rice

      I love your love and lemons cookbook. This one looks amazing as well.
      I just purchased the ingredients for this salad & will be making it for dinner.
      Thanks for your love!

    • Vanessa from Vanessawidencoaching.com

      Everything looks so fresh and clean! Would love to have a copy of her book and can’t wait to try the recipe. :))

    • R

      Your recipes are delicious, and Blissful Basil’s cookbook looks amazing too! I would love to be considered for the giveaway.

    • So delicious and refreshing!! Had a lime on hand which I subbed for the lemon, yum! Thanks for sharing this recipe, can’t wait to use this book!

    • Heather

      thank you so much for including “frozen cousins” in Canada. I am fairly new to your blog and cooking, but as a senior experienced cook, who was did not eat meat for two years and was married..lol I still really enjoy the challenge of good food, taste amazing and no meat. Love and Lemons what is not to Love.. Heather

    • Jacqueline

      This recipe and the tamale one you mentioned sound so good! Can’t wait to try them out.

    • Jackie

      I recently made a smoothie from her blog that was really good. I would love to have a copy of her new book!

  2. marianne

    Blissful Basil + Vegan Pizza=❤

  3. Shannon

    I would love to win! Thank you! the cookbook looks so nice.

  4. E.B. Axelrod

    I think this the perfect January dinner. Imag make it tonight!

    • E.B. Axelrod

      Try again: I think this is the perfect January dinner. I may make it tonight – right after a typing or proofreading lesson.

      • Deb

        Love the people who are so creative and healthy that generously pass on their knowledge and recipes to us. Thank all of you!

      • Michelle

        Your correction totally made me chuckle!

  5. Barbara

    Wonderful salad from a wonderful cookbook!

  6. Joyce

    Sounds yummy – this will be on my rotation this week – thanks!

  7. Preethi

    Can’t wait to try this recipe.

  8. Annie

    Looks like a gorgeous cookbook! I’d love to try this recipe and the others in it!

  9. Carol

    So simple and quick. Can’t wait to try this!


    Some of my favorite ingredients, all in one dish. Trying this today!

  11. Jill

    I love the Blissful Basil blog and her cookbook looks even more gorgeous!

  12. Lani Landon

    Looks like a wonderful recipe and cookbook. Since I do not have buckwheat on hand and I am home ill, I will try substituting my favorite grain of Kamut. Thank you. I just love your cookbook and website. My daughter gave it to me last Mother’s Day, my best gift!

  13. Courtney

    Can’t wait to try this! Looks great!

  14. Julia

    beautiful! these recipes look delicious.

  15. Darcy

    We love buckwheat & this looks like a wonderful salad – can’t wait to try it! Thanks!

  16. Would love to try this recipe and add her cookbook to my collection!

  17. Matia

    I just bought buckwheat last week for the very first time! I am so making this salad tonight.

  18. Kathy

    I would love to win this to give my daughter for her birthday at the end of January! It would be perfect for her.

  19. Liz

    I’m definitely making this! I made your butternut squash chili this weekend and it was amazing – will surely be in regular rotation now!

  20. Karla

    Can’t wait to try cooking buckwheat this way. I’ve cooked it with the lid on and never been really happy with the results. Looking forward to trying this salad, thanks!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      have you tried rinsing it after it was cooked? It comes out of the pot really gummy, but I was surprised that quick rinse in a strainer took away all of the mushy texture.

      • Karla

        No, I rinse it before cooking, just to get any dust off, but I’ve never rinsed it after. Thanks! 🙂

  21. Stephanie Costello

    ooooo Im making this tonight. never used buckwheat. A new cookbook is always welcome. 😊

  22. jacquie

    I would love to win this cookbook. Thanks for doing the giveaway.

  23. Mary Ellen

    That’s my kind of salad – lots of fun textures, protein, fiber & big taste – thank you!

  24. Adriana

    Last yaear I cooked a lot of your recipes, all great 🙂. This looks so good. It may be a silly question but I don’t have buckwheat at hand, do you think it would work with steel cut oats?

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Farro or wheat berries would be my second choice if you don’t have a gluten issue. Otherwise, I’d go with quinoa. I don’t think steel cut oats would work in a salad. Hope that helps!

      • Jeanine Donofrio

        also – note that any of those 3 other grains all have to be cooked differently than the instructions listed in the recipe for cooking the buckwheat.

        • Adriana

          Thank you Jeanine 😊

  25. Jody Hargett

    Sounds like a great combination of wholesome ingredients.
    Beautiful too.

  26. Maggie

    Buckwheat also makes a great healthy “risotto”, add a little nutritional yeast and lemon to the stock. It’s so good!
    Thank you for sharing this beautiful cookbook and recipe!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      ooh I’ll have to give that a try – thank you!

  27. Barbara

    Looks great! I love farro so will have to try this!

  28. Megan

    This looks so yummy!

  29. Kathy from GrowDelivers.com

    I cook almost every single night. We went plant-based October 1st… and need all the inspiration I can get!!

  30. Anne Wallace

    I agree the photography and book design is visually pleasing! And all the recipes sound scrumptious!
    I certainly would be in bliss to win this cookbook!

  31. Olga

    I’m sure I’ll bookmark the whole book too! Looking forward to trying new ingredients and techniques.

  32. Dominique Rugenstein

    I LOVE buckwheat groats but have never tried to cook it like this. Will definitely try b/c all of your recipes are simply delicious and healthy. I would love to win this cookbook. It would be sheer blissl!

  33. Savvy

    Will pick up some buckwheat groats at Whole Foods later today- this salad looks yummy!! for lunch, dinner, or maybe even for breakfast!! Thanks!

  34. Anagha Bharadwaj

    This is wonderful! I have a friend who turned to a plant-based diet, and found that her depression improved substantially – she’s vegetarian to this day!

    I would love to give this to her if I won it 🙂

  35. Breanne

    Sounds delicious! Will have to try it and would love to win her cookbook!

  36. Terry

    Wow, I literally just received a bag of wheat berries in my weekly veggie box and have been pondering what to do with them…They will work perfectly with this recipe!

  37. LP from xo-lp.com

    SO excited to have found your blog. I’m digging deep in the archives and building my healthy eating plan for the year ahead. Thanks for making food so healthy and beautiful.

  38. marie

    I didn’t know the blissful basil blog and I love it ! Always happy to discover new amazing vegan and vegetarian cook s:)
    Would love to experiment with her book !
    For this salad I have a near classic at home : love the buckwheat and the avocado and love pairing their flavors 🙂

  39. Kara

    This recipe looks delicious. I’m on day 8 of a 10 day green smoothie cleanse and I’m looking forward to making this soon!

  40. Leandra Bitterfeld

    would LOVE this cookbook to share yummy food with my grad school friends/health care compatriots!!

  41. Laura

    Glad you’re on the mend! Recipe and the cookbook look awesome!

  42. Bianca T

    i would love to win!! i love eating lighter and brighter 🙂

  43. gail

    Love the using buckwheat groats idea! Thank you both for the recipe and giveway opportunity.

  44. caroline

    Thanks for a great blog, with so many simple and delicious recipes!

  45. Laura

    I love buckwheat but usually add it to rice or make kasha pilaf. I can’t wait to try it in this alas recipe! It looks super yum!

    • Laura

      Should have said “salad” recipe! Lol!

  46. Cynthia

    This cookbook and recipe looks amazing! I have been on a vegan/plant-based cookbook tear recently, catching up with all the great bloggers that have cookbooks out and I didn’t know about this one yet – thank you!

  47. Caroline

    I just bought buckwheat after reading about the benefits but had no plan for a recipe – what good fortune for me you shared this one ! I believe I choose a roasted buckwheat
    From the bulk section of Whole Foods – will they work ?

  48. Denise

    This recipe looks so good! Would love to check out the rest of the book!

  49. Ashley from blissfulbasil.com

    Can you tell that I’m sitting here smiling like a total goofball? Because I’m sitting here smiling like a total goofball! Thank you for this lovely review, Jeanine. Means so much.

    p.s. Hope you’re feeling better—cheers to all the fresh, green, plant-y things!

  50. Aimee

    This looks so delicious and bright!

  51. Jodi

    Love both her blog and your blog! Would absolutely love the cookbook!!!

  52. Emily

    With so many beautiful and creative plant-powered books hitting the shelves, there has never been a more exciting time to be a vegetable (did I just say that?)!
    Hope that you’re feeling better!

  53. Catharine

    Everything in the cookbook looks so delicious! Can’t wait to give this salad a try!

  54. Kathy K

    I have all of the ingredients to make this beautiful salad for lunch! Thanks so much for the chance to win the cookbook too!

  55. Leigh

    After being plantbased for about 2 years, I’ve found my standard go-to recipes, but I would love a new source for creative meal inspiration when I feel in a rut. This cookbook looks beautiful!

  56. JE

    This sounds so refreshing and perfect for my winter “blues”!

  57. Alison from twoofakindcooks.com

    I haven’t worked with buckwheat in ages – this salad looks absolutely delicious. Love all the colors and textures! And those tamales sound amazing.

  58. Karen Levin

    I love buckwheat, but don’t cook with often – simply because I forget how delcious it is. (Thanks for your tip above re. washing away the typical mushiness.) And, this refreshing looking salad looks is an ideal nudge to cook up a batch soon! I’d love to win a copy of Ashley’s cookbook.

  59. Ashlynd H.

    I would love to win this cookbook! I love cooking (and eating) delicious whole-foods like this. Love and Lemons and Blissful Basil are both blogs I frequent. Thank you!

  60. kayla from uvretouch.com

    Beautiful and delicious! Need to add to my collection

  61. Jenn

    This salad looks amazing! It will definitely be on my “to make” list for next week. Thanks for the opportunity to win such a beautiful cookbook!

  62. Pam

    Many thanks to Ashley for the book.
    Hope you’re feeling better Jeanine.

  63. Sarah

    I would love a copy of the cookbook!!! 🙂

  64. lin

    Your love & lemons cookbook never leaves my car because I keep it on hand for my daily trip to the market.Never had a let down yet when choosing a recipe,when my daughter’s come home from college for a visit its always a Love & Lemons recipe for our meal .And I am excited to check out some recipe’s from Blissful Basil.Just today I was advised after weeks of cardiologist visits that I have severe anxiety and need to take steps to relieve stress.So since cooking makes me feel good and I love feeding my family good food Im looking forward to cooking to make myself better too.Thanks for your great blog:)

  65. Jennifer

    Both of your blogs are beautiful – truly inspirations! Would love a copy of her cookbook!

  66. Laura

    I just discovered you and love what you’re sharing. This is a beautiful blog! I’m inspired by both of you and would love this cookbook.

  67. Sarah W.

    I love Love and Lemons blog and cookbook and I love Blissful Basil blog and would love to have the cookbook.

  68. Hope

    I’ve been very intrigued by this cookbook! I would love to win it!

  69. Rachel Sisk

    This looks light and refreshing! Buckwheat is so versatile. I can’t wait to whip up that lemon vinaigrette, too. I would be thrilled to get a copy of this cookbook!

  70. Sasha Dimov

    Your blog is so inspiring! I would love to get a copy of the book to give plant-based eating (in college) a new outlook. Thank you!!!

  71. Jeanne

    I just found this blog and am excited to try some beautiful new recipes…the cookbook looks great!

  72. Andrea

    Never tried buckwheat and would love to try this recipe. Very inspiring cookbook!

  73. Kristen

    Thank you for sharing this cookbook and delicious looking recipe.
    -your book arrived to my door last week and I couldn’t have been more thrilled to open it!!

  74. nikki

    Oh my goodness that salad looks amazing! I really need to update my cookbooks to be more health conscious.

  75. Mar

    good morning! Thank you for the recipe and your incredibly helpful blog. I’m a new mom with a 4 month old, and turning to a plant based diet in the postpartum period for a number of health reasons including PPD. I would love a copy of this book to help get me rolling 🙂 Thank you so much!

  76. Lacey

    This salad looks so tasty! I have I only cooked buckwheat a couple times before, but this recipe is good inspiration to do it again.

  77. Bree

    Can’t wait to try the recipe!! Would love a new cookbook to add to my collection 🙂

  78. Gillian

    This salad looks super filling–just how I like them! And those tamales…

  79. Hailey

    Both the salad & the cookbook look fantastic!! Can’t wait to have either or 🙂

  80. Caitlin Stouvenot

    Agh just realizing lately how nice it is to have a physical cookbook in hand, rather than looking on the computer at recipes while I try to cook it! Also so lovely to support the amazing work people do in a concrete way. Hoping to win a copy of this book xx

  81. Audrey Falkenstein

    Thanks for the wonderful blog and recommendation. Would love the cookbook!

  82. Jean Thrasher

    Thanks to both of you to sharing. All the recipes look yummy.

  83. Amandah from theshiftwellness.com

    Another stunning post! Would love to win this book- I was just eyeing it up yesterday; how funny! Of course, it had me craving that pizza.. always craving pizza, ha! xo

  84. Liz S.

    I would love to win this book! Being newly married, we are looking for any new vegetable-based cookbooks for our home!

  85. Angel King

    Entering for a chance to win with my fingers crossed!

    (Also – this salad is FANTASTIC.)

  86. Wonderful post! After being sick and eating more veggies, I’m inspired to incorporate more vegan meals into my diet. I would love to have this book to help me cook these meals!

  87. Maggie B

    This looks so amazing! Thanks for sharing this recipe. I actually just discovered Ashley’s blog as well. I would love to be able to experiment with recipes from her book!! I have your book at home right now 🙂 Thanks!!!

  88. Robert Brown

    I can see that you are putting a lot of efforts into your blog. Keep posting the good work.Some really helpful information in there.Get healthy hints for modifying recipes at blog.kitchology.com. We provide a wide variety of Special Diet tips, reviews and news to enable healthy meal planning.Nice to see your site. Thanks!

  89. SarahA

    Looks amazing. Can’t wait to try some of the recipes!!

  90. Tori S. from torischaulis.com

    Need to try this recipe! Looks so yummy and I’d LOVE to win this giveaway!

  91. Tanya woodard

    I have your love and lemons cookbook, and I think blissfulbasil would be a good addition.

  92. Kerry

    Can’t wait to make this one! ❤️🍋🌱

  93. Kristin

    This recipe sounds delicious and will definitely try it out this weekend. Love trying new things. I would also love to win this cookbook and try even more new things 🙂

  94. Kelly Libby

    Oooh. So MANY beautiful recipies!!! I’m learning to cook and would love a new cookbook. Thanks!! ❤

  95. Mary Lou

    Two of my favourite blogs and now cookbooks added to my collection.
    The first recipe of Ashley’s that hooked me was her super seed pesto.
    I love, love, love it!

  96. Shilpa

    This recipe looks amazing! Would love this cookbook!

  97. Denia

    This recipe looks great! I’m hoping to win but if not I will still be looking for this cookbook. This recipe is on the board for next week. I can’t wait to try it!

  98. Isabelle

    The recipe looks delicious. Thanks for posting it 🙂 I have already ordered my copy of Ashley’s book but would love another copy to give to my best friend for her birthday at the end of January!

  99. Jerri

    This looks amazing!! Would LOVE to dive into this cookbook!!

  100. Brooke

    I love the matchstick cut apples – so pretty and delish!

  101. Aliza

    I would LOVE to win a copy of this book! I follow both of you and love your recipes. I just made the frittata from your book for brunch this past Sunday. Was delish.

  102. Olga

    This looks delicious and I can’t wait to try it! This cookbook looks as inspirational as Love and Lemons!

  103. Tara A

    Looks amazing! I can’t wait to try this!

  104. Danny from yearwithoutplastic.wordpress.com

    Will try this soon! Just made your millet carrot cakes recipe. Came out beautiful and held together nicely with the flax egg – i added shredded beet for some sweetness and color.

  105. Ginger

    Looks amazing. Picked up the ingredients yesterday. Making it today. Would love to have the cookbook. Thanks for sharing.

  106. Katie K

    The recipes look right up my alley and the photography is super beautiful! Thanks for hosting the giveaway!

  107. Chris B

    What a great giveaway. I’d love to win the cookbook and try some new recipes!

  108. Amy

    This looks fabulous! Your website/blog and cookbook are divine; they invoke happiness! Thank you for this wonderful offer; it would be great to have your new cookbook. Cheers to you!!

  109. Michelle

    Looks delicious! Once I get food (story of my life), I’m making this!

  110. Erika

    Thanks for sharing this recipe! I didn’t have all the ingredients handy to make this salad, unfortunately. However, because I had buckwheat in my pantry, I’ve made it following the instructions so I could eat with some leftover veggies. I’ve also made the dressing and it’s amazing! 🙂

    I’ve cooked buckwheat before, and in both times, the buckwheat gets slimy in the salad. This time, I did rinse after cooking with cold water, but the result seem the same. Any tips or tricks? I did notice the water was all gone by the end of the 10mins, so maybe I’m overcooking the buckwheat?

    Thank you so much! I love your website

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hmm, once I rinsed mine and tossed it with the dressing, the slimy-ness was all gone. You could try cooking it maybe 2 minutes less (taste to make sure they’re tender) – every stovetop is different. Let me know if you try it again if that does the trick?

      • Erika

        Thanks, Jeanine! I’ll try again and let you know then.

  111. Thomas Regan

    Yes, I know it is probably way too late to win a copy of your book but just thought I had to tell you what a fantastic find it was to run into your blog. I have not tried any of your recipes yet (hey, I just found it today) but was so pleased to find recipes because this is the way I eat. I have never been a meat, potatoes and veggie kind of eater so now you know why I am so excited. The gang at the gym is going to hear all about you too as we exchange recipes almost daily. Thank you again for making my life a little easier and taste better too, I am sure.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Thanks Thomas – welcome! I hope you (and the gang) enjoy the recipes 🙂

  112. Angelique

    I love anything lemon so am on my way to the store for the ingredients to make this!

  113. Alexz

    Nice. But buckwheat isn’t a grain, although it acts like it. It’s a berry.

  114. Holly

    I’m going to try this tomorrow. Have already cooked the buckwheat ahead of time. I *might* try to use up some fresh cranberries I have—chop them smaller and maybe soak them in the maple syrup….? What proteins do you recommend if I were going in that direction?

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.